A same-sex couple on Thursday urged the Delhi High Court to issue directions to allow the Special Marriage Act to apply to all couples regardless of their gender identity. A single-judge bench of Justice Navin Chawla, however, referred the matter to be listed before the Chief Justice of the High Court, who is already hearing a petition seeking recognition of same-sex unions under the 1955 Hindu Marriage Act. The next hearing is scheduled on Wednesday, October 14.
Meanwhile, ahead of Delhi High Court's hearing, #YesHomoVivah began trending on Twitter. Stand-up comedian and actor Vir Das took to Twitter and wrote, "Tomorrow, the Indian courts will decide whether to legalize same sex marriage in India. It's a landmark decision and hopefully, our nation does the right thing. #YesHomoVivah." "People should be allowed to marry whoever they want, regardless of their gender or sexuality #YesHomoVivah," said another Twitter user.
Here are a few Twitter reactions:
Earlier, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta who appeared for the Centre before the Delhi High Court said, "Our culture and law doesn't recognize the concept of same-sex marriages."
Mehta also argued that the Hindu Marriage Act doesn't recognise same-sex marriages. "As per law, marriage is only between a husband and a wife," he said. However, the Bench comprising Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Prateek Jalan, said that the petition must be looked with an open mind. "Changes are happening across the world," noted the court.
The Delhi High Court was hearing a plea filed on September 8 by four members of the LGBTI community. The plea said that nothing in the Hindu Marriage Act mandated that a marriage can take place only between a Hindu man and a Hindu woman.
“The non-recognition of the rights of gay couples, especially when their sexuality has been recognised as such as valid by the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India is violative of various provisions of the Constitution of India as well as various conventions that India as a sovereign state is signatory to,” the petition had said.