New Delhi: The Centre opposed a plea seeking recognition of marriage for gay couples under the 1955 Hindu Marriage Act. The Court was hearing a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by members of the LGBTQ+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer, and others) community.
The petition was filed last week by four members of the LGBTI community who invoked Article 14 (Right to equality), Article 21 (Right to life) and Article 25 (Freedom of religion) to argue that right to marriage of same-sex couples was a part of their fundamental right. The petition further stated that the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 allows the marriage of any two Hindus without discriminating between homosexuals and heterosexuals.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, who represented the Centre argued that the Act does not allow or recognise the concept of same-sex marriage. ''The law states that marriage is only between a man and a woman.'' However, Mehta clarified that it was his analysis of the statutory regime and there was no such instruction from the Centre.
Advocate Raghav Awasthi, appearing for the petitioners, informed the Court that there are several instances when gay couples had got married but were not allowed to register it. The Court has asked the petitioners to bring on record the names of the LGBTQ community who were refused registration of their marriage.
Abhijit Iyer Mitra, a member of the LGBT community, Gopi Shankar M, a Tamil Nadu-based intersex activist, Giti Thandani, founder member of Sakhi Collective Journal of Contemporary and Historical Lesbian Life in India and G. Oorvasi, a transgender activist, were the petitioners. The next hearing will be heard on October 21.