Recently, the government of Uttar Pradesh revealed its position on same-sex marriage before the High Court in Allahabad. According to them, such relations are considered “against” our culture and various other religions that coexist in India. Their opinions were submitted to the judiciary in a case involving two girls in a same-sex relationship.
The Additional Government Advocates (AGA) vehemently stood their ground and said that recognizing the marriage would go against ‘sanskara’. Furthermore, they cited that the presence of a man and a woman is necessary for 16 of these Indian rituals. If one of them is absent, the marriage will not be accepted because both parties have a “definitive role”.
Appeal for recognition of their marriage
According to The New Indian Express, Anju Devi filed a petition for her daughter, who was in a relationship with another girl. She implored the High Court to secure custody of her daughter as she was “unlawfully detained” by a 22-year-old woman. On April 6, 2022, the girls were summoned to court and they appeared the next day, April 7, where they said they were in love and wanted to live together.
Being adults, the girls entered into a same-sex marriage with mutual consent. They presented the contract for the judge’s consideration and argued that the country’s top court had decriminalized homosexuality and allowed consensual sex between all adults, regardless of gender. Not only that, but they also reviewed the Hindu Marriage Act, saying the legislation allows marriage between two consenting adults and does not preclude same-sex couples.
“Against Our Culture”
It has been four years since section 377 was officially decriminalized. India now recognizes same-sex relationships, granting respect and dignity to members of the LGBTQIA+ community as they rightly deserve. Despite the progress, there is still an unfortunate stigma around these dynamics. Although the country has legalized such relationships, it has not yet given the green light to same-sex marriages.
However, this is easier said than done. The deep-rooted stereotype against them is hard to break. The UP government’s response to the petition is an example of this. The AGAs represented the view that India cannot allow same-sex marriages as it goes “against” our culture. As Live Law reports, they clarified that the Hindu marriage age only accepts marriage between a man and a woman. The absence of everything in the same goes against Indian family dynamics. Also, they want to declare that religions like Islam, Buddhism and Jainism do not accept this either.
“According to Indian law and culture, a biological husband and wife are essential for marriage, and only their marriage has been recognised. In their absence, same-sex marriage cannot be recognized because a man and wife are missing and nor can they produce children. Marriage is considered important in Hindu law, under which men and women live together and move the human chain forward by producing children,” the defenders of the government.
Overall, the decriminalization of Section 377 is not the conclusion. There is still a lot to be done to uplift the LGBTQIA+ community in India. From marriage to the adoption of children, they must go through several trials to live a dignified life.
To read also: “Progressive jump”! NCP MP Supriya Sule introduces bill to legalize same-sex marriage