Maharashtra Youth Congress bats for same-sex marriage
Youth wing of the main opposition party says there is no mould of what a family should look like, judiciary has historic opportunity to further the frontiers of Freedom to Love
A day after Solicitor General (SG) Tushar Mehta told the Delhi High Court that marriage between same-sex couples is "not recognised by our laws, legal system, society and our values," the Maharashtra Youth Congress has extended its wholehearted and unequivocal support for marriage equality in India.
Representing the Union Government, the SG on Monday opposed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) to legalise same-sex marriages under the Hindu Marriage Act (HMA) and Special Marriage Act. He said: "Our laws, our legal system, our society and our values do not recognise marriage, which is a sacrament, between same-sex couples."
'Time India did it'
The youth wing of the main opposition party has said, "It is time that India takes her rightful place amongst the 27 progressive countries which recognise same-sex marriage. Marriage is about families, and there is no mould of what a family should look like. Same-sex couples and their children deserve the recognition and protection of the law, beginning with the Hindu Marriage Act and Special Marriage Act."
A statement signed by the Maharashtra unit president Satyajeet Tambe and spokesperson Latoya Ferns-Advani, urged the Delhi High Court to uphold India's Right to Love. "This is a historic opportunity for the judiciary to further the frontiers of the Freedom to Love. This was famously enshrined in the order of the five-judge Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court of India in September 2018, which decriminalised conjugal relations between consenting adults of the same sex and held Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code unconstitutional," it said.
According to the generation next Congress leaders, it was unconscionable that the canard of cultural exceptionalism should be cited by the central government to violate this basic and universal human right to freely choose one's spouse, bear or adopt children, and safeguard property rights and succession within the legal system. "We, the Maharashtra Youth Congress, hold as foreign to India's culture the colonial heteronormativity they espouse. Lifelong love will always be a sacrament, regardless of sex and gender," the leaders added.
Violation of Right to Equality
Lawyer Abhijit Iyer Mitra, and three others had filed a PIL in the Delhi High Court. The petition has contended that despite the Supreme Court decriminalising consensual homosexual acts, marriages between same-sex couples are still not possible.
The SG had said the petition can't be permissible because it asked the court to legislate, and any relief granted would run contrary to various statutory provisions under the Hindu Marriage Act. He raised a question on who would be assigned the roles of wife and husband where a same-sex couple was concerned. Mehta told the court that the 2018 judgment of the Constitution bench of the Supreme Court merely decriminalises homosexuality or lesbianism, nothing more nothing less.
The court has asked the lawyer appearing for the petitioner to give details of the people who were not permitted to register their same-sex marriage. The bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Prateek Jalan has listed the matter for further hearing on October 21.
With inputs from PTI
Day next month when Delhi HC will hear matter next
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