The Central Government on Thursday told the Delhi High Court that Indian culture and law “does not recognise the concept of same-sex marriages”. It stated this in a counter affidavit filed on petitions filed by same-sex couples in the court seeking enforcement of fundamental right of choice of partner.
“As per law, a marriage is only between a husband and a wife,” Solicitor General Tushar Mehta argued during the hearing of plea for the recognition of same-sex marriages under the Hindu Marriage Act. He also added that the Act itself does not recognise same-sex marriages.
A division bench of Justices Rajiv Sahai Endlaw and Amit Bansal was hearing some petitions which sought the recognition of same-sex marriages under the Hindu Marriage Act, Special Marriage Act and the Foreign Marriage Act. "Despite the decriminalisation of Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), the petitioners cannot claim a fundamental right for same-sex marriage," Mehta said in his reply.
One of the couples had sought direction from the court to declare that the Special Marriage Act, 1954 ought to apply to all couples regardless of their gender identity and sexual orientation, and reading the SMA so as to apply to all couples irrespective of their gender identity and sexual orientation.