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 Last chance to clear stand on same-sex marriages for Center: Delhi HC

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 Last chance to clear stand on same-sex marriages for Center: Delhi HC


Context:

The Delhi High Court on Friday granted the Centre and the Delhi government one last chance to file a response to petitions seeking the recognition and registration of same-sex marriages under the Hindu Marriage Act, the Special Marriage Act and the Foreign Marriage Act.

The court was told that no reply has been filed in the case by authorities despite issuance of notice in October and November.

Background

The petitions filed in Delhi High Court contended that marriages between same sex couples are not possible despite the Supreme Court decriminalising consensual homosexual acts.

Petitioners sought a declaration to recognise same sex marriages under the Hindu Marriage Act (HMA) and Special Marriage Act (SMA).

  • The two other pleas are — one filed by two women seeking to get married under the SMA and challenging provisions of the statute to the extent it does not provide for same sex marriages.
  • The other plea by two men who got married in the U.S. but were denied registration of their marriage under the Foreign Marriage Act (FMA).

Legality of same-sex marriages in India

The Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code makes sex or marriage with persons of the same gender punishable by law.

  • However, on September 6, 2018, the Supreme Court of India decriminalised Section 377 making gay sex legal.
  • On 2 July 2009, in Naz Foundation v. Govt. of NCT of Delhi, the Delhi High Court held that provision to be unconstitutional with respect to sex between consenting adults, but the Supreme Court of India overturned that ruling on 11 December 2013.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Section 377
  2. Legal provisions related to same-sex marriages
  3. Decriminalization of Section 377
  4. Special Marriage Act (SMA)
  5. Foreign Marriage Act (FMA)

 Mains Link:

Despite the decriminalising consensual homosexual acts by Supreme Court, it’s not easy for gay people to declare their sexual orientation. Discuss.

Sources: the Hindu.