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Same-sex marriage: Centre files fresh affidavit in SC, seeks states' views

Centre has said that the matter falls within the legislative domain, and thus views of all states and UTs are also necessary

Section 377, LGBTQ

An activist waves a rainbow flag (LGBT pride flag) after the Supreme Court verdict

Nupur Dogra New Delhi

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Centre filed a fresh affidavit in the Supreme Court on Wednesday in the same-sex marriage case seeking the views of the states and the Union Territories on the issue. The affidavit consequently seeks to make the states and UTs a party to the case, Hindustan Times reported.

"The matter falls within the legislative domain and thus views of all States and UTs on the same are necessary," the Centre told the apex court in its latest affidavit.

The five-judge constitution bench headed by Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud is hearing the petitions seeking legal recognition for same-sex marriage. 

The states and the UTs will have to submit their views within ten days.

In a letter to chief secretaries of all states, the Centre said that any decision on this matter requires an assessment of the ramifications on existing social customs, practices, values, norms, state rules, and such that may be prevalent in different sections of the society.

"It is important that a composite and cohesive view is presented before the court incorporating the views of all state governments for effective adjudication," the letter read.

The Supreme Court on Tuesday heard the submissions in favour and against the legality of same-sex marriage. Arguments in the court touched on issues pertaining to the meaning of gender, the maintainability of petitions, the Special Marriage Act and the court's jurisdiction over personal law.

The apex court said the very notion of a man and a woman is not an absolute based on genitals pertaining to the discussion on gender.

"There is no absolute concept of a man or an absolute concept of a woman at all. It is not a question of what your genitals are. It is far more complex, that's the point. So, even when the Special Marriage Act says man and woman, the very notion of a man and a woman is not an absolute based on genitals," the bench said.

The government, in its previous affidavit on Monday, had appealed against the maintainability of the petition.

The Centre had informed Supreme Court that the petitions seeking legal recognition of same-sex marriage merely reflect urban elitist views, which cannot be compared to the appropriate Legislature that represents the views and voices of a far wider spectrum and expands across the country. 

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First Published: Apr 19 2023 | 12:09 PM IST

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