Calls to allow same-sex marriages

- April 18, 2023
| By : Rohan Chauhan |

The Queer Community believes that same-sex marriages should be legalised

IMPORTANT MEMBER: Deepak being a part of the pride parade held in Delhi

“In spite of homosexuality being decriminalised for five years now, people still stare at me with disapproval if I ever go out with my partner or grasp his hand in public. As if we’re some kind of stain on their otherwise so-called pristine world,” says Pranav Grover.

Following the filing of several petitions in support of legalising same-sex weddings in the country, on March 13, 2023, the Supreme Court submitted the question of same-sex marriage recognition to a five-judge Constitution panel. On April 18, 2023, the case will be heard and live webcast.

Whichever choice is made, it will be historic. One would believe that it is only fair for individuals who love each other to marry and have no objections to it, but the country’s marital rules suggest differently, as noted in the Supreme Court’s judgement.

Patriot talked to queers of Delhi to find out what they want and how hopeful they are for the upcoming hearing on April 18.

When asked about the impact legalisation of same-sex marriage will have on society, Pranav Grover, 20—model and Queer activist, animal rights activist —says, “I don’t think there’s going to be a huge change because at the end of the day it’s really just about people accepting homosexual people into their lives. which isn’t going to change overnight, but it’s a step in the right direction.”

Grover wonders, “I want to marry my partner, but I don’t have the liberty right now, so where does it lead my relationship? We either have to hide our relationship from the rest of the world, relocate to a different country, abandon our friends and family, or, worst of all, break up since we have no future together. Thus the legal sanctity of marriage allows me and my partner to live a normal life and how is that going to impact the society negatively?”

Status around the world

According to the Human Rights Campaign, homosexual marriage is legal in 34 nations throughout the world. By law, 23 nations have made same-sex marriage legal on a national level. Ten nations Austria, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Mexico, Slovenia (followed by national legislation), South Africa, Taiwan and the United States of America have legalised same-sex marriage on a national level through court judgements, and India, along with the Czech Republic, Thailand, Japan, and the Philippines, may legalise homosexual marriages in 2023.

Queer couples can live together but not marry in India. According to the petitioners, Section 4(c) of the Act recognises marriage only between a “male” and a “female.”

Same-sex couples are discriminated against by being denied marriage advantages such as adoption, surrogacy, employment, and retirement benefits. The petitioners requested that the Court rule that Section 4(c) of the Act is unconstitutional.

Patriot tried contacting the petitioners but multiple calls were left unanswered.

STAYING TOGETHER: People of same sex want to marry each other

Psychiatrics back same-sex marriages

In a recent statement made by the Indian Psychiatric Society, it has been mentioned that members of the LGBTQA community should be regarded as citizens of the country, with equal access to marriage, adoption, education, employment, property rights, and healthcare. There is no evidence that lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and asexual (LGBTQA) people cannot do any of the above, and discrimination that prevents them from doing so may lead to mental health problems.

The report also noted that a child adopted into a same-gender family might experience stigmatisation issues, making it crucial that, after same-sex marriages are legalised, adopted children are raised in a society that is cognisant of their requirements and works to eliminate stigma and discrimination at all costs.

The community’s voice

Deepak Chaudhary, a model and a Belly Dance performer, student, 22 feels that LGBT couples should be allowed the opportunity to marry in addition to the other rights that a couple is entitled to.

Chaudhary continues, “We want to have a family, file taxes, and get medical coverage like other couples. What people need to understand is that my partner and I as a couple are not upsetting society’s equilibrium or undermining family values. We are just bringing new aspects to it that can coexist happily with the heterosexual world, as they have done throughout history.”

Chaudhary continues, “Do you realise how difficult it is to be homosexual in our country? Every day of your life, you are hounded for it. He recalls being tormented by a gang of seniors at his school and frequently hearing nasty words like Chakka, Hijada, and Chamiya. The seniors once tried to hurl me into a pool of mud, but I managed to escape. This encounter caused me to doubt my own identity. I began to wonder if there was anything wrong with me, and I even had suicidal thoughts at times.

“And the sad part is that I’m not the only one who went through such a phase; there are thousands more like me, and finally, after all that, when you find someone who finally loves and understands you and offers the companionship that you’ve craved your entire life, you get told that you can’t marry the person you love, which is completely unfair,” Chaudhary continues.

Bharat Aggarwal, a corporate professional who’s also in a committed relationship, talks about homosexual couples being deprived of marital rights such as child adoption and says, “I don’t think it’s fair in any sense; everyone should have the right to raise a family and be treated as equals. People have children without being married; how is that any different than people who want to have a home together wanting to have a child?

“I think there are already a lot of problems facing couples right now, including, first and foremost, discrimination against small acts of affection in public. No legal right over each other even after spending lives together. No medical rights. Difficulty finding a living place and investment plans. In such a situation, legalising same-sex marriages will encourage and promote a healthy environment for them as well.

Bharat concludes by saying that most of the developed countries do so, and when we eventually have to move towards that, there shouldn’t be unnecessary drama about it.

The legalisation of same-sex weddings will bring several changes, the most significant of which is the validation and approval that comes from the decision-making authority, the Supreme Court. Chaudhary goes on to explain that he understands that not everything will happen right away, but that they are modest efforts towards a better and more compassionate society that have been suppressed for far too long.

According to Ankur Talwar, event’s organiser, “first there should be sufficient information about the community and their rights throughout the country, then only same-sex weddings would be able to thrive, and there is a certain lack of awareness.”

Talwar goes on to state that we are still in the phase of awareness; once that is achieved, acceptance will follow, and we will be able to consider such measures. Furthermore, a legislation adopted by the government must represent the desire of the people, and given the current circumstances, the majority of people are still homophobic, therefore there is a significant need for the people to become informed first, and only then will any such choice be effective.