In an affidavit filed in the Supreme Court on Sunday, 12 March, the Central Government opposed pleas for recognition of same-sex marriage, claiming that heterosexual relationships are the 'norm.'
This is not the first time the Centre is making its stance clear – but is the first time that it has been submitted in the form of an affidavit, before the apex court.
"It is submitted statutory recognition of marriage limited to marriage/union/relation as being heterosexual in nature, is the norm throughout history and are foundational to both the existence and continuance of the State."Centre to Supreme Court
Indian Family Units Only Heterosexual
The Centre mentioned that the Indian family units have a husband, a wife, and for the children borne out of that union, a father and a mother. It went on to add,
"The parties entering into marriage creates an institution having its own public significance, as it is a social institution from which several rights and liabilities flow. Seeking declaration for solemnisation/registration of marriage has more ramifications than simple legal recognition. Family issues are far beyond mere recognition and registration of marriage between persons belonging to the same gender."
The Centre also said that the family unit cannot be compared to individuals living together or having a sexual relationship. It said,
"Despite the decriminalization of Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, the Petitioners cannot claim a fundamental right for same-sex marriage to be recognized under the laws of the country."
'Don't Recognise These Marriages, But Not Unlawful'
While the Centre maintained that any other forms of marriage, except for between two heterosexual individuals, are not recognised by the State, they are, however, not unlawful.
"The State does not recognise these other forms of marriages or unions or personal understandings of relationships between individuals in a society but the same are not unlawful."