Representative Image – Members and supporters of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) hold a rainbow flag as they take part in a pride parade in New Delhi on November 24, 2019. (Photo by Sajjad HUSSAIN / AFP) (Photo by SAJJAD HUSSAIN/AFP via Getty Images)
An affiliate of the women’s wing of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) organisation, Samwardhini Nyas, has written a letter to the Indian Supreme Court expressing its apprehensions about the potential consequences of legalising same-sex marriage.
According to the letter, legalising same-sex marriage would contradict the purpose of the Hindu Marriage Act and demonstrate the dominance of liberal ideologies from other religions and Western countries over India, thereby affecting the “nature of Hinduism”.
The organisation seeks to highlight the “devastating effects” that such a decision could have on India’s cultural roots and society, warning that it could disrupt the existing order of things turn “everything upside down”.
In the letter submitted to the authorities, an affiliate of the Rashtra Sevika Samiti has expressed concerns about the potential consequences of granting legal recognition to same-sex marriage.
The organisation argues that such a move would not only impact the upbringing and development of children raised by same-sex parents but also have a significant influence on the younger generation. The letter addresses various other related issues, highlighting the potential effects on society as a whole.
“Legalising same-sex marriage will vanish the very meaning, motive or belief of the Hindu Marriage Act, clearly depicting how liberal thoughts of other religions or western countries are overpowering our country and affecting the nature of Hinduism,” Shweta Sharma, the legal advisor to Samvardhini Nyas, wrote in the letter addressed to the Supreme Court’s registrar.
“Bringing any such change or even accepting such relationships will shake the cultural roots of India and the Indian society,” she added.
A five-judge Constitution bench of the Supreme Court, led by Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud, is currently hearing a series of petitions that seek legal recognition for same-sex marriage.
In the ongoing proceedings, Sharma, representing the opposing viewpoint, emphasized that the institution of marriage and its associated rights have undergone evolutionary changes over time.
She argued that altering the traditional definition of marriage would directly contradict the fundamental principles deeply rooted in the country’s beliefs and values.
According to her, legalising same-sex marriage would be in conflict with religious and cultural norms, as marriage, in their view, is intended to be a union between a man and a woman rather than between individuals of the same sex.
Sharma asserted that numerous international studies and articles have purportedly demonstrated a greater likelihood of mental and psychological issues among children raised in same-sex families.
She emphasised the significance of acknowledging that children often mirror their parents, underscoring the vigilance with which parents approach their actions in order to safeguard their child’s mental well-being.
“Thus, watching the parents accepting same-sex marriage will affect the mind of the children and they will not consider it as a taboo. In fact, they themselves will go for same-sex marriage, normalising it, and lose the difference and importance of opposite-sex marriage,” Sharma added.
The children raised by same-sex parents will have a “limited exposure” to “traditional gender roles”, she claimed, adding that it will also impact their understanding of “gender roles and gender identity”.
Sharma expressed her belief that legalising same-sex marriage would have detrimental effects on the development and character of children raised by same-sex couples, and she also claimed it would greatly impact the youth of the country. She urged the court to take into account the raised points.
In response, several LGBTQ rights activists criticised a survey conducted by Samwardhini Nyas on same-sex marriage, considering it “dangerous and misleading.”
They accused the RSS-affiliate of spreading disinformation.
The survey conducted by Samwardhini Nyas suggested that several doctors and allied medical professionals view homosexuality as a “disorder” and predict a rise in its prevalence if same-sex marriage is legalised.
The activists strongly condemned the study, deeming it dangerous and misleading for an uninformed society. They also questioned the credibility of the doctors involved in the survey and called for the cancellation of their licenses.
Additionally, Subhashini Ali, an activist and leader of the Communist Party of India (Marxist), criticised the survey, describing it as “idiotic,” “unscientific,” and “inhuman.”