Same sex marriage refers to the legal recognition and union of individuals of
the same gender, allowing them to enter into a formal marital relationship or it
is a marriage either between two men or two women.
The issue has been the subject of much debate and controversy, with arguments
for and against same-sex marriage based on religious, cultural, social, and
In India , same sex marriage is not legally allowed but in Navtej Singh johar v.
Union of India , 2018 the Supreme Court decriminalized some part of Section 377
of the Indian Penal Code ,which criminalized homosexuality . According to
section 377 of IPC , physical relation between the person of same gender is
unnatural and it consider as crime which is punishable by the court. This was a
landmark step toward LGBTQ+ rights .
The supreme court of India heard a series of petitions to perform same sex
marriage under the special marriage Act. The special marriage Act of 1954
provides a civil form of marriage for couples who cannot marry under their
personal laws .
In the proceedings the centre government advised the supreme court to transfer
the case to parliament on the matter, stating that the law cannot be changed to
permit same sex marriage in India because according to them the marriage has
traditionally been performed between a man and a women in our culture and the
special marriage Act ,1954 was created to overcome the limitation of religious
personal laws , not to create a new laws of marriage. They also suggest that in
our society the marriage between two women or two men is consider as sin . It is
against our culture .
The societal perception of same-sex relationships in India is diverse, with
opinions ranging from conservative to progressive. While urban areas may exhibit
more openness and acceptance, rural communities and traditional mindsets often
uphold conventional views on marriage, making it challenging for LGBTQ+
individuals to gain societal acceptance.
In recent years, there has been a notable surge in activism advocating for LGBTQ+
rights and the legalization of same-sex marriage. Activists argue that denying
same-sex couples the right to marry infringes upon their fundamental rights to
equality and non-discrimination, as enshrined in the Indian Constitution.
India finds itself in a global context where numerous countries have recognized
and legalized same-sex marriages. Advocates draw inspiration from these
international examples, emphasizing that legalizing same-sex marriage aligns
with the principles of human rights and inclusivity.
Challenges faced in same sex marriages:
- Lack of legal recognition for same-sex marriages poses a significant challenge, leaving couples without the rights and protections afforded to heterosexual couples.
- Deep-seated societal norms and stigma surrounding same-sex relationships create an environment of discrimination, making it difficult for couples to gain acceptance from their families and communities.
Cultural and Religious Resistance:
- Opposition from conservative cultural and religious groups hinders progress, as traditional beliefs often do not align with the idea of same-sex marriages.
- Many individuals fear coming out to their families due to potential rejection, disapproval, or the risk of being rejected, which can strain familial relationships.
Lack of Awareness:
- Widespread lack of awareness about LGBTQ+ issues contributes to misunderstanding and perpetuates stereotypes, making it challenging for same-sex couples to gain support.
Discrimination at Work:
- Same-sex couples may face discrimination in the workplace, where policies and benefits are often structured around heterosexual relationships, impacting job satisfaction and career advancement.
Mental Health Struggles:
- The societal and familial challenges can lead to mental health issues for individuals in same-sex marriages, including anxiety, depression, and a sense of isolation.
No Adoption Rights:
- Same-sex couples often face challenges in adopting children due to legal barriers, denying them the opportunity to build a family through adoption.
- Healthcare systems may not be adequately equipped to address the unique healthcare needs of LGBTQ+ individuals, impacting access to inclusive and respectful healthcare services.
Lack of Support Services:
- Limited availability of support services, including legal aid, counseling, and community resources, leaves same-sex couples without crucial assistance in navigating challenges.
- The lack of political will to address LGBTQ+ issues and advocate for legal changes further complicates the path towards achieving equal rights for same-sex couples.
Suggestions For Same Sex Marriage
Legal Recognition and Legislation:
- Advocate for the creation of specific legislation recognizing same-sex marriage in India.
- Push for legal amendments that explicitly mention the rights and responsibilities of same-sex couples in marriage.
Education and Awareness:
- Promote LGBTQ+ awareness programs in schools and communities to foster understanding and acceptance.
- Encourage inclusive curriculum that cover diverse family structures, including same-sex relationships.
- Work towards increased positive representation of LGBTQ+ individuals and relationships in mainstream media.
- Encourage the media to portray same-sex marriages as normal facets of society, helping to reduce stigma.
- Advocate for inclusive workplace policies that acknowledge and support same-sex marriages.
- Encourage companies to provide benefits and recognition to same-sex couples equivalent to those given to heterosexual couples.
- Organize community events and forums to facilitate dialogue on LGBTQ+ issues.
- Establish support groups for individuals and families to share experiences and provide emotional support.
Engagement with Religious Institutions:
- Initiate conversations with religious leaders to foster understanding and acceptance within religious communities.
- Encourage religious institutions to consider perspectives that promote inclusivity and respect for diverse relationships.
- Engage with political leaders to raise awareness about the importance of legal recognition for same-sex marriages.
- Advocate for political parties to include LGBTQ+ rights in their agendas.
- Collaborate with international LGBTQ+ rights organizations to share experiences and strategies.
- Seek support from countries that have successfully legalized same-sex marriage.
Legal Aid and Support Services:
- Establish legal aid services to assist same-sex couples facing discrimination or legal challenges.
- Create counseling services to support individuals and families in navigating societal and legal complexities.
- Launch public awareness campaigns that highlight the importance of equal rights for all citizens.
- Use social media platforms and traditional media to reach a wider audience with messages of inclusivity.
- Establish LGBTQ+ youth groups to empower the younger generation to be advocates for change.
- Encourage open discussions in educational institutions to break down stereotypes and prejudices.
Research and Data Collection:
- Conduct research studies to gather data on the experiences and challenges faced by the LGBTQ+ community in India.
- Use this data to inform policies and initiatives that address specific needs.
By implementing these suggestions, there can be a collective effort to challenge
societal norms, address legal gaps, and promote inclusivity for same-sex couples
in India. It requires collaboration across various sectors to build a more
accepting and supportive environment for LGBTQ+ individuals.
In conclusion, the discourse on same-sex marriage in India reflects a complex
interplay of legal, societal, and cultural factors. While the decriminalization
of Section 377 marked a significant milestone, the absence of specific
legislation recognizing same-sex marriages remains a poignant gap in the
country's legal framework. Societal attitudes, deeply rooted in tradition and
influenced by cultural and religious beliefs, pose substantial challenges for
LGBTQ+ individuals seeking acceptance and legal recognition for their unions.
The journey towards acknowledging and embracing same-sex marriages involves a
collective effort. Activism and advocacy play a crucial role in challenging
societal norms, fostering awareness, and influencing legislative changes. The
struggles faced by same-sex couples in India encompass issues of familial
acceptance, workplace discrimination, and limited access to support services,
underlining the need for comprehensive reforms.
The global landscape offers examples of countries that have successfully
legalized same-sex marriages, providing a roadmap for India to consider as it
navigates this evolving terrain. The call for equal rights and inclusivity
echoes not only in legal forums but also in educational institutions,
workplaces, and cultural spaces.
As India grapples with questions of tradition versus progress, the narrative on
same-sex marriage is inherently tied to the broader conversation about human
rights and individual freedoms. The pursuit of a more inclusive society
necessitates open dialogue, education, and a reevaluation of cultural and legal
frameworks. In this evolving landscape, the hope is for a future where same-sex
couples in India can experience the full spectrum of legal recognition, societal
acceptance, and the fundamental right to marry without prejudice.