‘Assault on family system’: Jamiat moves plea in SC opposing same sex marriage

ByAbraham Thomas
Apr 01, 2023 07:51 PM IST

Any change in the existing laws is for the Parliament to decide, read the application.

Same-sex marriage is an assault on the family system and goes against the personal laws of all religions recognizing the concept of marriage between a man and a woman, said Muslim organisation Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind in an application opposing petitions demanding legal recognition to same-sex marriages before the Supreme Court.

Earlier last month, the Centre filed an affidavit in the top court opposing the demand for recognising same-sex marriage. (ANI)
Earlier last month, the Centre filed an affidavit in the top court opposing the demand for recognising same-sex marriage. (ANI)

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The Supreme Court is expecting a batch of petitions on April 18 regarding the legalisation of same-sex marriage, to this, the Muslim body said, “The nature of prayers in the present petitions are in complete contravention of the established understanding of the concept of marriage in all personal laws– between a biological man and a biological woman– and thus intends to rake up the very core, i.e., the structure of a family unit prevailing in the personal laws system.”

The application filed on Friday through advocate MR Shamshad said, “This concept of same-sex marriage goes to attack the family system rather than making a family through this process.” It said that in Muslim faith, homosexuality is prohibited and in the Islamic paradigm, fathers and mothers are complimentary to each other but not interchangeable.

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While the petitions relied on the changing legal regime in other countries towards recognizing same-sex marriage, the Jamiat, through its president Maulana Mahmood Madani, said that there cannot be an imposition of a “radical non-religious worldview” in established, inseparable and core principles of religions.

“The concept of marriage between two opposite sexes is like basic feature of the concept of marriage itself which leads to the creation of a bundle of rights (maintenance, inheritance, guardianship, custody). By these petitions, petitioners are seeking to dilute the concept of marriage, a stable institution, by introducing a free-floating system by introducing the concept of same-sex marriage,” the application said.

With homosexuality decriminalized by the Supreme Court in 2018, the petitions filed by members or organisations supporting the rights of the LGBTQ community asserted before the Supreme Court that the denial of legal recognition to same sex marriages violated fundamental rights.

The clutch of petitions wanted the top court to interpret the Hindu Marriage Act, Special Marriage, Foreign Marriage Act and other laws including the Citizenship Act, and Transgender Persons Protection of Rights Act to provide for same-sex unions.

Jamiat said, “The recognition of marriage is on the basis of established and sustainable societal norms and shall not keep changing on the basis of variable notions based upon newly developed value system emerging from a different worldview in a different paradigm.”

The logic that other countries have legalized the inclusion of same-sex relationships in the concept of marriage cannot be introduced in India, the application submitted, adding that most eastern countries still do not recognize marriage between members of the same sex.

“It is believed by Muslims, marriage is a socio-religious institution between a biological man and a biological woman and any different interpretation given to the marriage shall lead to the persons claiming to be married under this category as non-adherents,” the application said.

Tracing the LGBTQI (I for intersex) movement to the West, the Muslim body said, “Since the atheistic worldview had a decisive influence qua the present alterations in the ideas of sexual morality, it must not be allowed to create any space within the religiously governed personal laws of communities.”

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Any change in the existing laws is for the Parliament to decide, read the application, adding, “It is the legislature that has enacted the assailed legislations. It is for the legislature, in its legislative wisdom, to enact laws as per the societal acceptability based on the prevailing values of a society.”

Earlier last month, the Centre filed an affidavit in the top court opposing the demand for recognising same-sex marriage. The government told the Supreme Court that the marriage laws in the country are governed by the personal laws/codified laws relatable to customs of various religious communities to recognise a union only between a man and a woman being capable of legal sanction and to thereby claim legal and statutory rights and consequences.

“This definition is socially, culturally, and legally ingrained into the very idea and concept of marriage and ought not to be disturbed or diluted by judicial interpretation,” the Centre had stated, adding that legal validation of same-sex marriage will wreck “complete havoc” and make statutes enacted by Parliament unworkable.

A three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice of India (CJI) Dhananjaya Y Chandrachud had on March 13 held, “Having due regard to the broader context of the petitions before this Court and the interrelationship between the statutory regime and constitutional rights, we are of the considered view that it would be appropriate if the issues raised are resolved by a bench of five judges of this Court.”

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