SC Verdict on Same-Sex Marriage- All You Need to Know

From Current Affairs Notes for UPSC » Editorials & In-depths » This topic

The Indian Supreme Court’s recent judgment on the issue of same-sex marriage has stirred significant debate. While there’s an understanding that non-heterosexual relationships deserve recognition, there’s contention over whether the court or the legislature should be responsible for granting it.

This topic of “SC Verdict on Same-Sex Marriage- All You Need to Know” is important from the perspective of the UPSC IAS Examination, which falls under General Studies Portion.

Judgment Overview

Majority Views

  • General Consensus:
    • Homosexuality is neither urban nor elitist.
    • The Special Marriage Act of 1954 is not unconstitutional even though it excludes same-sex marriages.
    • Altering the Act for same-sex unions is inadvisable.
    • Formal recognition and legal status for non-heterosexual relationships is a legislative, not judicial, responsibility.
  • Key Judges’ Opinions:
    • Justices S.R. Bhat & Hima Kohli:
      • Oppose the court’s role in formally recognizing same-sex relationships as “civil unions.”
      • Emphasize that the institution of marriage should not have a “parallel framework.”
      • The court sympathizes with the LGBTQIA+ community’s desire for acceptance, but the process must be legally sound.
      • No unqualified right to marry exists; it’s defined by statutes.
      • Decriminalizing homosexuality doesn’t equate to granting legal entitlements to same-sex unions.
    • Justice P.S. Narasimha:
      • Endorses Justice Bhat’s views.
      • Marriage right is a statutory, not constitutional, right.
      • The Fundamental Rights chapter of the Constitution cannot include a right to a civil union for queer couples.

Minority Views

  • Key Judges’ Opinions:
    • Chief Justice D.Y. Chandrachud:
      • Advocates for a regulatory framework for same-sex civil unions.
      • Notes that discrimination based on sexual orientation violates Article 15 of the Constitution.
      • Marriage is an evolving concept, and queer individuals should have the right to a “union.”
      • The state’s failure to recognize the rights flowing from a union adversely impacts queer couples.
    • Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul:
      • Both heterosexual and non-heterosexual unions are valid and should be recognized.
      • Advocates for a legal structure to recognize same-sex civil unions.
      • The recognition of such unions is a step towards “marriage equality.”
      • Protecting individual choices is crucial, and same-sex couples deserve the same protections as heterosexual ones.

Implications for the LGBTQIA+ Community

  • There’s unanimous agreement on the discrimination and harassment faced by same-sex couples.
  • The court suggests forming a committee to address the concerns faced by same-sex partners, including:
    • Ration card status.
    • Inheritance rights.
    • Maintenance.
    • Joint bank accounts.
    • Last rites arrangements.
    • Employment rights and benefits.

Prelims Sureshots – Most Probable Topics for UPSC Prelims

A Compilation of the Most Probable Topics for UPSC Prelims, including Schemes, Freedom Fighters, Judgments, Acts, National Parks, Government Agencies, Space Missions, and more. Get a guaranteed 120+ marks!

Way Forward

  • There’s a recognized need for change, but the path forward is unclear.
  • While the judiciary seems to pass the baton to the legislature, the likelihood of legislative action, given cultural and religious opposition, is uncertain.
  • The LGBTQIA+ community can find solace in the court’s directions but faces a continued struggle for legal recognition and equality.


The judgment underscores the complex interplay between legal, societal, and cultural facets of same-sex relationships in India. While the court acknowledges the challenges faced by the LGBTQIA+ community, it stops short of judicial intervention, suggesting a legislative route. The road to equality appears long, with the onus now on the legislature to chart the way forward.

Practice Question for Mains

Why has the Supreme Court ruled against legalizing same-sex marriage? What is the way ahead? (250 words)

Related Posts

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Home Courses Plans Account