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Indian Youth on Marriage Equality

The Supreme Court of India in front of a rainbow, graphic by Political Pandora

Amdist India's ongoing Marriage Equality debate, with the Supreme Court reserving its final judgment, we asked young Indians what they are thinking

Here's what they had to say:

"There’s no better time than now to build inclusive spaces for queer people and queer relationships. It is critical to work towards removing any biases within ourselves and our community. We must address the roots of structural and institutionalised oppression, by working towards better policies, processes and such." Dhriti

"Balancing the rights of religious faith and the queer community is a delicate task in India. But if the government were to realise that fundamental rights such as religion and love are personal rather than national, same-sex marriage in India would be more about inherent human relationships rather than a national responsibility." Nandini

"Whatever the decision may be, it is worth celebrating that the Supreme Court is at least open-minded enough to hear the case. It has increased awareness about marriage equality amongst the public and removed the stigma surrounding discussions about same sex marriage to a certain extent, already creating a safer environment in the country even before the judgement. Even if it does not get legalised, many people will not look at same sex marriage as an alien or abnormal concept." Anonymous

"By refusing to legalise same-sex unions, we are depriving our citizens of the fundamental freedoms and rights to equality that are essential for building a more accepting and secure society for the next generation." Aanya

"When policymakers label queer relationships as unnatural based on religious reasons, it fuels hostility towards queer individuals and their relationships. Such rhetoric from those in power reinforces societal prejudices and discrimination, perpetuating an environment that further marginalizes and denies the rights of LGBTQ+ individuals. By using religion to justify discrimination, the equality-opposing parliamentarians and the current administration, which reflects the view, are heavily hindering progress towards equality, acceptance, and social inclusion for the queer community." Anish

"Cultural relativism tells us that social and religious practices should be understood depending on the cultural context of different societies. In accordance with this, the imperialist Indian majoritarian mindset and a perpetual culture of hierarchies may vehemently oppose legalizing same-sex marriages due to deeply ingrained cultural, religious, and traditional beliefs. However, cultural relativism also prompts us to acknowledge diverse perspectives and thereby encourages critical examination of extremist cultural norms. This way, the cultural relativism argument can be reframed to promote understanding and inclusivity and strive for an India where individuals have equal rights regardless of their sexual orientation and gender." Anonymous

"If Marriage Equality is achieved at least legally if not culturally, it would grant access to social security provisions for queer couples, enabling them to benefit from various privileges long enjoyed by married heterosexual unions. This includes tax benefits, inheritance rights, healthcare and insurance benefits, and more financial support through loans and mortgages. By extending these social security provisions to queer couples, Marriage Equality would create a more inclusive and equal society, allowing LGBTQ+ partners to thrive and prosper (more) on par with their heterosexual counterparts." Lavanya
"Marriage equality directly challenges the dominant belief that heterosexuality is the only valid and accepted form of intimate partnership. It recognizes and affirms diverse forms of love and commitment, promoting inclusivity and acceptance of LGBTQ+ individuals. By granting equal rights and recognition to same-sex marriages, society becomes more inclusive and breaks down the traditional norms and expectations associated with gender and sexual orientation. This fosters a more diverse and tolerant understanding of relationships across society." Aaditya

"The Indian government has claimed that the understanding of “marriage” according to the Special Marriage Act denotes the legal union of “man” and “woman”, referring to cisgendered/non-trans individuals. However, even the court agrees that the definition of “male” and “female” is far from absolute and is “far more complex”. As advocates argue, making the right to marriage a fundamental right would make it inalienable for all LGBTQ+ individuals and would further ratify the invalidity of gendered definitions of marriage. Therefore, the argument of requiring a “female” and “male” parent for adoption would turn frail, and adoption could be looked at as an absolute legal union of a child and their parents, regardless of their gender identity or sexual orientation. " Anonymous


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