Image: AP Photo/Arun Sankar K
India’s top court is hearing the final arguments on a number of petitions filed by gay couples and LGBTQI rights activists seeking the legalisation of same-sex marriages. LGBTQI activists and same-sex couples are battling against religious leaders and the government as both sides hope for a judgement in their favour.
Nearly a dozen and half couples have petitioned the Supreme Court of India, including three petitions filed by couples raising children together, reported the BBC.
Chief Justice DY Chandrachud has stated that this issue is a matter of “seminal importance,” and established a five-judge constitutional bench, a body that deals with important questions of law to rule on it.
Acceptance of homosexuality and sexual orientation has grown over the years in India, with a Pew survey conducted in 2020 showing 37% of people saying that same-sex relations should be accepted. This number has risen by 22% since 2014 when 15% of people said it should be accepted when the question was first asked.
And while acceptance and support for same-sex relations have grown, the attitudes to sexuality and sex remain mostly conservative, as most LGBT+ people are afraid of coming out.
A lot of eyes will be on India and what result will come out of the Supreme Court, with many hoping that India will become the 35th country in the world to legalise same-sex unions.