LGBT Rights – Transgender Bill, Sec. 377, etc.

Same-Sex Marriages: A Push Must Come From Representative Bodies


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: NA

Mains level: Same-sex marriage, Read the attached article

Same-Sex Marriage

Central Idea

  • The Centre’s opposition to the legalization of same-sex marriages based on cultural and societal concepts of marriage and family is examined and critiqued.

The Centre’s Argument

  • The Centre argues that same-sex marriages are not recognized in Indian traditions, ethos, culture, and societal concepts of marriage.
  • The Parliament, and not the Court, should decide on legalizing same-sex marriages.

Societal Conceptualization of Marriage

  • Marriage is a social institution, and the Centre’s stance finds backing in four interrelated sub-arguments.
  1. Same-sex marriages demand nuanced alteration of the conventional understanding of marriage.
  2. The current legislative framework promotes the conventional understanding of marriage.
  3. Religious and societal morality still conceptualizes intercourse as a procreative activity.
  4. Conventional conceptualisations of family and marriage are facing evolutionary challenges.

What is mean by Same-sex marriage?

  • Same-sex marriage is the legal recognition of a marriage between two individuals of the same sex.
  • It grants same-sex couples the same legal and social recognition, rights, and privileges that are traditionally associated with marriage, including property rights, inheritance rights, and the ability to make decisions for each other in medical emergencies.
  • The recognition of same-sex marriage varies around the world, with some countries legalizing it while others do not.
  • The issue has been the subject of much debate and controversy, with arguments for and against same-sex marriage based on religious, cultural, social, and legal considerations.

The Language of Rights

  • The Court must evaluate the Centre’s argument on its own merits.
  • While addressing the violations of fundamental rights resulting from non-recognition of same-sex marriages, the question of same-sex marriages is about the rights of a society to conserve traditions and an individual’s constitutional freedoms.

Back to Basics: Special Marriage Act?

  • The Special Marriage Act is a law in India that allows individuals of different religions or nationalities to marry each other.
  • It was enacted in 1954 and came into effect from 1955.
  • The Special Marriage Act allows for inter-caste and inter-religious marriages, and couples who register under this act are not required to change their religion or follow any religious rites or rituals.
  • The act also provides for divorce on certain grounds and maintenance to the spouse and children.


  • While the rights issues concerning same-sex couples are substantial, the implications of recognizing same-sex unions as a couple require a broader debate in society and the legislature. The push to formalize the institution of same-sex unions must come from representative bodies such as Parliament.

Mains Question

Q. Provide a detailed analysis including relevant legal, social, cultural, and ethical considerations of same sex marriage in India along with a way ahead

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