Same-Sex Partners Not Comparable With Indian Concept: Govt

New Delhi:  The Centre on Thursday told the Delhi High Court that living together as same-sex partners is not comparable with the Indian concept of a family unit.

The government stated this in a counter affidavit filed on petitions filed by same-sex couples seeking enforcement of fundamental right of choice of partner.

“Despite the decriminalisation of Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, the petitioners cannot claim a fundamental right for same-sex marriage,” the government further said.

In India, marriage is a bond between a biological man and a biological woman, it added.

One of the couples had sought direction from the court to declare that the Special Marriage Act, 1954 ought to apply to all couples regardless of their gender identity and sexual orientation, and reading the SMA so as to apply to all couples irrespective of their gender identity and sexual orientation.

The other couple, an Indian citizen and an Overseas Citizen of India are two gay men, who married in Washington DC, US in 2017, stated that the Foreign Marriage Act, 1969 in as much as it discriminates against same-sex couples by denying legal recognition of their marriage is ultra vires of the Constitution of India.

The pleas filed through advocates Arundhati Katju, Govind Manoharan, Surabhi Dhar and argued by senior advocate Menaka Guruswamy stated that like any other couple, “the petitioners want their relationship to be blessed and sanctified by society and by law.”

“Marriage offers both legal protections and social recognition of the commitment, support and security a couple offer each other, which are even more important in these times of the Covid-19 pandemic.”