(Trigger Warning: Descriptions of homophobia. Reader discretion advised.)
Video Producer: Akanksha Pandey
Video Editor: Rajbir Singh
Rajya Sabha MP and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Sushil Kumar Modi, on Monday, 19 December, said in Parliament that the legal recognition of same-sex marriage in India "would create complete havoc with the delicate balance of personal laws in the country."
What's the big point? During the zero hour, he said, "In India, marriage is a holy institution, and is a relationship between a biological man and a biological female. This is a centuries-old ritual and a part of our social fabric. In India, same-sex marriage is neither recognised nor accepted in any uncodified personal laws...or any codified statutory laws."
Why is this important? The Supreme Court on 25 November, issued notice to the Centre and Attorney General R Venkataramani on two pleas by same-sex couples, seeking recognition under the special marriage law. The Centre was given four weeks to respond.
At least nine petitions are currently being heard by the Delhi High Court and the Kerala High Court seeking recognition of same-sex marriage under the Special Marriage Act, Foreign Marriage Act, and Hindu Marriage Act.
Earlier, in November, the Centre told the Kerala High Court that it was taking steps to get all the writ petitions transferred to the Supreme Court.
What else did Modi say? Accusing "left-liberal democratic people and activists" of trying to get same-sex marriage recognised "to pander to the West," the BJP MP added:
"Same-sex marriage would create complete havoc with the delicate balance of personal laws in the country. Family, children, adoption, domestic violence, divorce, a wife's right to stay in the marital home – all of these are linked to the institution of marriage [sic]."
The bottom line? Modi argued that the recognition of same-sex marriage shouldn't depend on the decision of two judges alone.
"There should be a debate on this in Parliament and in the public sphere...urge the government of India to strongly oppose same-sex marriage. I also urge the judiciary not to take a decision that goes against the cultural ethos and societal beliefs of India," he said.
In 2018, the Supreme Court, in a historic verdict, decriminalised homosexuality by scrapping Section 377 – affirming sexual autonomy as a basic right.