The legal cell of Hindutva group Vishwa Hindu Parishad and the coordination committee of All District Courts Bar Associations of Delhi on Monday passed separate resolutions against the Supreme Court hearing a clutch of petitions seeking legal recognition for same-sex marriages in India.

A Constitution bench headed by Chief Justice DY Chandrachud has been hearing arguments in the case since April 18 and the court has made several headline observations during last week’s hearings.

The Narendra Modi government has opposed the petitions arguing that same-sex marriages are not compatible with the Indian idea of family and that the demands for their legal recognition represent “urban elitist views for the purpose of social acceptance”. It has also contended that making laws around marriage is the prerogative of the legislature and, therefore, the judiciary need not intervene.

In its resolution, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad’s legal cell on Monday said that the LGBTQIA+ community is seeking to create a right within the Special Marriage Act, 1954, when it applies only to “biological male and female”.

Therefore, the affiliate of the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh said, the attempts to strike down any provision of the law or to add a particular provision “will clearly amount to rewriting the Act and taking over the power to legislate from Parliament”.

It added: “We should not forget that India is being governed by the Constitution and there is a clear separation of powers given in the Constitution, [as] per which the legislative function is entrusted to the Parliament and State Legislatures and not to the Supreme Court or High Courts.”

The Hindutva group also claimed that the current case is clearly an effort to encroach on to the powers of Parliament.

“Recently, in another matter related to reservation to Dalits who converted to Christianity or Islam, the Supreme Court is compelling Parliament to accept recommendations of a particular report which was dumped by Parliament 16 years back during the same government that appointed the commission,” the Vishwa Hindu Parishad said.

Opposing the petitions before the Supreme Court, the organisation said that the institution of marriage is not merely a union of two heterosexuals but is meant for the advancement of the human race.

“[It is] also a union of two families and the reputation of the families is being tested on the basis of marriages in their respective families,” the legal cell said. “Marriages in India are celebrated like festivals from time immemorial, which will not be possible in the cases if same-sex marriage is allowed.”

The Hindutva organisation claimed that the Indian cultural civilisation has been constantly “attacked for centuries but survived against all odds”.

“Now in independent India it is facing attacks on its cultural roots by the superimposition of western thoughts, philosophies and practices which are not viable for this nation,” the resolution added.

The outfit’s legal cell expressed its “deepest anguish on the haste shown” by the Supreme Court on the issue instead of hearing the pending backlog of cases.

SC must let legislature decide, says lawyers’ body

Similarly, the All District Court Bar Associations Of Delhi in its resolution stated that the issue of same-sex marriage should be left to the legislature.

“It is important that issues that have the potential to affect society at large are discussed and debated in the Parliament where elected representatives can take into account the views and concerns of their constituents,” the lawyers’ body said in its resolution.

It added that the social ramifications of the proceedings before the Supreme Court are colossal and have the “potential for an unintended impact on the social fabric”.

The resolution said that while the Supreme Court plays a crucial role in upholding the rule of law, there are certain issues with far-reaching consequences and those cannot be left to the discretion of the courts.

The development came a day after the Bar Council of India passed a resolution saying it wants the Supreme Court to leave the question of same-sex marriage to Parliament. It claimed that “more than 99.9% of people of the country” are opposed to such unions.

The Bar Council of India resolution also said that the vast majority of the population believes that a decision by the Supreme Court in favour of the petitioners would go against India’s cultural and socio-religious structures of the country.

Also read:

  1. What route could the Supreme Court use to legalise same-sex marriage?
  2. ‘Want to live and die together’: Meet the people battling for same-sex marriage rights in India