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A Look Into: Same Sex Marriage

Same-sex marriage remains a contentious issue in India, with the legal landscape surrounding it being complex and often confusing. In this article, we will explore the current state of same-sex marriage in India, with reference to relevant case law.

Current Legal Status of Same-Sex Marriage in India:

Currently, same-sex marriage is not recognized as legal in India. The Indian Constitution does not explicitly prohibit same-sex marriage, but the concept of marriage in India is largely governed by personal laws, which are based on religion. Most religions in India do not recognize same-sex marriages.

Case Law Reference:
In Navtej Singh Johar v. Union of India, the Supreme Court of India decriminalized homosexuality by striking down Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, which criminalized consensual sexual acts between adults of the same sex. While the ruling was a significant step towards the recognition of LGBTQ+ rights in India, it did not legalize same-sex marriage.

Arguments For and Against Same-Sex Marriage:

Those in favor of same-sex marriage argue that denying same-sex couples the right to marry is a violation of their fundamental rights, including the right to equality and the right to life and personal liberty. They argue that marriage is a fundamental right and should be available to all consenting adults, regardless of gender.

Opponents of same-sex marriage argue that marriage is a union between a man and a woman, and that allowing same-sex marriages would go against traditional values and religious teachings.

Legal Issues Surrounding Same-Sex Marriage in India:

One of the main legal issues surrounding same-sex marriage in India is the absence of a uniform civil code. Personal laws based on religion govern the concept of marriage in India, and there is no overarching law that governs marriage for all citizens. This can create confusion and uncertainty for same-sex couples who wish to marry.

In addition, the lack of recognition of same-sex marriages can lead to other legal issues, such as inheritance, property rights, and adoption. Same-sex couples in India are not able to adopt children together, and if one partner dies, the other partner may not have any legal right to the property or assets of the deceased partner.

International and Domestic Developments:

India is not alone in its struggle with the issue of same-sex marriage. Many countries around the world have faced similar legal battles and have had to grapple with the tension between traditional values and the recognition of LGBTQ+ rights.

In recent years, there have been several developments in favor of same-sex marriage around the world. In 2015, the United States Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage in all 50 states. In 2017, Australia legalized same-sex marriage after a nationwide postal survey.

However, in India, there has been little progress towards the recognition of same-sex marriage. While the decriminalization of homosexuality was a significant step towards the recognition of LGBTQ+ rights in India, same-sex marriage remains illegal.

In conclusion, the legal landscape surrounding same-sex marriage in India remains complex and often confusing. While the decriminalization of homosexuality was a significant step towards the recognition of LGBTQ+ rights in India, same-sex marriage remains illegal. As the Indian legal system continues to evolve, it is likely that there will be further progress in the recognition of the rights of same-sex couples.

It is important for the Indian legal system to recognize the rights of all citizens, regardless of their sexual orientation. The recognition of same-sex marriage would not only be a step towards equality, but would also provide legal protections and benefits for same-sex couples. As India continues to move towards greater recognition of LGBTQ+ rights, the recognition of same-sex marriage should be a top priority.

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