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Supreme Court To Take Up Requests Seeking Validation Of Same-Sex Marriage

Arguing against legal sanction to gay marriages, the centre yesterday termed such requests as “mere urban elitist views for social acceptance”.

The Supreme Court will today hear a batch of requests seeking legal recognition of same-sex marriages, a day after the government reiterated its opposition to any such legal move.

Here are top 10 points in this big story:

1.Arguing against legal sanction to gay marriages, the centre yesterday termed such requests as “mere urban elitist views for social acceptance”.

2.A court order recognising same-sex marriages would mean a virtual judicial rewriting of an entire branch of law, the centre argued and said the court must refrain from passing such “omnibus orders”.

3.A five-judge Constitution bench of the Supreme Court comprising Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud, and Justices SK Kaul, Ravindra Bhat, Hima Kohli, and PS Narasimha, is set to hear the petitions.

4.Calling marriage an “exclusively heterogenous institution”, the Centre yesterday said the question of considering it equal to the existing concept of marriage “seriously affects the interests of every citizen”.

5.The universally accepted socio-legal relationships like marriages are “deeply rooted in the Indian social context and indeed is considered a sacrament in all branches of Hindu law. Even in Islam, though it is a contract, it is a sacred contract and a valid marriage is only between a biological male and a biological woman,” the centre argued.

6.The centre pointed out that further creation of rights, recognition of relationships, and giving legal sanctity to such relationships can be done only by the legislature, and not by the judiciary.

7.It also argued that the creation or recognition of a new social institution altogether “cannot be claimed as a matter of right/choice, much less a fundamental right”. The right to personal autonomy does not include a right for the recognition of same-sex marriage and that too by judicial adjudication, the centre said.

8.Which social relationships will be legally recognised will be decided by the representatives of the people, the centre’s submission stated.

9.The centre has been vehemently opposing a legal recognition of gay marriages, stating last month that such unions are not compatible with the concept of an “Indian family unit”, which it said consists of “a husband, a wife, and children”.

10.It is submitted that despite the decriminalisation of Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, the petitioners cannot claim a fundamental right for same-sex marriage to be recognised under the laws of the country, the centre had said.

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