According to reports, the Indian government is resisting a campaign by campaigners to gain legal recognition for same-sex marital relations.
According to Reuters news agency, officials have asked the court to reject any challenges to the legal framework that LGBT couples have filed. A Sunday filing was submitted to the Supreme Court.
According to the Ministry of Law, although relationships can take many forms in society, legal recognition of marriage should only be given to heterosexual relationships. The state has a legitimate interest and is entitled to do so.
“Living together and having sexual relationships by the same sex people… is not comparable to the Indian family unit concept, a husband and wife and children,” the ministry stated in papers that were seen by Reuters but not made public.
It stated that the court cannot be asked to “change the entire legislative policy in the country, deeply embedded in religious or societal norms”.
India’s highest court has decriminalized homosexuality in a landmark verdict in 2018. This historic verdict was issued in 2018 following years of lobbying and activism.
This case is a significant milestone in the advancement of LGBT rights in India, which has 1.4 billion inhabitants.
This sensitive issue is not being resolved: homosexuality remains taboo in many socially conservative countries.
In recent months, at least 15 pleas by gay couples asking for recognition of same-sex marriages were filed before the court. This set the stage for the legal battle with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Government.
What other countries have legalized same-sex marriages?
In Asia, same-sex marriage isn’t as popular as in the West.
Taiwan was the first country in the region to recognize matrimony. However, Malaysia and other countries still criminalize same-sex acts.
Singapore lifted its ban on gay sex last year, but it took steps to prohibit same-sex marriages.
Japan is the only G7 nation that doesn’t recognize same-sex marriages. However, the majority of the public supports recognition.
India’s tensions have been fueled by the issue in India. A member of Modi’s ruling Hindu nationalist party asked for the government to oppose petitions filed at the top court.
LGBTQ+ activists claim that although the 2018 ruling affirms their constitutional rights, they still lack legal backing for marriage – a fundamental right enjoyed by heterosexual married couples.
Uday Raj Anand (a businessman) said to Reuters that he couldn’t do many things while building a life and living together.
The government filed Sunday’s argument arguing that Sunday’s filing cannot be taken to mean recognising the fundamental right to same-sex marriage in the country’s laws.
The current legal system regarding marriage was designed to recognize a legal marriage between a man or woman (represented as a husband or wife).
The government argues that any changes to the legal structure should be made by the elected parliament and not the court.
The Supreme Court will hear the cases on Monday.
According to Human Rights Campaign, India would be the 33rd country that allows same-sex marriage if it were to do so.