Political Affairs
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Legalisation of Same-Sex Marriage Requires Redefining Traditional Notion of Family: CJI

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Court - Sputnik India, 1920, 20.04.2023
The Supreme Court of India is hearing a petition filed by two couples seeking legal recognition to same-sex marriage since April 18.
Chief Justice of India (CJI) D.Y. Chandrachud said that legalising same-sex marriage would require the State to redefine the notion of marriage on Thursday during the third day of a hearing.
“We see same-sex relationships not just as physical relations but something more of a stable, emotional relationship,” Justice Chandrachud said.

“Legalising same-sex marriage requires us to redefine the evolving notion of marriage. Because is the existence of two spouses who belong to a binary gender a necessary requirement for marriage?” he questioned.

He further stated that the law has evolved in the last 69 years since the Special Marriage Act was enacted in 1954. The act provided a form of civil marriage for people who didn’t wanted to follow their personal laws.
Referring to the 2018 Supreme Court order where homosexuality was decriminalised, the CJI said that this lead the state to not just recognise treating relationships between consenting adults of the same gender, but also recognised that people who are of the same sex are in stable relationships.
Pigeons fly past the dome of India's Supreme Court building in New Delhi, India, Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2016. - Sputnik India, 1920, 17.04.2023
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As the hearing proceeded, he said, “There are no absolutes, as I said, even at the risk of getting trolled. And what happens when there is a heterosexual couple and the child sees domestic violence? Will that child grow up in a normal atmosphere? Of a father becoming an alcoholic, coming home and thrashing the mother every night, and asking for money for alcohol.”

'Urban Elitist Views': Federal Gov't Opposes Gay Marriages

India's federal government has opposed same-sex marriages and termed the petitions as “urban elitist views”. The government also said that parliament is the right platform to debate the matter.
The centre had filed a counter-affidavit in the top court challenging the petitions, saying that same-sex marriages do not meet the traditional Indian concept of marriage.
“The petitions, which merely reflect urban elitist views, cannot be compared with the appropriate legislature which reflects the views and voices of a far wider spectrum and expands across the country,” the government said in a filing to the Supreme Court on Sunday two days before the hearing started.
Two same-sex couples filed a petition in the Supreme Court on 14 November, seeking legal recognition for their same-sex marriages. Later, on 25 November, a bench comprising the CJI and Justice Hima Kohli ordered the federal government to respond to the please.
On 12 March, the matter was referred to the Constitution Bench consisting of CJI and Justices S. K. Kaul, S. Ravindra Bhat, P. S. Narasimha and Hima Kohli stating the matter raised questions of “seminal importance”.
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