States Are Free to Enact Laws to Legalize Same-Sex Weddings: Supreme Court Verdict

New Delhi: Although The Supreme Court denied legalising same-sex marriages, the judgment provides scope and power to the states to enact laws legalizing gay marriages even if there is no central law regarding it.

The order by the Supreme Court read, “The State may choose from a number of policy outcomes; they may make all marriage and family-related laws gender neutral, or they may create a separate Special Marriage Act-like statute in gender neutral terms to give the queer community an avenue for marriage, they may pass an Act creating civil unions, or a domestic partnership legislation, among many other alternatives. Another consequence may be that rather than the Union Government, the State legislatures takes action and enacts law or frameworks, in the absence of a central law.”

The Supreme Court has directed the government to constitute a committee to examine the rights and entitlements of persons in queer unions, without legal recognition of their relationship as a “marriage”.

During the hearing, the Centre had informed the apex court that it plans to form a committee headed by the Cabinet Secretary to address the issue.

Among the panel of five judges, Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud and Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul advocated for the recognition of same-sex partnerships.

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