In a unanimous decision, India’s Supreme Court declined to legalize same-sex marriage, citing the matter as a legislative exercise that should be addressed by Parliament. The ruling disappointed LGBTQ activists, but there is a glimmer of hope for social and legal benefits.
The court has accepted the government’s proposal to establish a committee to explore granting rights to same-sex couples, such as joint banking, insurance, and admission of children to schools.
Committee to Address Real Concerns
This special committee aims to address the practical challenges faced by same-sex couples in their daily lives. It will consider aspects like joint banking, insurance, pension, property, and school admissions.
While the court’s acceptance of this committee is a step forward, the lack of specific timelines for its actions has left some activists concerned about potential delays in implementation.
A Long Journey for LGBTQ Rights in India
In 2018, India’s highest court decriminalized consensual intercourse between same-sex adults, marking a significant shift in LGBTQ rights.
However, the absence of legal recognition for same-sex marriages left couples with limited options for formalizing their relationships.
While the 2018 ruling increased societal acceptance of gay couples, the push for legal recognition of same-sex marriages has remained a priority for LGBTQ rights advocates.
Hope Persists Despite Setback
Despite the setback in the recent court ruling, India’s LGBTQ community remains determined and committed to fighting for equal rights.
Activists are gearing up for the upcoming elections to raise awareness of LGBTQ issues among political candidates and parties.
While recognizing same-sex marriage would have made India one of the few Asian countries to do so, the fight for LGBTQ rights continues.
Asia’s Landscape for Same-Sex Marriage
Taiwan became the first Asian jurisdiction to recognize same-sex marriage in May, setting a precedent for the region.
Nepal’s Supreme Court issued an interim order allowing the registration of same-sex marriages, though the final decision is still pending.
In India, LGBTQ activists are undeterred, continuing their fight for equal rights and the recognition of same-sex unions.
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