Two years after the Supreme Court scrapped section 377 and decriminalised homosexuality, Delhi HC was hearing a petition demanding same-sex marriages rights, today.
The Centre opposed the plea seeking legalisation of marriage for same-sex couples under the Hindu Marriage Act (1955) filed last week by four members of the LGBTQ community.
While arguing against the plea, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta told the Delhi High Court that same-sex marriages are neither a part of our culture nor the law.
These marriages run contrary to the provisions which are already in place in our society. Our values do not recognise a marriage, which is sacrosanct, between two people of same-sex marriage.
He also said that these marriages do not concur with constitutional values.
Citing culture and laws as reasons to not legalise same-sex marriages didn’t seem convincing enough to people.
Our culture does not recognise same sex marriage, says GoI in Delhi HC. In our culture polygamy, concubinage, wager of women, dowry and sati were recognised. Inter caste marriages were not.— Samuel Philip Mathew (@Samuel_PMathew) September 14, 2020
Dear GoI, still wanna use culture to present a legal argument?https://t.co/iUC5GWDmdN
People talk about culture like it’s static. If our culture has been discriminatory, it is time to change it–not retain the discrimination by ‘respecting’ the culture 🙄 https://t.co/H42tEnZUc4— Varsha Gowda (@varshago) September 14, 2020
Does the idea of “culture” need to be dragged into this? What is their definition of “our culture” and how can it be given importance over Articles 14 and 21?— Aarush Jhunjhunwala (@ThoughtPolitik) September 14, 2020
Laws can and need to be changed, they are not carved in stone, but rather dynamic and are meant to change with time. https://t.co/4PGCoQFsUU
In today’s Episode on why Tushar Mehta deserves to be Cancelled…— Surya Kiran (@SuryaKiranSing1) September 14, 2020
If you tell me, it is his responsibility as a lawyer to argue the case, I will tell you that this is not a valid argument— not in law, not in fact. At best, it is Homophobic. https://t.co/TthTMzD8pf
How shockingly unread is the Solicitor General of India https://t.co/zVWSxjYxgr— A (@abhay_vk) September 14, 2020
May not be part of your culture and your culture isn’t necessarily my culture, Mr. Mehta. As for law, many are outdated and archaic. For example, according to the Indian Aircraft Act of 1934, you need a permit to fly a kite. Dare I say more? https://t.co/u2AJWsIiVs— Sudatta (@iSudatta) September 14, 2020
SG Tushar Mehta is not aware of Gandharva Vivaha in Indian scriptures? Who has made him the custodian of Indian culture? https://t.co/a6cSccCAZc— Agnivo Niyogi (অগ্নিভ নিয়োগী) (@Aagan86) September 14, 2020
Child marriages and sati were a toxic part of our culture and we changed the law to get rid of it. Law can be amended to right wrongs. Even a lay person could tell you that! https://t.co/Y1KIWy9uNj— Sangita (@Sanginamby) September 14, 2020
Justice Prateek Jalan who was present in the hearing said that changes have taken place across the world and when two men marry in a foreign country, neither is considered a wife. He further said that all aspects of the plea would need to be examined.
The petition will now be heard in October.