India’s Supreme Court Refuses to Legalize same-sex marriage, leaves Burden to Parliament

The Indian Supreme Court, led by Chief Justice DY Chandrachud, declined to legalize same-sex marriages, emphasizing that the matter rests with Parliament for potential legislation.

Despite this decision, Justice Chandrachud urged the government to safeguard LGBTQ rights and eliminate discrimination. The court had considered 20 petitions advocating for the legalization of same-sex marriage earlier this year, revealing differing perspectives among the justices on the extent to which such unions should be recognized.

“This court can’t make law. It can only interpret it and give effect to it,” Chandrachud said, adding that it was up to Parliament to decide whether it could expand marriage laws to include same-sex unions.

Tuesday’s judgment comes after the court had, in 2018 struck out a colonial-era law that had made gay sex punishable by up to 10 years in prison and expanded constitutional rights for the gay community.

The decision is also seen as a historic victory for LGBTQ community, with one judge saying it would “pave the way for a better future.”