‘Review, correct’: Plea in SC against Oct 17 verdict on same-sex marriage | India News

Petitioners seeking legal recognition of same-sex marriages have moved the Supreme Court urging it to “review and correct” its judgment denying them the right saying the ruling “suffers from errors apparent on the face of the record and is self-contradictory and manifestly unjust”.

The review petition said the ‘majority judgment’ is facially erroneous because it finds that the Respondents (authorities ) are violating petitioners’ fundamental rights through discrimination, and fails to enjoin discrimination”.

“For example, the majority judgment holds that the respondents’ characterisation of marriage for various collateral and intersectional purposes as a permanent and binding legal relationship… between heterosexual couples only (and no others) impacts queer couples adversely,” and “has an adverse discriminatory impact” by wrongly depriving them of marriage-related benefits,” the plea said.

It added that the ruling “recognises that, while heterosexual relationships have the benefit of the cover of law” which “afford(s) protection, and extend(s) benefits” same “eludes those living in non-heterosexual unions” and “impact, therefore, is discriminatory”.

“The majority judgment states that “equality and non-discrimination are basic foundational rights” and concludes that the exclusion of queer couples from “a legal framework which entitles them and is a prerequisite eligibility criteria for myriad earned and accrued benefits, privileges, and opportunities has harsh and unjust discriminatory consequences, amounting to discrimination land violating their fundamental right under Article 15”, the review said.

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The review petitioners contended that “the majority judgment neuters” SC’s jurisdiction, holding that while “recognition” of discrimination and violation of the petitioners’ fundamental rights “is this court’s obligation, falling within its remit”… separation of powers prohibits this Hon’ble Court from enjoining the discrimination or otherwise protecting those fundamental rights”.

The petitioners contended that “the Majority Judgment overlooks that marriage, at its core, is an enforceable social contract. The right to so contract is available to anyone capable of consenting. Adults of any faith or no faith may engage in it. No one group of people may define for another what marriage means. No contract, nor forceful State action like imprisonment, may curtail an adult’s fundamental right to marry”.

It said judgment “effectively compels young queer Indians to remain in closet and lead dishonest lives if they wish joys of a real family. It is fallacious that, under these facts, and in the absence of a fundamental right to marry or form a union, the rights to equal protection, dignity and fraternity are insufficient to justify judicial intervention”.

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