Same-sex marriage: Oppn parties cautious, want SC to take the lead as it did on Section 377

The Supreme Court on Monday referred the matter to a five-judge Constitutional Bench, as the Centre opposed same-sex marriage and urged it to leave the decision to Parliament.

The Centre opposed legalizing same-sex marriages and pressed for the issue to be debated.

The government’s counsel rested their argument on the so-called ‘Indian concept of family’ — which the government has described as accepted ‘statutorily, religiously and socially’ as between a biological man and a biological woman.

Most leaders across political parties are of the opinion that the Supreme Court should decided either in favour or against same-sex marriage, like it had done in the case of Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code.

Among those that openly backed same-sex marriage is the CPI(M), just as it had supported decriminilsation of same-sex relationships.

The Delhi High Court first ruled in 2009 that consensual intercourse between two adults was not illegal. The Supreme Court endorsement endorsed this view nine years later.

No opposition parties have taken a clear stand for or against, but many leaders within the ranks are for legalising same-sex marriage, but have not gone on record, in absence of an official party endorsement.

The panel will begin hearing detailed arguments on April 18, even as the top court said the issue was of ‘seminal importance.’