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Gender autonomy could be used to justify incest says Centre

IndiaGender autonomy could be used to justify incest says Centre

The Center informed the Supreme Court that the legalization of gender autonomy could be used to justify incest.

Legalising Sexual Autonomy May Be Used To Defend Incest, Centre Tells Supreme Court Solicitor General Tushar Mehta argued that if uncontrolled personal autonomy is allowed regarding sexual orientation, it could lead to a challenge against provisions that prohibit incest.The Centre on Thursday submitted before the Supreme Court that “uncontrolled personal autonomy” over one’s sexual orientation could challenge legal provisions against incest.
A Constitution Bench led by Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud is hearing the final arguments Tuesday on a raft of petitions seeking to legalise same-sex marriageEarlier this year in January, a three-judge SC bench transferred nine pending petitions dealing with similar issues from the Delhi and Kerala high courts to itself.
On March 13, the three-judge bench led by CJI DY Chandrachud referred the case to a five-judge Constitution bench.  Even though homosexuality was decriminalised by the Supreme Court in 2018, same-sex marriages continue to be unacknowledged and unrecognised by Indian laws. Both the Centre and the ruling BJP have opposed a legal validation of same-sex marriage.
During the sixth day of the hearing on the legalisation of same-sex marriage in India, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta argued that if uncontrolled personal autonomy is allowed regarding sexual orientation, it could lead to a challenge against provisions that prohibit incest.
The petitioners argued that sexual orientation is not a matter of choice but rather an innate characteristic. Mehta then presented two schools of thought on the matter — one stating that sexual orientation can be acquired and the other stating that it is innate, reported legal news website Bar and Bench.
He then displayed a hypothetical scenario of someone claiming autonomy to engage in a relationship with a family member, arguing that if sexual orientation is a valid reason for autonomy, provisions against incest could also be challenged. CJI Chandrachud, howver, dismissed Mehta’s argument, stating that sexual orientation cannot be used to justify allowing incest and that it cannot be exercised in all aspects of marriage.
It is important to note that the argument presented by Solicitor General Tushar Mehta is not directly related to the issue of legalising same-sex marriage but rather a hypothetical scenario that could potentially arise if uncontrolled personal autonomy regarding sexual orientation is allowed.
However, CJI Chandrachud’s response reinforces the idea that sexual orientation and incest are two separate issues and that allowing sexual autonomy in one area does not necessarily lead to challenges against provisions that prohibit incest.

The ongoing hearing on the legalisation of same-sex marriage in India has important implications for the LGBTQ+ community in the country, as it seeks to challenge the social and legal discrimination they face. It is crucial for the judiciary to consider the issue from a rights-based perspective rather than relying on unfounded arguments and hypothetical scenarios.

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