Kiren Rijiju | Photo: PTI
New Delhi: A day after the Centre opposed in the Supreme Court legal validation of same-sex marriage, Law Minister Kiren Rijiju said on Monday the government does not "disturb" the personal freedom and activities of individuals but the issue related to the institution of marriage was a matter of policy.
Responding to a question on the Centre's stand in the top court, Rijiju said, "The government is not interfering in the personal life, personal activities of anybody. So there should be no confusion. When it comes to an issue related to the institution of marriage, then it is a matter of policy."
"Personal freedom and personal activities of individuals of the citizens are never being disturbed, regulated, questioned by the government. You must be very clear about it. There is a clear distinction," he told reporters outside Parliament House.
The Centre has opposed in the Supreme Court a batch of pleas seeking legal validation of same-sex marriage, saying it would cause complete havoc with the delicate balance of personal laws and accepted societal values.
Despite the decriminalisation of Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, the petitioners cannot claim a fundamental right for same-sex marriage to be recognised under the laws of the country, it said.
In its affidavit, the Centre said the institution of marriage between two individuals of the same gender is neither recognised nor accepted in any uncodified personal laws or any codified statutory laws.
The State does not recognise non-heterosexual forms of marriages or unions or personal understandings of relationships between individuals in society but the same are not unlawful, it said.