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News - October 17, 2023

India’s top court refuses to legalise same-sex marriage in landmark verdict

A chief justice at India’s top court has ruled that it cannot legalise same-sex marriages, with the chief justice of the country saying making such a law is the domain of parliament.  A five-judge bench headed by the Chief Justice of India, D.Y. Chandrachud, heard arguments in the case between April and May this year and pronounced its verdict today.  Chandrachud said there was a degree of ‘agreement and disagreement on how far we have to go’ on same-sex marriages as he began reading his order.  Two of the other four judges agreed with Chandrachud on the court not legalising same-sex marriages, making it a majority. Two other judges are yet to speak.  The news was greeted with disappointment by those who had gathered outside the court in the hopes of celebrating India becoming the second Asian jurisdiction outside Taiwan to legalise same-sex marriages.  We are not satisfied with whatever the court has said’, said Siddhant Kumar, 27.  ‘This has been going on for years, we have been struggling for legal recognition,’ he added.   ‘We have to remain strong and continue our fight.’  The petitioners had said validating same-sex marriage would help them access some of the legal benefits of matrimony, including adoption, insurance, and inheritance.  Advocates representing nearly two dozen petitioners said it was time for India to treat the country’s LGBTQ community as equal citizens under its constitution.  But the verdict said that the charter did not guarantee a fundamental right to marry that would extend to same-sex couples under existing law.  ‘It lies within the domain of parliament and state legislatures to determine the law on marriage,’ Chandrachud said during his verdict.  Chandrachud added that India still had a duty to acknowledge same-sex relationships and protect those in them from discrimination.  ‘Our ability to feel love and affection for one another makes us feel human,’ he said from the bench.  ‘This court has recognised that equality demands that queer unions and queer persons are not discriminated against.’  The court ruling comes five years after a historic 2018 judgement when the Supreme Court scrapped a colonial-era ban on gay sex.   The post India’s top court refuses to legalise same-sex marriage in landmark verdict appeared first on Linda Ikeji Blog.

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