The BJP led Centre on Monday opposed a petition in the Delhi High Court in favour of legal recognition same-sex marriages under the provisions of the Hindu Marriage Act (1955). Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing the Centre in front of the two-judge bench said that homosexual marriages are a contradiction to the tenets of Indian society. He further added that in the country marriages are sacrosanct and our values don’t recognise the marriage of the people of the same sex.
The High Court bench with Chief Justice of Delhi DN Patel and Justice Prateek Jain was hearing a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed on September 8, which said that Section 5 of the Hindu Marriage Act does not specify marriage to be of a male and female, it is instead referred to as between “two Hindus.” Mehta in response to the plea said that the legalisation of homosexual marriage “does not concur with constitutional values.”
The petitioners had in their plea invoked Article 21 of the Indian constitution which grants the fundamental right to life to all citizens of the state. It claimed that the right to marriage was a part of the provision and thus was protected under the law. Raghav Awasthi, representing the petitioners in the court stated that there is no law prohibiting the marriage of same-sex couples, and despite that, the legal rights of the community are hampered.
The court had adjourned the hearing following the Central government’s response stating that the petition in all its aspects needs to be examined. Justice Jalan also responded to the statements of the Solicitor-General saying that changes have taken place across the world, and many nations now recognise the right of people of all sexual orientations to marry.