We have meticulously followed the Indian Supreme Court’s verdict on legally recognizing same-sex marriages. We must express our profound disappointment at the missed opportunity to unequivocally affirm the rights and dignity of the LGBTI+ community in India.
The court’s recognition of the LGBTI+ community’s rights is a positive development, Chief Justice D.Y. Chandrachud, known for his progressive judgment in the decriminalization of Section 377, which decriminalized homosexuality, asserted that it is erroneous to exclusively associate competent parenting with heterosexual couples, a sentiment we applaud.
However, our appreciation is tempered by the court’s reluctance to extend legal recognition to same-sex marriages under the Special Marriage Act. The assertion by Justice Narasimha that the right to marry is statutory, not constitutional, and Justice Bhat’s concurrence that the Act should not be read down to include same-sex marriages, are positions we find deeply unsatisfactory.
The verdict, though a mix of progressive and conservative stances, unfortunately, leans towards the latter, leaving the LGBTQIA+ community in a limbo of partial recognition and incomplete rights. The court’s decision to defer the issue to parliament underscores a hesitancy to assert judicial leadership in safeguarding minority rights.
We are unwavering in our belief in the inherent dignity, rights, and equality of all individuals, irrespective of their sexual orientation. The verdict falls short of the decisive affirmation of rights that the LGBTI+ community in India deserves and is entitled to.
Our advocacy for the comprehensive legal recognition and societal acceptance of same-sex relationships remains as steadfast as ever. We are committed to ensuring that every individual enjoys the freedom to love and be loved without discrimination. We urge the Indian parliament to rise above societal norms and prejudices and to legislate an inclusive, equitable, and just society where the rights and dignities of all citizens are upheld and protected.
We are committed to continued and intensified advocacy until the full spectrum of rights is unconditionally extended to the LGBTQIA+ community in India. The journey towards equality, dignity, and justice continues.