Same-sex marriage: No government data to show ‘urban-elite’ concept, says Supreme Court

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Wednesday said there is no data to show same-sex marriage is an ‘elitist concept’ while poking holes in the Centre’s contention that petitioners seeking same-sex marriage rights are “only Urban elitism is an idea “object of social acceptance”. Responding to the Centre’s argument in the matter, Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud said that the government has no data to show that it is an urban elitism concept.

The Center has raised its strong objection to the Supreme Court hearing the same-sex marriage case, arguing that only the legislature can decide on the creation of a new social relationship.

State cannot discriminate on the basis of characteristics of a person: SC

The top court asserted that the state cannot discriminate against an individual on the basis of a characteristic over which the individual has no control, and that something that is innate cannot have a class bias.

Senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi, representing some of the petitioners, submitted before a five-judge bench headed by Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud that sexual orientation of a person is intrinsic, it is linked to his personality and identity, a Classification which discriminates against individuals on their innate nature would be violative of their fundamental rights and cannot stand the test of constitutional morality.

At this juncture, the Chief Justice said, “The State cannot discriminate against a person on the basis of a characteristic over which the person has no control.” Singhvi agreed and it is stated in very simple words and that is the essence of it.

The Chief Justice further said, “When you say that it is an innate characteristic, it is also an answer to the argument in response to the contention that it is elitist or urban or has a certain class bias. What is innate is not It is possible.” There is a class bias … it may be more urban in its manifestations because more people are coming out of the closet in urban areas.”

No government data to support urban elitist hypothesis: CJI

There is no data, no data coming from the government to indicate that this is an urban concept, the CJI insisted. Singhvi replied that every statement in the Centre’s counter affidavit is without a single survey, single data or single test.

Singhvi stressed that the most important is the discriminatory exclusion of this class only on sex and sexual orientation and added that marital status is a gateway to other legal and civil benefits such as tax benefits, inheritance and adoption.

The Center has told the Supreme Court in its application that the demand for same-sex marriage is a “mere urban elitist” idea aimed at social acceptance, and recognizing the right to same-sex marriage would mean virtual judicial rewriting of an entire branch of law.

It asserted that petitions which “reflect only urban elitist views” cannot be compared with a suitable legislature which reflects views and voices of a wide spectrum and is spread across the country.

“The competent legislature shall have to take into account the views and voices of all rural, semi-rural and urban population at large, taking into account the personal laws as well as the customs governing the field of marriage and the views of religious sects This has to be taken into account with its inevitable cascading effects on many other methods,” it added.