23
Jul
13

Same sex marriages in India

A few weeks back on Quora I found a question that asked, ‘Should India legalize same sex marriages?’. I’ve always found the same sex marriage debate a little ridiculous. Its fine to not be in favor or dislike same sex marriages but why would anybody protest against it? What a waste of placards and boards.

My opinion has firmly been that same sex couples are no different than hetero couples. While I think all marriages are fraught with dangers of incompatibility and babies, I sometimes suspect same sex couples might have it easier.

My first reaction to the question was, ‘Hell yeah!’ but I remembered reading an article over a decade ago about a same sex wedding in India which was protected by the local police. The story mentioned how it wasn’t actually illegal to get married to someone from the same sex according to the Indian constitution. Sure enough, on reading the marriage act it was clear to me that genders hadn’t been specified in the act. Link for the interested: The Hindu Marriage Act, 1955

A different commenter had suggested that the genders hadn’t been specified because of ‘incompetence’ or carelessness of the drafters. I had no doubt that this was not the case because the constitution of India is possibly the most comprehensive constitution in the world. The team that drafted it had tremendous amounts of patience and foresight to create an exceptional document. Missing such a critical detail could have only been a deliberate attempt.

The clever drafting says: A marriage may be solemnized between any two Hindus. Thus allowing for same sex Hindus to have a fancy ritualistic wedding as they might please. This is definitely because of the foresight of the people who drafted the constitution.
The British and Irish constitutions which are considered inspirations  for our constitution, did not, allow or recognize same sex unions. How  could the people who drafted our constitution leave out this very  important detail? Unless of course they were giving their blessings to same-sex unions.

This law protects Hindus, Jains, Sikhs and Buddhists. Unfortunately same sex marriage is invalid under Islamic and Christian laws, even punishable by death. So there is vehement resistance from Muslim and Christian leaders. But thankfully Indian courts already uphold rights of same sex unions. No cohabiting same sex couple has ever been legally persecuted. Social and familial persecution is of course commonly heard of.

If you are wondering why did you not already know this, then you could point fingers at folks(straight or not) who’ve taken time to read articles and protest against American laws but have forgotten to read ours. Yes, some American states explicitly bans same-sex marriage or have defined marriage as union between man and woman.

Disclaimer: I’m not a lawyer, so go read about your rights yourself and Google for court cases against same-sex unions.
If this answer is reason for you to tie the knot, please invite me. I like weddings and free food.

I shall now await for an actual lawyer to correct me if I’m mistaken. 🙂

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1 Response to “Same sex marriages in India”


  1. April 1, 2014 at 6:32 am

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    my difficulty. You’re incredible! Thanks!


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