The Central government has informed the Supreme Court that it will form a committee to address the concerns that same-sex couples have; marriage is still off the table. Arguments against it in court have ranged from ignorant to homophobic, but perhaps this might change the Centre’s opinion towards it — allowing same-sex marriages can resolve some of the issues faced by ‘straight’ marriages.
In the absence of legal provisions to get married to a same-sex partner — many homosexuals end up marrying a partner of the opposite sex in order to fulfil their parents’ dream. These marriages do nothing to protect Indian culture or value systems.
In fact, the very idea of a heterosexual marriage is changing. Traditional Indian marriage has been an institution between a man and a woman. They procreate, raise a family and the cycle continues. But now, sexual compatibility is also a factor. If your spouse refuses to have sex with you, it is a legally valid reason for divorce. The Supreme Court in 2014 and 2006 said that denying sex to your spouse for a long period is ‘mental cruelty’.
So if gay marriages remain outlawed, the number of divorces driven by these mental cruelties will likely keep rising.
Also Read: SC asks Modi govt to consider granting benefits to same-sex couples without recognising marriage
The toxic relationship
Even when an individual ‘comes out of the closet’, their parents push them into a ‘normal’ marriage, hoping it will cure their ‘sickness’. And this pressure is so high that queer individuals end up succumbing to it.
But marrying a heterosexual person doesn’t make a homosexual person ‘straight’. Remember, homosexuality is biological. There is no innate attraction to an individual of the opposite sex. In the case of forced marriages, there is no romantic love there.
What kind of values and culture are we promoting when the husband/wife comes back home and has no love for their partner? At the end of the day, both partners start seeking love outside of their homes.
The breakdown of these marriages is inevitable. Frustrations in the union can manifest as abuse — emotional or physical. Even if the couple files for divorce, alimony becomes an issue.
And if they happen to have a child, the kid will grow up knowing their parents hate each other. In such marriages, the mental health of children suffers greatly.
In the past decade, so many of my gay friends have given in to marriages with straight women. The argument they give is that marrying a man is neither legal nor acceptable by society. A few of those who were able to move abroad settled with a partner. But for a large number of homosexuals, who cannot live alone or need a family support system, a marriage on their own terms is not an option.
My gay friends who got married in their late 20s are now going to courts in their late 30s to settle their divorce cases. The mental toll it takes has them enervated. Maybe we can reduce this burden by allowing them to marry a partner they love.
Views are personal.
(Edited by Theres Sudeep)