India’s top court has refused to legalize same-sex marriages, with the chief justice of the country saying that it was up to Parliament to create such a law
ByThe Associated Press
October 17, 2023, 3:45 AM
LGBTQ community supporters and members wait for the Supreme Court verdict on petitions that seek the legalization of same-sex marriage, in New Delhi, India, Tuesday, Oct. 17, 2023. According to a Pew survey, acceptance of homosexuality in India increased by 22 percentage points to 37% between 2013 and 2019. (AP Photo/Manish Swarup)
The Associated Press
NEW DELHI — India’s top court refused to legalize same-sex marriages, with the chief justice of the country saying Tuesday that it was up to Parliament to create such a law.
Chief Justice DY Chandrachud also urged the government to uphold the rights of the queer community and end discrimination against them.
The five-judge bench earlier this year heard 20 petitions that sought to legalize same-sex marriage in the world’s most populous country.
Chandrachud said there were degrees of agreement and disagreement among the justices “on how far we have to go” on same-sex marriages.
“This court can’t make law. It can only interpret it and give effect to it,” the chief justice said, reiterating that it was up to Parliament to decide whether it could expand marriage laws to include queer unions.
Legal rights for LGBTQ+ people in India have been expanding over the past decade, and most of these changes have come through the Supreme Court’s intervention.
Tuesday’s judgment comes after the top court in 2018 struck down a colonial-era law that had made gay sex punishable by up to 10 years in prison and expanded constitutional rights for the gay community.
The decision was seen as a historic victory for LGBTQ rights, with one judge saying it would “pave the way for a better future.”