A More Equal Future

Queer Marriage Hearings- A Very Brief Summary

The Indian Supreme Court started hearing the queer marriage petitions on the 18th of April on the permissibility of queer marriage within the Special Marriage Act, 1954 (SMA). The SMA provides a mechanism for marriage outside the framework of religious laws in India. It does not define marriage or expressly prohibit queer marriages. All it does is lay down the conditions of a valid marriage of two persons and the minimum ages of the male and the female. It is no one’s contention that the SMA was meant to apply to queer couples. It is clear to all parties that the legislation was enacted with heterosexuals in mind and envisages a heterosexual marriage. The question however is whether it can be interpreted to bring queer marriages within its fold? Lawyers huddled around the podia in court room 1 as the oral arguments streamed into the computer for 40 hours over 10 days, wherever you were. Never before had it been so easy to see queer history being made. Here, I recount the most significant legal arguments.

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