Legal Status of same-sex marriage in India

All same-sex relationships were criminalized until the Supreme Court verdict of 2018 that decriminalized them. This was recognized as an important step towards social equality and to help the LGBTQ community achieve justice. However, it was only the beginning, and there are still areas wherein same-sex couples struggle to find legal recognition where heterosexual couples easily do.

The most important one of these areas is marriage and all the privileges that come with it. Despite that landmark judgment, same sex couples' relationships have no legal status—making it difficult to transfer property rights, make medical decisions for each other in case one is incapacitated or, in short, enjoy rights heterosexual married couples in India take for granted.

 Lack of legal recognition made many of the aspects of normalizing same-sex relationships increasingly difficult in bureaucracy-laden India. From refusals by banks to let them open a joint account to having a hard time establishing permanent addresses together. 

There have been petitions in the Supreme Court to legally recognize same-sex marriage so gay and lesbian couples can get what is due to them. However, the current central NDA government has opposed them in court stating that the Indian 'family unit' involves a man and a woman, a traditional order that cannot be violated. 

Many activists, and rightly so, have called the central government out for their homophobia, because archaic notions of what a traditional family is cannot be used to justify any social inequality, let alone homophobia. Today, we should stand in solidarity with LGBTQ activists and spread awareness about their community's issues to contribute to achieving to social equality.

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