NCPCR moves SC against legalisation of same-sex marriage
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New Delhi: Supporting petitions seeking validation of same-sex marriages, the Delhi Commission For Protection of Child Rights has moved the Supreme Court saying the Centre and state governments should take steps to create public awareness that same sex family units are “normal”.

Seeking intervention in the batch of petitions pending before the top court, the Delhi Commission For Protection of Child Rights (DCPCR) said multiple studies on same-sex parenting have demonstrated that same sex couples can be good parents.

“The central and state governments should take steps to create public awareness that same-sex family units are as ‘normal’ as heterosexual family units, and specifically that children belonging to the former are not ‘incomplete’ in any way,” the plea said.

Referring to examples of countries that have legalised same-sex marriages, the Commission said at present, more than 50 countries allow same-sex couples to legally adopt children.

“It is respectfully submitted that legislation ought to keep pace with social evolution and the evolution of legal principles. We cannot become frozen in time, nor can we allow mere vocabulary of existing legislation to hinder the realisation of fundamental rights. Legislation is not an end but a means towards achievement of human and fundamental rights,” the plea said.

The top court, had on March 13, referred the pleas seeking legal validation of same-sex marriages to a five-judge Constitution bench for adjudication, saying it is a “very seminal issue”.

A bench headed by Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud said the submissions on the issue involve an interplay between constitutional rights on the one hand and special legislative enactments, including the Special Marriage Act, on the other.

In a historic judgement on September 6, 2018, the Supreme Court decriminalised consensual gay sex between adults after years of activism.

In an affidavit filed before the apex court, the government has opposed the petitions and submitted that despite the decriminalisation of Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, the petitioners cannot claim a fundamental right for same-sex marriage to be recognised under the laws of the country.

At the same time, it submitted that though the Centre limits its recognition to heterosexual relationships, there may be other forms of marriages or unions or personal understandings of relationships between individuals in a society and these “are not unlawful”.

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It said western decisions sans any basis in Indian constitutional law jurisprudence cannot be imported in this context while asserting that granting recognition to human relations is a legislative function and can never be a subject of judicial adjudication.

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