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Same-sex marriage: Homosexuality not solely an urban nor restricted to upper class, says CJI

Directing the Centre, states and Union Territories (UTs) to ensure that the queer community is not discriminated against, the CJI, who is heading the constitution bench, said queer is a natural phenomenon known for ages and is neither urban nor elitist.

Edited By: Nivedita Dash @Nivedita0503 New Delhi Updated on: October 17, 2023 13:11 IST
CJI Chandrachud
Image Source : PTI CJI Chandrachud

Observing that queerness is not an urban concept, Chief Justice of India (CJI) DY Chandrachud on Tuesday observed homosexuality is not restricted to the upper class of society. The CJI while pronouncing verdict on 21 pleas seeking legal validation for same-sex marriage also said it is for Parliament to change the Special Marriage Act and the court can't make law but only interpret it. 

"There are four separate judgements in the matter," the CJI said and started reading out the operative portion of his verdict.

ALSO READ | Same-sex marriage: CJI directs Centre, states to ensure no discrimination against queer people

KEY HIGHLIGHTS

  • Homosexuality or queerness is not an urban concept or restricted to the upper class of society.
  • This court has recognised that equality demands that queer persons are not discriminated against.
  • All persons, including those queer, have the right to judge the moral quality of their lives.
  • The right to enter into a union includes the right to choose a partner, and its recognition; failure to recognise such an association is discriminatory.
  • Whether there is a need for change in the regime of the Special Marriage Act is for Parliament to decide.
  • It would be incorrect to state that marriage is a static and unchanging institution.
  • To imagine queer as existing only in urban spaces would be like erasing them, queerness can be regardless of one's caste or class.
  • This court can't make a law. It can only interpret it and give effect to it.
  • The law cannot assume that only heterosexual couples can be good parents as it would amount to discrimination against queer couples.
  • The ability to choose a life partner goes to the root of the right to life and liberty under Article 21.
  • Centre, states, UTs to take steps to sensitise the public about queer rights.
  • States, UTs to ensure that inter-sex children are not allowed sex-change operations at an age when they cannot fully comprehend consequences.
  • CJI directs police to conduct a preliminary enquiry before registering an FIR against queer couples over their relationship.
  • Queer is a natural phenomenon known for ages, it is neither urban nor elitist.
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