The logo of the G20 meet in India has a message of ‘one earth, one family, one future’. Lofty idea indeed but pray could LGBTQIA community be permitted to marry and have a small family of their own before they think of becoming part of the one world family.
Under India’s Presidency the G-20 Summit 2023 must resolve to get same-sex marriage legalised in each of the 20 member states. Many of the G-20 countries have up to two decade old record of allowing same-sex marriages introduced by legislation or through court rulings. Their rich experience of 20 years could contribute to a healthy discussion on the issue.
|Countries where same-sex marriage is legalised
|The year in which it was done
In E.U. some countries have legalised same-sex marriages while others have not. Media reports indicate that in South Korea recently a court ruled that same-sex couples should receive the same benefits as different-sex couples through the National Health Insurance Service.
In India which presently holds the G-20 Presidency, Parliament has shied away from debating ‘Gay Manifesto’ which includes:
“Amend the Special Marriages Act to allow for marriages between people of the same sex (or between people who may be inter-sexed, or have undergone sex-change surgery, and any others). All consequential legal benefits of marriage should extend to gay marriages as well, including the right to adopt children, to execute a partner’s will, to inherit, etc. Same-sex couples should also be entitled to the legal benefits that accrue to their heterosexual counterparts of common law marriages.
No presumption as to fitness or unfitness for custody of a child or visitation rights shall arise based on sexual orientation of either parent in such a situation.
Alternatively, legally recognize and encourage friendship agreements between single people of the same sex as a valid way of organizing family life.”
– From “Less than Gay” a Citizens’ Report on the status of homosexuality in India published by ABVA in November 1991
The AIDS Bhedbhav Virodhi Andolan – based in New Delhi, India – which spearheaded the gay rights movement since 1988-89 brought out this Citizens’ Report which summed up ABVA’s vision in the very first chapter ‘Why This Report’. Quote:
“… shouldn’t India be the focal point of a world-wide gay movement in the future?”
ABVA made the demand of same-sex marriage 12 years before any country in the G-20 group had legalised it! Canada did it in 2003-05. More pertinently ABVA made the demand in 1991 i.e. full 10 years before any country in the world had legalised same-sex marriage!! It was the Netherlands that legalized it in 2001.
It will only be apt – if belatedly though – same-sex marriage is legalised in India. The G-20 Summit 2023 Presidency that India presently holds could showcase the efforts of a non-funded, non-party organization like ABVA. G-20 countries which have legalised same-sex marriage must urge others to follow suit.
In a world facing economic recession, the act of legalizing same-sex marriage worldwide would unleash forces favorable to the ‘pink economy’. In India the LGBTQIA population is said to be 80 to 100 million and this could further boost the fastest growing economy in the world – to wit India. Who knows that the gains of the pink economy could be very significant even as raising of repo rates by central banks globally have reached a stage where scheduled banks are going bankrupt and inflation is still not under control and there is the added burden of economic recession.
Shobha Aggarwal is a member of AIDS Bhedbhav Virodhi Andolan.