India's top court declines to legalize same-sex marriage

India’s top court declines to legalize same-sex marriage

/ 05:52 PM October 17, 2023

India's top court declines to legalize same-sex marriage

A writer and member of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community (LGBT community) holds the pride flag while waiting to hear the judgement on same-sex marriage by the Supreme Court in New Delhi, India, October 17, 2023. REUTERS

NEW DELHI — India’s top court on Tuesday said it cannot legalize same-sex marriages, with the chief justice of the country saying making such a law is the domain of parliament.

A five-judge bench headed by the Chief Justice of India, D.Y. Chandrachud, heard arguments in the case between April and May this year and pronounced its verdict on Tuesday.


Chandrachud said there was a degree of “agreement and disagreement on how far we have to go” on same-sex marriages as he began reading his order.


Two of the other four judges agreed with Chandrachud on the court not legalizing same-sex marriages, making it a majority.

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Two other judges are yet to speak.

The court ruling comes five years after a historic 2018 judgement when the Supreme Court scrapped a colonial-era ban on gay sex.

Only Taiwan and Nepal allow same-sex unions in Asia, where largely conservative values still dominate politics and society.

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government had opposed the petitions, calling them “urban elitist views” and stating that parliament is the right platform to debate and legislate on the matter.

It had also said that such marriages are not “comparable with the Indian family unit concept of a husband, a wife and children”.

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TAGS: India, LGBTQ, same-sex unions

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