Earlier this year, in a disheartening move, the Centre directed the Delhi High Court that same-sex couples cannot seek fundamental rights pertaining to marriage. The announcement came in following the three petitions currently being heard in the HC about same-sex marriages. According to an affidavit released by the Centre, same-sex partnerships did not "fit" the Indian notions of marriage and family.
But while Indian society struggles with a somewhat regressive mentality, we take a look at all the countries across the world that accept same-sex marriages.
As reported by Human Rights Campaign Organisation, there are a total of 29 countries across the globe that support and accept same-sex marriages.
The countries are Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Costa Rica, Denmark, Ecuador, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Luxembourg, Malta, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, the United Kingdom, the United States of America and Uruguay.
Of these, Australia and Ireland approved same-sex marriage through nation-wide votes. Seven countries — Austria, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Mexico, South Africa, Taiwan and the United States of America — passed same-sex marriages through a court decision. South Africa and Taiwan approved same-sex marriages following a court mandate.
Switzerland was the most recent to accept same-sex marriages. Through an amendment adopted on December 18, 2020, the Swiss Parliament.
According to a report published in Live Law, the Centre told Delhi High Court there is a "legitimate state interest" in limiting the recognition of marriage to persons of the opposite sex only. The affidavit added that: "While a marriage may be between two private individuals having a profound impact on their private lives, it is submitted that marriage, as a public concept, is also nationally and internationally recognised as a public recognition of relationship with which several statutory rights and obligations are attached."
Previously, when the court struck down Section 377 and decriminalised homosexuality, the community rejoiced, hoping for more inclusion and rights, in the coming years. But as it turns out, this only referred to an individuals' private life. The court justified the move saying that "In our country, despite statutory recognition of the relationship of marriage between a biological man and a biological woman, marriage necessarily depends upon age-old customs, rituals, practices, cultural ethos and societal values."
So, marrying a woman to a dog or tree (according to some practices) is acceptable. But humans may conform to their gender norms?
The Centre also stated that "Western decisions sans any basis in Indian Constitutional Law Jurisprudence cannot be imported in the Indian context."
The next hearing of the plea is slated to be on April 20, 2021.