Former Supreme Court judge Justice Kurian Joseph on Friday said that he is completely opposed to the concept of same-sex marriages.
“Marriage is essentially a union between man and woman,” he said at an India Today conclave. “The other [same-sex relationship] is an association. Marriage is united forever for the purposes of nature, for procreation and recreation. I’m 100% against same-sex marriage. It [same-sex relationship] can be an association, it can be a union, it can be whatever…”
Justice Joseph added that marriage is not a fundamental right.
“You can have your own choice, whether you want to live with a friend or close friend, intimate friend, particular friend,” he said. “But the moment you touch the concept of marriage, then it is different. It is a basic unit of the society. This affects the roots of the issue.”
A Supreme Court bench headed by Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud had last month reserved its verdict on a batch of petitions seeking legal recognition of same-sex marriages after a hearing that lasted 10 days.
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 also contended that making laws around marriage is the prerogative of the legislature and the judiciary need not intervene.
On the other hand, the petitioners have argued that marriage law provisions in the country are discriminatory against the LGBTQIA+ community and infringe on their fundamental right to dignity and privacy.
On Friday, Justice Joseph told India Today that the primary role of the Supreme Court in the case was to check the validity of the laws and other executive actions. He added that the issue is “intimately connected” to religion, culture and beliefs of people.
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