Skip to content
Equality
QuickTake

How Same-Sex Marriage Could Become Legal in India

Gender rights activists and supporters of LGBTQ community walk during a queer pride parade in New Delhi on Jan. 8.

Gender rights activists and supporters of LGBTQ community walk during a queer pride parade in New Delhi on Jan. 8.

Photographer: Sajjad Hussain/AFP/Getty Images

Updated on
From

India’s highest court will hear arguments on whether to legalize same-sex marriage on March 13, a landmark for the country of 1.4 billion people and for the global movement for LGBTQ rights. A ruling that finds gay marriages are allowed under India’s constitution would run counter to the socially conservative sentiment of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu-nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party, as well as wide swaths of the country’s Muslim community. But younger Indians tend to be more accepting. 

In India, marriage is governed by different laws tailored to the country’s religious groups; All limit marriage to male-female couples. But legal rights for LGBTQ people in India have been expanding over the past decade, led almost entirely by the Supreme Court.