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SC Refers Plea Seeking Same-Sex Marriage Recognition To Constitution Bench

The hearing is slated to begin from 18 April this year, the top court said.

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The Supreme Court on Monday, 13 March, said that the plea for recognition of same-sex marriages will be heard by a Constitution bench.

In the courtroom: A bench of Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud and Justices PS Narasimhaand JB Pardiwala listed the hearing on 18 April and added that it will be heard as a Constitutional case.

"We will list for hearing this on April 18, 2023. We invoke Article 145(3) (of the Constitution) and hear this as a constitutional case," the top court said, according to Bar and Bench.

Article 145(3) says that the the minimum number of Judges who are to sit for deciding any case involving a substantial question of law as to the interpretation of this Constitution, shall be five.

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The petitions: This is related to a bunch of pleas seeking legal recognition of same-sex marriages. The petitioners have said that the right to marry a person of their choice should extend to LGBTQIA+ citizens too.

Centre Opposes: Only a day ago, the Union government, in an affidavit filed before the Supreme Court on 12 March, opposed the pleas claiming that heterosexual relationships are the 'norm.'

This is not the first time that the Centre made 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."

"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," the centre added.

(With inputs from Bar and Bench)

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