Marriage equality: Be on the right side of history

There’s a unique opportunity for the five-judge bench that will start hearing arguments on same-sex marriage from April 18. What it will decide will send a signal to India and the world

What is the havoc that solicitor-general Tushar Mehta fears? If personal religious laws don’t recognize same-sex marriage, then there’s the Secular Special Marriage Act of 1954 that allows interfaith couples to marry. A government that talks of a common civil code can easily extend this common law to sexual minorities. It’s hard to imagine that Armageddon will be unleashed by extending marriage rights. (HT PHOTO)

The lines for the battle for marriage equality have been drawn. The central government through its affidavit is clear: Granting legal recognition to marriage within the LGBTQ community will cause “havoc” with the balance of the country’s personal laws, societal values, and legislative policy that recognizes marriage as a bond only between biological men and biological women. For the 15 petitioners, who await a verdict, the issue is simple. The Constitution guarantees equality to all. In 2018, when Section 377 criminalizing sex “against the order of nature” was scrapped, the logical end was marriage rights. These are rights based on common sense. In addition to social validation, marriage confers substantial rights on married couples, from taxation and adoption to inheritance, that are denied at present to same-sex couples.