New Delhi, February 25: The central government on Thursday submitted an affidavit in the Delhi High Court opposing pleas seeking recognition of same-sex marriages under the Hindu Marriage Act, Special Marriage Act and the Foreign Marriage Act. Asserting that courts cannot give legal recognition to same-sex marriages, the central government said no personal law or statutory law accept such marriages. Same-Sex Marriages in India: How Will Gay & Lesbian Marriages Look Like Off Social Media in a Country That Is Still Struggling with Inter-Faith Weddings in Advertisements?

"Marriage is essentially a socially recognized union of two individuals which is governed either by uncodified personal laws or codified statutory laws. The acceptance of the institution of marriage between two individuals of the same gender is neither recognized nor accepted in any uncodified personal laws or any codified statutory laws," the affidavit said, according to Bar & BenchSame Sex Marriages Not Recognised by Our Laws, Society and Our Values: Centre to Delhi High Court.

Seeking dismissal of the petitions, the centre said there is no fundamental right to seek recognition for same-sex marriage. "Despite the decriminalisation of Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, the Petitioners cannot claim a fundamental right for same-sex marriage being recognised under the laws of the country," the affidavit said.

The petitions were filed by two same-sex couples seeking enforcement of fundamental right of choice of partner. One of the couples seeks direction to declare that the Special Marriage Act, 1954 ought to apply to all couples regardless of their gender identity and sexual orientation, and reading the SMA so as to apply to all couples irrespective of their gender identity and sexual orientation.

The other couple, an Indian citizen and an Overseas Citizen of India are two gay men, who married in Washington D.C, US in 2017 states that the Foreign Marriage Act, 1969 inasmuch as it discriminates against same-sex couples by denying legal recognition of their marriage is ultra vires Articles 14, 15, 19 and 21 the Constitution of India, and ought to be read down to extend to same-sex couples, plea said. (With IANS inputs)

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Feb 25, 2021 03:43 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website