The Delhi High Court in India rejected a plea to legalize same-sex marriage on Monday (8 July).
Petitioner Tajinder Singh argued the LGBTI community have fundamental human rights and deserve equality.
‘The Constitution treats everyone equally without any discrimination’ the plea said, according to the New Statesman.
‘It is the duty of the State to ensure that no one should be discriminated’.
But, on Monday, the court said it could not direct parliament to draft laws. It also refused to form a commission on the issue.
Court cannot constitute an LGBT Commission. Drafting of the law is an exclusive power of the legislature. If the govt. so chooses to constitute such Commission they are permitted but we cannot issue any directions – Delhi HC@LiveLawIndia #LGBT
— Karan Tripathi (@TripathiGee) July 8, 2019
‘It is incumbent upon the legislature and not the court to recognize the familial relations of LGBTQ community’ Chief Justice D.N. Patel and Justice C. Harishankar ruled.
LGBTI rights in India
India’s Supreme Court in September last year ruled the country’s anti-gay law was unconstitutional.
Section 377 of India’s colonial-era Penal Code punished gay sex with up to 10 years in prison. But, the Supreme Court said it violated rights to privacy.
Indians, therefore, celebrated the decriminalization of an estimated 4.5 million LGBTI people.
Despite last year’s landmark decriminalization, LGBTI people in India face discrimination in nearly all aspects of life.
They are often denied access to housing by the government and the private sector, forcing them to live segregated from society.
They face harassment from landlords, family members, neighbors, and even the police.
In the world of work, employers often discriminate against LGBTI employers during recruitment. LGBTI workers are often dismissed because of their sexuality or gender identity.
India currently does not protect LGBTI people with anti-discrimination legislation.
What’s more, the transgender population has slammed a government bill purported to protect their rights.