Marriage RIGHTS: Govt should grant legal sanctity to marriages in the LGBTQ community

Although the logical progression should have been to allow same-sex marriages, the government now seems to contend that the idea of marriage is against the law and values of the country.Although the logical progression should have been to allow same-sex marriages, the government now seems to contend that the idea of marriage is against the law and values of the country.

The Supreme Court’s decriminalisation of LGBTQ relations in the 2018 Navtej Johar case granted same-sex couples recognition, but it still did not bestow any legal sanctity to the union. Although the logical progression should have been to allow same-sex marriages, the government now seems to contend that the idea of marriage is against the law and values of the country. In a submission to the Delhi High Court, the solicitor general (SG) Tushar Mehta said, “Our laws, our legal system, our society and our values do not recognise marriage, which is a sacrament, between same-sex couples”.

The SG is right in contending that government has the power to legislate and the option of legalisation should be left to it, but the 2018 judgement and the Puttaswamy decision did leave cues for more rights for the community as the majority opinion held that people had the right to family life. Legalisation shall also open the doors for equality in terms of property rights, benefits and adoption. Besides, law and values need to evolve with changing times. Over the last few years, 25 countries have recognised these rights. If the government is wary of a backlash from religious groups, it can follow the example of countries like France and England where equal partner rights were granted to same-sex couples before legalising same-sex marriage.

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