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Supreme Court to decide the Fate of India's LGBTQ Community

The legalization of same-sex marriage has become a hot topic in the United States, but the issue is more controversial in India. There has been a lot of debate in India about whether or not same-sex marriage should be legalized. This debate has been going on for the past few years, but it is heating up in the news recently because the Supreme Court of India will be considering the legality of gay marriage soon after a petition was filed by a gay couple, who have been together for a decade.

"The country will see a historic ruling if the court decides to recognize same-sex marriages."

Is people's View toward Same-Sex Marriage Changing?
The world is changing for the better and people are becoming more open about their sexuality. In recent years, the world has seen a major shift in the views of many societies and nations. People have decided to become more accepting and understanding of LGBTQ individuals. As more countries are legalizing same-sex marriage, but for India, there is still a long way to go.

The question is, should Indian legalize same-sex marriage?

Same-Sex Marriage In India

Same-sex marriage is not legally recognized in India. Although same-sex relationships have been documented in the country for centuries, There is no doubt that the landscape of civil rights for LGBTQ persons in India has changed significantly in recent years, with the Supreme Court ruling in 2018 to overturn section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, which criminalized homosexuality.

Recently, the Supreme Court of India also recognized the rights of transgender people and granted them the right to self-identify as a third gender. This has been seen as a move towards greater acceptance of the LGBTQ community. it was allowing them to access services and benefits that may have otherwise been denied to them.

LGBTQ community in India: The Current scenario
India, a nation of paradoxes, has always been known for its diversity and the range of religions it has. It is home to over a billion people, diverse cultures, and an even more diverse range of beliefs. The LGBTQ community is no exception to this, which has a sizable population in India. But they are not blessed with some fundamental human rights that ordinary people enjoy. The community is forced to face various issues like physical and mental torture, abuse, and discrimination. Violence in the name of family honor seems to become more prevalent every day.

But now the tide is turning the community has made significant progress in recent years, with the Supreme Court ruling in 2018 to end a colonial-era law that criminalized homosexuality. This ruling has made it easier for LGBTQ people in India to come out and be open about their sexuality without fear of persecution. While there is still much work to be done in terms of LGBTQ rights, the Indian government has taken action to improve the lives of LGBTQ people in the country.
  • In 2019, the Indian government announced the formation of a new Ministry for the Welfare of Transgender Persons to address the issues faced by the transgender community in India.
  • The government has also established a Transgender Welfare Board, which provides financial aid and other essential services to the transgender community.
  • Additionally, there have been initiatives to increase the acceptance and visibility of LGBTQ people in India, such as the recent "Pride Walks" held in major cities.
Despite these steps, the LGBTQ community in India still faces many difficulties, such as discrimination, lack of access to healthcare and employment, and social stigma. However, it is encouraging to see the progress being made and the efforts being taken to ensure LGBTQ people in India have the same rights as everyone else.

Should same-sex marriage be legalized in India?
However, same-sex marriage remains illegal in India. This has led to a growing chorus of voices calling for the legalization of same-sex marriage. Many argue that same-sex marriage is an essential step in guaranteeing equal rights for all members of Indian society, regardless of gender identity and sexual orientation.

The legalization of same-sex marriage in India would ensure that all LGBTQ persons have the same rights that heterosexual couples enjoy. It would also help to reduce discrimination against LGBTQ persons and ensure that they have access to the same rights and privileges as all other citizens in India.

Furthermore, it would provide legal rights to same-sex couples that are currently denied to them. This includes the right to inherit property, the right to make medical decisions, the right to adopt children, and other rights that are currently only available to heterosexual couples.

On the other hand, opponents of same-sex marriage argue that it goes against Indian culture and values. They also suggest that it could lead to the breakdown of the traditional family structure and could lead to the acceptance of other practices such as polygamy and polyandry.

Ultimately, the decision on whether or not to legalize same-sex marriage in India is a complex one. It is a matter of personal opinion and values, and it is up to each individual to decide what they believe is right. However, it is clear that same-sex marriage is becoming increasingly accepted in many countries around the world.

"It is time for India to consider the issue and decide whether or not to legalize it."

Is the right to marry the partner of choice legal in India?
It's not easy for a gay couple in India. Two Indian men, Pranav and Akash, have been together for 2 years. Pranav works as a software engineer, while Akash is a graphic designer. They want to get married in the Hindu tradition but are not accepted by their families. They are not allowed to live together; in fact, there is no legal recognition of gay marriage.

"We have to be careful with what we say and to who we say it. We have to pretend that we are just friends when we go out in public."

I am gay. I have chosen to be with a man. I know it is not accepted by many, but it is my choice. We are just like any other couple. I hate it when people stare at my boyfriend and me. I know they're just curious, but sometimes I wish they would just mind their own business.

We don't deserve to be discriminated against. Individuals' sexual orientation is a basic part of the human identity. But just because I'm "gay" doesn't mean I'm any less a person; my identity does not determine my abilities.

"Acknowledging this, we should all be able to agree that love is love whatever the gender and it should be legalized to acknowledge the same."

Legal Provisions Regarding Same-Sex Marriage

Same-sex marriage is not legally recognized in India. The Special Marriage Act of 1954 does not allow marriage between same-sex couples. Section 4(c) of the Special Marriage Act, 1954 states that marriage is only valid between a male and a female.

Additionally, Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code criminalizes same-sex relationships. Although, in 2018, the Supreme Court of India held this section unconstitutional. However, this does not mean that same-sex marriages are now legal in India. There is still no legal recognition of such marriages.

Government View On Legalization Of Same-Sex Marriage

The Indian government makes its stand that same-sex marriage should not be legalized as it goes against the fundamental values of Indian society, culture, and tradition. It was further argued that such marriages violate the Hindu religion's basic tenets, which form the basis of Indian culture, and are thus contrary to public order, morality and health.

The government also submitted that legalizing same-sex marriages would open the door to a host of other issues such as inheritance, adoption, surrogacy, and maintenance, which would create a complex legal framework or which would lead to chaos and confusion in society.

Conclusion
In the past decade, several countries have significantly improved their human rights protections´┐Żand India is no exception. But improving LGBTQ rights requires more than legal recognition. Government officials and ordinary citizens alike must work to foster a culture of tolerance and acceptance toward sexual minorities in India. Legal recognition would be an important first step in that process, but fully embracing the LGBTQ community will require greater social change. The celebration of pride parade is one of the most positive moves to celebrate sexual and gender identities.

I believe the prevailing view is that the normalization of same-sex marriages will help to reduce discrimination against gay couples and protect their rights.

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