The debate over the legalization of same-sex marriages in India has reached a pivotal moment as the Centre, led by the Modi government, has presented its strong opposition to the idea in the Supreme Court. In a series of submissions and arguments, the government has taken a firm stance against altering the traditional concept of marriage in the country.
The Modi government’s central argument revolves around the belief that marriage is an institution exclusive to heterosexual couples. It has emphasized that marriage, as it stands in India, is a sacred and time-honored tradition, inherently designed for unions between a biological man and a biological woman. This perspective, rooted in conservative values, seeks to preserve the sanctity of marriage as it has been practiced for generations.
Furthermore, the Centre has made it clear that any decision regarding the legalization of same-sex marriages should rest solely with the Parliament. It has contended that the legislature is the proper authority to address such a significant social and legal change. This assertion underscores the government’s position that changing the definition of marriage is not a matter for the courts to decide, but rather for elected representatives who can thoroughly examine the implications and consequences of such a change.
The government’s argument goes even further, suggesting that the legalization of homosexual marriages would necessitate a comprehensive overhaul of an entire branch of Indian law. The Centre argues that this would have wide-ranging effects on various aspects of the legal system, including inheritance, adoption, and property rights. As such, they maintain that the Supreme Court should abstain from making “omnibus orders” and instead leave the decision in the hands of the elected legislature, which is better equipped to navigate these complex legal waters.
The Centre has also characterized the petitions advocating for the legalization of gay marriage as reflecting “urban elitist views for the purpose of social acceptance.” This description highlights the government’s perception that the calls for same-sex marriage are driven by urban, progressive, and liberal ideals, rather than reflecting the broader diversity of opinions and values within the country.
The legal battle over same-sex marriage in India is far from over. The Centre’s staunch opposition to changing the traditional concept of marriage underscores the deeply rooted societal divisions on the matter. The Supreme Court’s eventual verdict will not only impact the lives of LGBTQ+ individuals but also shape the future direction of India’s approach to marriage and civil rights. As the legal proceedings continue, India’s LGBTQ+ community and their allies eagerly await a decision that will determine the future of their rights and social acceptance.