Hindu Marriage Act Not Meant For Registration of Same Sex Marriage- Plea in Delhi HC

The registration of same-sex marriages under the Hindu Marriage Act has been challenged in the Delhi High Court

According to the petition filed by Sanjeev Newar and Swati Goel Sharma of the Sewa Nyay Utthan Foundation, the Hindu Marriage Act is based on dharmic texts that allow marriages between a man and a woman. 

As a result, it was proposed that registration of same-sex marriages be limited to secular laws such as the Special Marriage Act. 

The petition was filed as an intervention application in a pending High Court case concerning the registration of same-sex marriages in the country. 

On Friday, a Division Bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh heard the matter and stated that it will hear the application along with a slew of other similar matters on February 3. 

The petition argued that the Hindu Marriage Act is directly derived from Hindu Dharmic texts such as the Vedas and Upanishads, where marriage is defined as being permitted only between a ‘biological male’ and a ‘biological female.’ 

“Marriage occurs only between a male and a female to fulfil certain worldly and religious duties, according to the Vedas (Hinduism’s sourcebook). In fact, the majority of Vedic Mantras recited during Hindu Vivaah or describing marriage rituals refer to a biological male and a biological female. This has been the practise across almost all Hindu sampradayas since time immemorial, with no variation in essence “According to the application. 

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It went on to say that any attempt to tinker with the Hindu Marriage Act in such a way that it affects Hindus’ age-old harmless beliefs would be a direct intrusion by a secular State into Hindus’ religious rights. 

According to the petition, same-sex marriages should be registered under secular laws such as the Special Marriage Act or under all religious laws such as the Muslim Marriage Law and the Sikhs’ Anand Marriage Act. 

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“It must be made religiously neutral,” the petition argued. 

“If such marriages are registered under acts other than the Hindu Marriage Act, such as the Special Marriage Act or the Foreign Marriage Act, the petitioners have stated that they have no objection. If it is required to be registered under the Hindu Marriage Act, it must be done for all religions “It stated. 

The petition also argued that before the Court rules in favour of same-sex marriages for Hindus, it must first consider systems in which marriage is only a “civil contract,” such as Nikah. 

“Before allowing same-sex marriage registration for Hindus with a more than 10,000-year history, it must begin with newer faiths such as Muslims (1400 years old), Christians (2000 years old), and Parsi (2500 years old,” the petition stated.

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