Although it is alright for the LGBTQ community to seek their ‘rights’ on every available forum, the fact remains that it is not the Supreme Court where their demand for legalisation of same sex ‘marriages’ can be met. The apex court, as everybody knows, can only decide on the application of existing laws. With no specific legislation on the subject, there is no possibility of its giving the green light to the demand. At best, it can appeal to the law-makers to take the matter into consideration. While it is a fact that the courts have often been accused of encroaching on the territory of the legislature, it is unlikely that it will do so now.
The ongoing arguments in the court have not exactly shed light on the crux of the matter, revealing the lack of understanding, both, among judges and the Union Government. To say, for instance, that gender does not matter and people act on their ‘innate nature’ does not in justify any act. If pedophiles or those into other perversions like bestiality, rape and stalking were to offer the ‘innate nature’ argument in their defence, would it be acceptable to the courts? Also, the government counsel’s charge that the issue is an ‘urban and elitist’ concern, does not in any way cancel its relevance. It must not be forgotten that many of the social reforms that have taken place in Indian society have often been initiated and led by this section.
The institution of marriage traditionally accords sanctity and social approval to a bond specifically between a man and a woman. This has evolved over thousands of years and, if change is to come about, it will need the acceptance of, both, religion and society. In Hinduism, for instance, all living beings are supposed to have souls that can bond, so it is not unusual for a person to get married to a tree, crow, themselves, or whatever. But, they must identify as opposite genders. Other religions, too, have their beliefs on the subject. Many practices that were common in the past have been entirely rejected in the present day. So, change is possible but it has to be discussed where it matters, among the lawmakers who represent different constituencies. It would be better if it is done incrementally. Also, very importantly, it must be ensured that matters do not go overboard as has happened in western countries, where mainstream behaviour is now being targeted as ‘perverse’. For the demands to be accepted, it is important for people to be genuinely convinced. It cannot be forced down their throats by judicial diktat.