Same-sex marriage: Bar Council of India says SC decision may prove harmful for future generations

In this file photo from February 2, 2019, LGBTQ members take part in a pride parade in Mumbai. File photo: PTIIn this file photo from February 2, 2019, LGBTQ members take part in a pride parade in Mumbai. File photo: PTI

The Bar Council of India (BCI) has passed a resolution opposing the proceedings on same-sex marriage ongoing before the constitutional bench of the Supreme Court. It has warned that a favourable verdict from the apex court "will be treated to be against the culture and socio-religious structure of our country".

The Supreme Court had said on April 20 that same-sex marriage may redefine the "evolving notion of marriage". The bench headed by Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud did not agree to the contention that unlike heterosexuals same-sex couples cannot take proper care of their children.

However, the BCI has said, "it would be catastrophic to overhaul something as fundamental as the conception of marriage by any Law Court, howsoever well-intentioned it may be".

The Council has proposed a 'legislative' solution to the "matter which has far-reaching impact on our socio-cultural and religious beliefs". It said, "any decision by the Apex Court in such a sensitive matter may prove very harmful for the future generation of our country".

even when the Special Marriage Act says man and woman, the very notion of a man and a woman is not an absolute based on genitals: Supreme Court. Image: Onmanorama/Canva
The Bar Council of India has urged the apex court to "arrive at an appropriate decision as per the societal conscience and mandate of the people". Image: Manorama/Canva

The resolution that came out of a joint meeting of the BCI and all state bar councils, has claimed that "more than 99.9% of the people of the country are opposed to 'the idea of same-sex marriage' in our country".

"Issues pertaining to social and religious connotations should typically be dealt by Courts through doctrine of deference. The legislature being truly reflective of the will of the people is best suited to deal with such sensitive issues."

'Legislature accountable to the public'
The resolution has said as the responsibility of lawmaking has been entrusted to the legislature under the Constitution, "laws made by the legislature are truly democratic as they are made after undergoing thorough consultative processes and reflect the views of all sections of the society. The legislature is accountable to the public."

Representational image. Photo: IANS

The BCI has said it is "advisable that this ('sensitive issue') is dealt with after an elaborative consultation process involving different social, religious groups by the competent legislature".

'Religion .. greatly influences law'
The Council has claimed law reflects the collective conscience of its people. "Moreover, religion being intertwined with culture, greatly influences the codification of law and societal norms in any civilized society," the resolution stated.

"As per documented history, ever since the inception of human civilization and culture, marriage has been typically accepted and categorized as a union of biological man and woman for the twin purpose of procreation and recreation."

The council has urged the apex court to leave the matter for legislative consideration so that it may "arrive at an appropriate decision as per the societal conscience and mandate of the people".

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