Same-sex Marriage Pleas in the Supreme Court of India: LGBTQIA Community at the Crossroads

 same sex marriage gay

The ongoing hearings on same-sex marriage petitions have resulted in a minor concession being offered to the LGBTQIA community by way of welfarist steps. A government committee would be constituted to address the issues which could at best benefit a small section of the LGBTQIA community.

Meanwhile the Supreme Court has indicated clearly that Parliament alone can legislate on the right to same-sex marriage. Therefore a national level consultation process of LGBTQIA community and their allies for decades is urgently called for. A few petitioners cannot represent the entire LGBTQIA community – reportedly between 80 to 100 million.

The Court having opened its mind on not granting same-sex marriage right, there is a greater need now to build a powerful movement and occupy Parliament Street, New Delhi to ensure the ‘Gay Manifesto’ to be debated and conceded by lawmakers in the Parliament. Sacrifices will have to be made in a long drawn-out struggle.

The Court is likely to pronounce its judgement after the summer vacation break sometimes in July 2023. If these 5 judges of the constitution bench declare in their judgement that Parliament alone can legislate on same-sex marriage, it will create a problem for future generations (again the section which opts for judicial route rather than parliament for their liberation) who will then have to ensure a larger bench of more than 5 judges to reverse the judgement awaited in the present case. A Herculean task indeed!

In such a scenario withdrawing cases from the court is a tactical retreat dictated by one’s conscience and wisdom; then at least the petitioners and their lawyers will come out with their self-respect and dignity intact and their heads held high.

AIDS Bhedbhav Virodhi Andolan Collective

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