TOWARDS INCLUSIVITY: EXPLORING THE ADDITION OF SAME-SEX MARRIAGE TO THE SPECIAL MARRIAGES ACT
In recent years, India has made progress in LGBTQIA+ rights, notably by legalizing consensual same-sex relationships in 2018 through the Navtej Singh Johar v. Union of India ruling, which struck down Section 377 of the IPC. However, the article argues that more steps are needed to fully eliminate discrimination against same-sex couples. While the criminalization of homosexuality has been lifted, legal recognition for their relationships is still lacking. India’s existing marriage laws only recognize unions between heterosexual couples, leaving same-sex couples without benefits and legal acknowledgment. The article underscores the need for legal recognition of same-sex marriage in India to ensure full LGBTQIA+ equality and dignity, emphasizing the importance of societal acceptance and constitutional principles like Article 14. The article explores strategies for achieving legal recognition, including the adoption of ‘civil union’ as seen in other countries. Changing personal laws to recognize these unions may face opposition based on religious beliefs, making amendments to the Special Marriage Act of 1954 or introducing a new law governing the civil rights of same-sex couples more practical options. Activists and organizations continue to advocate for the legalization of same-sex marriage through legal challenges. Legalizing same-sex marriage is seen as a transformative step towards justice and inclusivity.