While hearing a bunch of pleas seeking legal recognition of same-sex marriage in India, the Supreme Court on Monday remarked that a child adopted by a same-sex couple does not necessarily have to be homosexual.
The remark was made by a Bench of Chief Justice of India (CJI) DY Chandrachud and Justices PS Narasimha and JB Pardiwala in response to Solicitor General (SG) Tushar Mehta who appeared for the Central government. The Bench was hearing the case of Supriyo v Union of India, according to a report by Bar and Bench.
Mehta argued that it is up to the Parliament "to examine and see the will of the people, psychology of child has to be examined; whether it can be raised in such a way, Parliament will factor into the societal ethos."
Mehta brought up the issue following arguments that the moment same-sex marriage is given legal recognition, questions would arise on adoption.
In response to this, the CJI observed, "The adopted child of a gay or lesbian couple does not have to be gay or a lesbian, Solicitor," Bar and Bech reports.
However, the SG maintained that the question was not over their sexual orientation but the psychological impact on the children as they would be seeing two males and two females as their parents against a biological father and a biological mother. He further added that the issue is of extreme sensitivity and has to be explored by the Parliament from legal and other angles.
Referring to the Special Marriage Act, Mehta said that the Act also refers to "biological man and biological woman."
He observed, "Here it speaks of age also that is 21 and 18, and changing that will also destroy the legislative intent."
The developments come at a time when the Central Government has filed a counter-affidavit in the Supreme Court, opposing pleas seeking legal recognition of same-sex marriages in the country.
"Decriminalisation of Section 377 IPC cannot give rise to a claim to seek recognition for same-sex marriage," the centre said, according to a report by LiveLaw. It further said that living together of persons in same-sex relationships "cannot be compared to the Indian family concept of a husband, a wife and children born out of the union".
The apex court earlier said that the matter will come up before a five-judge bench and will be heard by the Constitution Bench. The court has posted the matter for a hearing on April 18.