Updated: Nov 3
India's Supreme Court has declined to legalise same-sex marriages, leading to disappointment among LGBTQ+ groups. Instead, the court has agreed to establish a panel to assess the extension of legal rights and benefits to same-sex couples. This decision comes after extensive hearings and considerations for 21 petitions by same-sex couples and activists, following the historic decriminalisation of Article 377 in 2018. While some judges suggested civil unions and equal benefits, the majority maintained that only parliament could legalise such unions.
The ruling has left activists and same-sex couples disheartened, with concerns raised about bureaucratic uncertainties in the process. Some have welcomed The court's decision, including those who argued that parliament should have the sole authority in deciding on such socio-legal issues. The complex nature of the matter, involving various legal implications, was acknowledged during the proceedings, leading to the realisation that changes would have significant ramifications.
The LGBTQ+ community, which was hopeful of a positive outcome, is now left without the legal recognition they had sought. Despite the setback, proponents maintain that societal acceptance remains a crucial goal for the future.
Estimated to be a significant portion of the population, the LGBTQ+ community in India continues to face discrimination and stigma, with attitudes toward sex and sexuality remaining largely conservative. The decision of the Supreme Court further delays the recognition of their rights under the constitution, leaving the community without the legal recognition they had hoped for.
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