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SCBA condemns BCI statement opposing hearing of same-sex marriage

New Delhi: The Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) on Friday condemned the statement issued by the Bar Council of India (BCI) against the marriage equality hearing in the Supreme Court.
According to a statement, the SCBA Executive Committee said it feels highly inappropriate for the BCI to issue a Press Statement dated April 23, 2023, opposing a hearing of the matter before the Supreme Court. "It is the duty of the Court to hear the petition and decide whether the matter should be adjudicated by the Court or left to the wisdom of Parliament. This resolution should not be construed in any manner that we are supporting or opposing the petitioner in the matter pending before the Supreme Court," SCBA said.
On April 23, the BCI passed a resolution opposing the grant of legal recognition to same-sex marriage in the country.
BCI Chairman Manan Kumar Mishra said the resolution has been passed by the Bar after holding a meeting with representatives of all State Bar Councils.
As per documented history, BCI said ever since the inception of human civilization and culture, marriage has been typically accepted and categorized as a union of biological man and woman for the twin purpose of procreation and recreation. In such background, it would be catastrophic to overhaul something as fundamental as the conception of marriage by any Law Court, howsoever well-intentioned it may be.
Issues pertaining to social and religious connotations should typically be dealt with by Courts through the doctrine of deference, the Bar Council said.
The Council said the vast majority believes that any decision of the Apex Court in the petitioners' favour on this issue will be treated to be against the culture and socio-religious structure of the country.
The Constitution Bench comprising the Chief Justice, Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul, Justice Ravindra Bhat, Justice Hima Kohli and Justice PS Narasimha is dealing with a batch of petitions pertaining to 'marriage equality rights for the LGBTQI+ community'.
The Constitution Bench started hearing the petitions on April 18.
Various petitions are being dealt with by Supreme Court seeking legal recognition of same-sex marriage. The Centre has opposed the petitions. One of the petitions earlier raised the absence of a legal framework which allowed members of the LGBTQ+ community to marry any person of their choice.
According to the petition, the couple sought to enforce the fundamental rights of LGBTQ+ individuals to marry any person of their choice and said that "The exercise of which ought to be insulated from the disdain of legislative and popular majorities".
The petitioners, further, asserted their fundamental right to marry each other and prayed for appropriate directions from this Court allowing and enabling them to do so. (ANI)

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