Contesting petitions, the Centre in an affidavit filed in the Supreme Court argued 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”.
The Centre contended same-sex marriage is incompatible with the concept of an Indian family unit and the notion of marriage itself necessarily presupposes a union between two persons of opposite sex. Asserting that the matter be left to the legislature, the Centre has argued that union between persons of opposite sex is “socially, culturally and legally ingrained into the very idea and concept of marriage and ought not to be disturbed or diluted by judicial interpretation”. The pleas seeking legal recognition of same-sex marriage is slated to come up for hearing in SC on Monday.
The affidavit says, “Family issues are far beyond mere recognition and registration of marriage between persons belonging to the same gender. Living together as partners and having sexual relationship by same sex individuals is not comparable with the Indian family unit concept of a husband, a wife and children, which necessarily presuppose a biological man as a husband, a biological woman as a wife and the children born out of the union between the two – who are reared by the biological man as father and the biological woman as mother.”
The Centre has argued that “Parliament has designed and framed the marriage laws which are governed by the personal laws/codified laws relatable to customs of various religious communities, to recognise only the union of a man and a woman to be capable of legal sanction, and thereby claim legal and statutory rights and consequences and any interference with the same would cause a complete havoc with the delicate balance of personal laws and in accepted societal values”.
The affidavit says registration of marriage of same sex persons results in violation of existing law provisions such as ‘degrees of prohibited relationship’; ‘conditions of marriage’; ‘ceremonial and ritual requirements’ under personal laws governing the individuals.
The affidavit says though same sex relations aren’t unlawful, the state only recognises heterosexual relationships for marriage.