Three states including Assam have opposed the legalization of same-sex marriages in India. The three states - Assam, Andhra Pradesh, and Rajasthan - have expressed their views in a reply to a letter issued by the Centre on April 18, inviting comments from all states regarding the issues raised in the same-sex marriage case before the Supreme Court.
The state of Assam stated that the recognition of marriage for same-sex couples and the LGBTQIA+ community challenges the validity of laws concerning marriage and personal laws enforced in the state.
It said that while the matter calls for wide ranging discussions on the various aspects of the institution of marriage as a social phenomenon, across cross-sections of societies, the legal understanding of marriage has been that of an agreement or a contract between between two persons of opposite genders.
Further, it stated that legislation is the prerogative of the legislature, both at the Centre and in the States, and emphasized that the courts should view matters related to legislation in accordance with the core principles of our democratic structure.
The letter also stated that marriage, divorce, and ancillary subjects fall under entry 5 of the Concurrent list of the Constitution and are in the domain of the state legislature.
Accordingly, the Assam government opposed the views taken by the petitioner in the case and sought time to place its views further.
Meanwhile, the state of Andhra Pradesh informed that it had consulted the religious heads of various religions in the state, all of whom opposed the idea of same-sex marriages being granted legal recognition.
Hence, it said that it was against same sex marriage and/or persons belonging to the LGBTQIA+ community.
The Rajasthan government on the other hand stated that according to a report of the Department of Social Justice and Empowerment, Rajasthan, same-sex marriages will create imbalance in the social fabric, leading to far reaching consequences for the social and family system.
In this context, the government circulated letters to all District Collectors in the State to know their views. The Collectors came to the view that there should not be a provision regarding same sex-marriages as the practice is not prevalent and is against public opinion, the State said.
Further, it stated that if public opinion was in favour of same-sex marriages, the same would have been addressed by the State legislature.
Hence, the state opposed same-sex marriages but said that it was not wrong for two homosexual persons to reside with each other.