India’s highest court, in a verdict pronounced on Tuesday, reaffirmed its position that it lacks the authority to legalize same-sex marriages, emphasizing that the responsibility to create such legislation falls within the domain of the country’s parliament.
The ruling was delivered by a five-judge bench, presided over by Chief Justice of India, D.Y. Chandrachud. During the hearings held between April and May earlier this year, Chandrachud acknowledged that there was both consensus and discord regarding the extent to which the nation should progress in terms of recognizing same-sex marriages.
As the judgment was read, two of the remaining four judges concurred with Chandrachud’s perspective, resulting in a majority verdict against the legalization of same-sex marriages. The remaining two judges are yet to express their positions on the matter.
This verdict follows a significant 2018 judgment in which the Supreme Court of India abolished a colonial-era ban on homosexual relations.
In Asia, where conventional values largely influence politics and society, only Taiwan and Nepal currently permit same-sex unions. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s administration had opposed the petitions seeking the legalization of same-sex marriages, characterizing them as “opinions of urban elites.” The government argued that parliamentary deliberation and legislation were the appropriate channels for addressing this matter. It also contended that such unions did not align with the traditional Indian family structure, which centers around a husband, a wife, and children.