Supreme Court is currently hearing a batch of petitions seeking legal recognition of same-sex marriages, a day after the government reiterated its opposition to any such legal move. The government argued against legal sanction to gay marriages, stating that such requests are "mere urban elitist views for social acceptance." The five-judge Constitution bench of the Supreme Court, comprising Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud and four other judges, will hear the petitions.
The Centre has argued that a court order recognising same-sex marriages would mean a virtual judicial rewriting of an entire branch of law, stating that marriage is an "exclusively heterogenous institution." The Centre has also opposed the petitions, saying that same-sex marriage is an "urban elitist concept far removed from the social ethos of the country." The government has further stated that the issue cannot be decided by the Court of Law and lies in the domain of the parliament to amend the law.
The Supreme Court Advocate Menaka Guruswamy tweeted ahead of the hearing, "With the Constitution in our hearts, we go back to our court, for complete equality, full dignity and freedom worthy of our citizenship." The lawyers for the petitioners include Mukul Rohatgi, Menaka Guruswamy, Saurabh Kirpal, NK Kaul, and others. The Centre is being represented by SG Tushar Mehta.
The timeline of the case dates back to November 25, 2022, when the Supreme Court issued notices on the petitions filed by two same-sex couples seeking legal recognition for same-sex marriages. After multiple petitions were filed, the SC took charge of all cases from different high courts in January 2023. The Centre filed its response opposing same-sex marriages in the first week of March, stating that the concept of marriage involves a biological man and a biological woman. The Supreme Court referred the case to a five-judge constitution bench on March 13, 2023, and set the date of April 18 for the Constitution Bench hearings to begin. On April 17, 2023, the Centre filed a fresh application before the Supreme Court challenging the petitions on the grounds of maintainability and stating that the issue ought to be decided by the Parliament and not the Courts.
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