Marriage is a sacred union between two souls marked by a legal agreement on paper. Even though homosexuality and live-in relationships between queer couples have been decriminalized since 2018 in India, the marriage of same-sex couples has not been granted legal consent yet.
However, several same-sex partners did not wait for the court to accept their love but got married anyway. How?
Same-Sex Marriage Despite Its Illegality
Hotel management lecturer Supriyo Chakraborty, after being in a live-in relationship with his partner Abhay Dang for 7 years, got married in 2021 with utmost pomp and pride. It was like any other fancy Indian wedding, but the only difference was that it was between two men.
Mr. Chakraborty recalls how the guests at his wedding were requested by the officiant to raise their hands and shout “I do” while the couple got married. He said, “There were a few people who raised both of their hands, and they were all shouting ‘I do.’” He added, “Everybody was emotional.”
However, Supriyo Chakraborty’s marriage was just a big gesture that garnered worldwide attention, but on paper, he and his partner were still friends, as Indian law doesn’t allow the marriage of queer couples.
He expressed, “I wanted to call Abhay my husband. I didn’t want to say that I live with my friend.” He also added, “I can’t make him a nominee to any of my property or vice versa. If I am hospitalized today, he is just a visitor for me because he can’t sign anything.”
Indian Govt. Against Same-Sex Marriage
The Indian Government refuses to acknowledge marriage between same-sex and queer couples, as the Ministry of Law is of the opinion that sanctioning legal marriage is only designed for heterosexual partners.
In a 56-page affidavit submitted before the Supreme Court on March 12, 2023, the Union Government of India stated, “The institution of marriage has a sanctity attached to it and in major parts of the country, it is regarded as a sacrament, a holy union, and a sanskar.
In our country, despite statutory recognition of the relationship of marriage between a biological man and a biological woman, marriage necessarily depends upon age-old customs, rituals, practices, cultural ethos and societal values.”
Redefining the legal structure of marriage, the Indian government claimed that it is “limited to the recognition of a legal relationship of marriage between a man and a woman, represented as a husband and wife.” The government further insisted that any adjustments to the regulatory regime should be the decision of the present parliament and not the court.
People Displeased With Government’s Stance
In the last few weeks around 15 petitions have been lodged, pleading with the court to decriminalize same-sex marriage.
One of the plaintiffs among them told the press, “As petitioners, we have received wide support from people from all walks of life and it does not seem to me that most Indians feel injured by the thought of some loving families getting legal rights.”
Equal Rights activist and Indian filmmaker, Onir, said on Twitter, “Sad that their concept of ‘Indian’ is so non-inclusive and static that it does not want to evolve according to wider notions of human rights.”
RSS Backs The Government
The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) is one with the Central Government’s stance to deny legal marriage rights to queer and same-sex couples.
Dattatreya Hosabale, the RSS general secretary, said, “Marriage is a sacrament in Hindu philosophy of life, not a contract but an institution, not an instrument for enjoyment, and people of same sex cannot marry for their personal interests.”
He added, “Rather steps should be taken to end the evils like dowry but marriage should take place between a man and woman.”
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This post is tagged under: gay, lesbian, LGBTQI+, LGBTQI, same-sex, queer, marriage, relationships, same-sex marriage, same-sex couples, gay couples, queer couples, section 377, homosexuality, homophobia, homophobic, marriage rights, Indian government, heterosexuality, heterosexual, Narendranath Modi, Union Government of India, Ministry of Law, decriminalization of section 377, law, legal, Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, live-in relationships
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