Author-Diya Dhall, Vivekananda Institute of Professional Studies – Technical Campus


India has long struggled with addressing the question of homosexual marriage due to its diverse cultural fabric. Homosexual marriages are those that unite two individuals who share the same sex legally and biologically. These have been a very controversial issue in the worldwide context, which permits or prohibits it based on it being seen as either legal, religious or customary. Legal and social responses have varied from recognition to outright condemnation.
By 2023, thirty-four countries with a combined population of more than one billion people have legalized and recognized same-sex marriage. In India, the supreme Court has held there is no fundamental right to marry. The court has also held that it cannot legislate on queer marriages.

Keywords: Same-sex marriages, special marriage act, unnatural, legal, decriminalized, section 377, transgender, LGBTQIA+.

The Past: A History of Struggle

Throughout history many societies stigmatized and criminalized homosexuality. However, in the late twentieth century, a gradual sea change began undermining discriminatory norms. India’s third and fourth wave feminists’ particularly advocated for equal rights for members of LGBTQIA+ community since they began campaigning for gender justice in 90s. In 2001, this country made history by becoming the first to approve gay marriage thereby creating a milestone in equality struggle against discrimination on sexual orientation grounds.

You could say that the NALSA v. Union of India (2014) case has nothing to do with marriage. However, it was able to acknowledge transgender people’s rights by endorsing the principles of equality, and anti-discrimination. It established a precedent for recognizing different gender identities and expressions.
The journey in terms of law towards LGBTQ+ rights in India has been characterized by Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code which made consensual same-sex relationships illegal, among other “unnatural offenses.” The historic Navtej Singh Johar v. Union of India (2018) case represented a breakthrough. In this landmark decision, the Supreme Court decriminalized consensual homosexual acts while affirming that sexual orientation is an inherent facet of privacy.

The Present: Global Progress and Remaining Challenges

Now let us move forward to where we are at present when substantial headway has been made in this area. Today many countries all over the globe accept and legalize same marriages between males or females. For instance, America witnessed a historic judgement by its highest court that declared all homosexual unions legal on 25th June 2015 signalling a turning point in LGBTQ+ movement.
Other nations have followed suit albeit to varyingly uncertain extents for LGBT people regarding their status as human beings before society and law.

Challenges, however, continue. Nevertheless, there are still places whereby same-sex relationships are outlawed and societies as well as individuals remain unwilling to change. India does not recognize the marriage of people from the same-sex or civil unions. On October 17, 2023, a prayer was dismissed by the Supreme Court for queer persons to be allowed to marry, and on that day itself it was decided unanimously in opposition. The court concurred that marriage is not a fundamental right. The court also said that the Special Marriage Act 1954 cannot conceive of queer marriages. Discrimination and prejudice continue to impact LGBTQ+ lives necessitating sustained advocacy and education.

The Future: Anticipating Legal Recognition

India’s potential future for legalizing gay marriage appears bright due to indications of a gradual shift toward its acceptance within this country’s legislature. Public opinion has changed over time revealing an emerging trend for equality across different courts in India. There is hope among many people who await this matter being dealt with directly by courts interpreting equal protection principles under the Indian constitution which guarantees non-discrimination clauses when it comes down to same-sex marriages.

Challenges faced by Queer community-

The problems queer people are forced to deal with can differ and depend on the individual’s place of living, cultural environment, and legal situation. The rights of gay marriage have not been legally recognized in many countries, which means that they can be subject to legal discrimination.

Homophobia, biphobia, and transphobia are the main causes that lead to social stigma and discrimination. Queer individuals can experience prejudice, exclusion, or even violence due to their sexual orientation or gender identity.

Difficulty in receiving healthcare that is sensitive to the needs and requirements of queer individuals is one of the challenges that queer individuals might face.

Queer individuals, particularly youngsters, can be bullied and harassed by people in their schools, colleges, or communities. Conversion therapy, which is recognized as a deleterious method that strives to alter a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity, still persists in some parts of the world. The result can be highly destructive and cause grave harm on the mental and emotional side.

Several instances have been documented where adolescents belonging to the queer community have attempted suicide due to this reason.

Examining Perspectives: Arguments Against Same-Sex Marriage

One of the most common arguments against same-sex marriage comments about the social values and religious beliefs. It is argued by many that marriage is an integral part of social organization and believed that the traditional meaning of institution of marriage exist for thousands of years purposefully socialize individuals into sex roles specifically whereas man is groomed to be a leader and women is to be subordinate. In addition to that, they are afraid that any change will cause the irreversible ripples that could change the nature of fundamental principles of the relationship. In my opinion, it is not a credible argument as no society is static nor stationary and is always being changed and going on with the needs of people dynamic. The same trend of changing can be followed by institution of marriage as it depends on the needs of people as well . Other opponents also say that being raised in a mother and a father home is important for a child’s development since they need both men and women to grow and become matured. This argument can be disproven for the reason that love and affection are the factors that impacts on the growth and development of a child in their early years and who parents a child does not matter whether they are a homosexual or a heterosexual couple.

Conclusion: A Journey Unfinished

The past, present, and future developments of same-sex marriage in India reflect a journey towards inclusivity and equality. With landmark decisions and changing societal attitudes, there is hope that India will continue to progress towards recognizing the rights of the LGBTQ+ community, including the right to marry and provide them the equal status as others in the society. The story of same-sex marriage is one of progress, but the journey is far from complete. There is still a long way to go. While many strides have been made; there is still work to be done to ensure equal rights and acceptance for all including the members of the LGBTQIA+ community. As we navigate the future, it is essential to remain vigilant in advocating for inclusivity, understanding, and respect, fostering a world where love knows no boundaries.


  1. Cases Referred
    1. Navtej Singh Johar v. Union of India (2018)
    2. NALSA v. Union of India (2014)
    3. Supriyo v. Union of India (2023)
  2. Statutes Referred
    1. Special marriage Act,1954

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