India’s Supreme Court refuses to legalise same-sex marriage

India’s top court on Tuesday says it cannot legalise same-sex marriages, with the country’s chief justice saying making such a law is the domain of parliament.

A five-judge bench headed by the Chief Justice of India, D.Y. Chandrachud, heard arguments on same-sex marriage in a case from April to May this year and pronounced its verdict on Tuesday.

As he began reading his order, Mr Chandrachud said there was a degree of “agreement and disagreement on how far we have to go” on same-sex marriages.

Two of the other four judges agreed with Mr Chandrachud on the court not legalizing same-sex marriages, making it a majority.

Two other judges have yet to speak.

The court ruling came five years after a historic 2018 judgement when the Supreme Court scrapped a colonial-era ban on gay sex.

Only Taiwan and Nepal allow same-sex unions in Asia, where largely conservative values still dominate politics and society.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government had opposed the petitions, calling them “urban elitist views” and stating that parliament is the right platform to debate and legislate on the matter.

It had also said that such marriages are not “comparable with the Indian family unit concept of a husband, a wife and children.”