Furthermore, Chief Justice Chandrachud highlighted the importance of recognizing the rights of marginalized communities, such as the LGBTQ+ community, and ensuring their equal protection under the law.
He stated that the Constitution guarantees the right to equality and non-discrimination, and that denying same-sex couples the right to marry is a violation of these fundamental rights.
He emphasized that the Court has a duty to protect the rights of all citizens, including those who are marginalized and vulnerable.
The Chief Justice also addressed the argument that same-sex marriage is against Indian culture and tradition.
He stated that culture and tradition are not static and unchanging, but rather evolve over time. He emphasized that the Constitution is a living document that must be interpreted in light of changing social norms and values.
He stated that the Court must strike a balance between preserving cultural traditions and ensuring that they do not violate fundamental rights.
In conclusion, Chief Justice Chandrachud's remarks in the case of same-sex marriage highlight the importance of a robust and inclusive democracy that recognizes the rights of all citizens, including marginalized communities.
He emphasized the role of the judiciary in upholding fundamental rights and ensuring that the Constitution is interpreted in a manner that reflects changing social norms and values.
His remarks serve as a reminder that democracy is not just about electoral mandates, but also about protecting the rights and dignity of all citizens.
To elaborate, the Chief Justice of India (CJI) emphasized that the right to education was deemed a fundamental right through court intervention. However, he expressed the opinion that such intervention is not possible in the case of same-sex marriage, as the Constitution does not recognize a right to marriage.
"The right to education was established as a fundamental right, not due to any statute or law, but because of its importance to the values upheld by the Constitution. The arguments put forth by the petitioners, claiming that the Constitution recognizes a right to marry, are based on the interpretation of marriage provided by statutes, which cannot be accepted," he stated.
On Tuesday, the Indian Supreme Court ruled against granting legal recognition to same-sex marriages or marriages involving queer couples, and also rejected conferring civil partnership status to such unions.
All five judges on the Constitution bench, including the CJI, unanimously agreed that it is the responsibility of the legislature to decide on granting legal recognition to same-sex partnerships.
The Court also unanimously dismissed a challenge to provisions of the Special Marriage Act that exclude queer couples.
However, CJI Chandrachud and Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul expressed the opinion that relationships between queer individuals should be recognized as civil partnerships.
These two judges further opined that the current laws, which prevent unmarried couples, including queer couples, from adopting children, should be invalidated.
However, the other three judges, who formed the majority, disagreed on these aspects as well.
It is worth noting that CJI Chandrachud, in his minority judgment, also rejected arguments claiming that unions between LGBTQ+ individuals are not "Indian."
He stated that all sexual and gender minorities are just as Indian as their heterosexual or cisgender fellow citizens.
An object, an incident, or a custom is considered 'Indian' when it is present within the borders of India, occurs within this territory, or is practiced by individuals who hold Indian citizenship. The Indian nature of something can either be deeply rooted in history or a recent development. However, it is important to note that this classification is not determined by mere numerical figures. The constitutional guarantee remains intact regardless of the level of acceptance a particular practice has attained. It is emphasized that sexual and gender minorities are just as Indian as their cisgender and heterosexual fellow citizens, as stated in his opinion.
The Chief Justice further highlighted that the State's failure to acknowledge the rights and privileges that arise from a legally recognized marriage would disproportionately affect queer couples who are unable to marry under the current legal framework.
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