BJP’s Sushil Modi, who spoke against same sex marriages in Parliament yesterday, told NDTV that while same sex relationships are acceptable, allowing such marriages will give rise to problems on multiple levels, including “divorce and adoption”. Speaking in Rajya Sabha earlier today, the MP had objected to it in the social and cultural context.
In an exclusive interview to NDTV, he reiterated that point too.
“Any law should also be attuned with traditions and cultures of the country,” he said. “We should assess what is Indian society and whether the people are ready to accept it”.
“Same-sex relationships have been decriminalised… But shadi (marriage)is a pavitra sanstha (sacred institution). Same-sex couples living together is one thing, but giving them legal status is a different thing,” he added. The government, he told NDTV, has opposed it in Supreme Court in an affidavit.
Modi insisted that there are a “lot of issues” with same-sex marriage. “You have to change a lot of acts also. The divorce act, the maintenance act, the special marriage act. What about succession, what about adoption, what about divorce? There are a lot of issues,” he said.
“Don’t make India like a western country. Don’t make India like America,” he added.
Asked about the protests regarding the matter, Modi said, “I can’t debate with left and liberal people. This is my personal opinion”.
The matter came up in parliament today after four gay couples asked the Supreme Court to find a way to give recognition to same-sex marriages — a matter where parliament is unlikely to offer any recourse. Activists say that while 2018 ruling affirmed the constitutional rights of the LGBTQ people, they do not have legal backing for same-sex marriages, a basic right of heterosexual couples.
While gay activism dates back to the ’90s, no government had struck down a colonial-era ban on gay sex. In 2018, the Supreme Court scrapped the law and decriminalised homosexuality.
The BJP-led government has refused to legalise same sex marriages since. Opposing same-sex marriages, the law ministry earlier said the courts should stay away from the law-making process, which is the provenance of parliament.
Modi had echoed the view in parliament earlier today, saying a couple of judges “can’t sit and decide” on such a socially significant subject.
“In India, same-sex marriage is neither recognised nor accepted in any uncodified personal law like the Muslim Personal Law or any codified statutory laws. Same sex marriages will cause complete havoc with the delicate balance of personal laws in the country,” he said.
With inputs from NDTV