The Supreme Court of India has dismissed 20 petitions that sought to legalize same-sex marriage in the country. The court said that it was not its role to make laws, but to interpret and enforce them. The court also urged the Parliament to enact a law that would protect the rights and dignity of the queer community.
The petitions were filed by various individuals and organizations, who argued that same-sex marriage was a fundamental right under the Constitution of India. They also cited the 2018 landmark judgment of the court, which decriminalized consensual homosexual acts by striking down a colonial-era law.
However, the court said that the 2018 verdict did not imply that same-sex marriage was a constitutional right. The court said that marriage was a social institution that was governed by personal laws, which varied according to different religions and communities. The court said that it could not interfere with these laws, unless they violated any fundamental right.
The court also said that same-sex marriage was a matter of policy and legislation, which should be decided by the Parliament, after taking into account the views and sentiments of the people. The court said that it could not legislate on such a sensitive and complex issue, which involved social, moral, religious and cultural aspects.
Queer activists express disappointment and hope
The queer activists and supporters, who had hoped for a positive outcome from the court, expressed their disappointment and frustration over the verdict. They said that the court had missed an opportunity to uphold the equality and dignity of the queer community, and to recognize their right to love and marry.
They also said that the court had ignored the ground realities and challenges faced by the queer community, such as discrimination, harassment, violence, stigma and exclusion. They said that same-sex marriage would have given them legal recognition and protection, as well as social acceptance and respect.
However, some activists also expressed hope and optimism, saying that they would continue their struggle for justice and equality. They said that they would appeal to the Parliament and the government to enact a law that would allow same-sex marriage in India. They also said that they would raise awareness and educate the society about the issues and rights of the queer community.
India’s stance on LGBTQ+ rights
India is one of the most populous and diverse countries in the world, with a population of over 1.3 billion people. It is also home to a large and vibrant queer community, which has been fighting for its rights and visibility for decades.
India has witnessed some progressive changes in its legal and social landscape regarding LGBTQ+ rights in recent years. The most notable one was the 2018 Supreme Court judgment, which decriminalized homosexuality by striking down Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code. The court also recognized the constitutional rights of LGBTQ+ people, such as privacy, dignity, expression and identity.
However, India still has a long way to go in terms of ensuring full equality and inclusion for its queer citizens. India does not have any law that specifically protects LGBTQ+ people from discrimination or hate crimes. India also does not recognize same-sex relationships or marriages, nor does it allow adoption or surrogacy by same-sex couples.
India’s society is largely conservative and patriarchal, with strong influences of religion and culture. Many people still consider homosexuality as unnatural, immoral or sinful, and view queer people with prejudice or hostility. Many queer people face social ostracism, family pressure, mental health issues or even violence because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.
India’s queer movement is hopeful that it will overcome these challenges and achieve its goals of freedom and equality. It is also hopeful that it will receive support and solidarity from the government, the judiciary, the media, the civil society and the general public.