Supreme Court considers legalising same-sex marriage, issues notice to Centre

The Supreme Court on Friday issued a notice to the government seeking response on a plea filed by a couple asking to legalise same-sex marriage in India. The plea demands that alliances between members of LGBTIQ+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, intersex and queer) community be legalised under the Special Marriage Act. 

The Special Marriage Act (1954) provides for civil marriage for Indian nationals irrespective of the religion, faith, race, social standing, identity, etc., of either party.

The plea, filed by a gay couple, asserted their fundamental right to marry any person of their choice and highlighted the absence of a legal framework which allowed members of the LGBTQ+ community to do so. The couple drew from previous landmark judgements passed by the SC such as Section 377 that decriminalised gay sex in 2018 or the Madras High Court judgement in 2019 that legitimised the marriage between a transwoman who identifies as a ‘woman’ and a cis-gendered man and vice versa–therefore legalising trans marriages. 

The plea delineated that the SC has previously ruled that members of the LGBTQ+ community hold the same human, fundamental and constitutional rights as other citizens and therefore possess the “inevitable” right to marry. 

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