IAS Gyan

Daily News Analysis


19th April, 2023 Social Issues

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Context: The Supreme Court rules in a same-sex marriage case that there is no absolute concept of a man or woman.


  • The Supreme Court rejected the government's "value judgement" that a person's private parts determine whether he or she is a man or a woman.
  • According to the court, there is no "absolute concept of a man or an absolute concept of a woman" and that gender is "far more complex" than one's private parts.

No absolute concept of man or women

  • The court stated that there is no definitive concept of a man or a woman... A man or a woman is not defined by their private parts; it is significantly more complex.
  • The court emphasised that even when the Special Marriage Act mentions "man" and "woman," the concept of a man and a woman is not absolute in terms of what private parts people have.

Special Marriage Act


  • It is a law that provides a special form of marriage for people of different religions or castes in India.
  • It also allows for the registration and divorce of such marriages.


  • The main objective of this Act is to facilitate inter-religious and inter-caste marriages.
  • To protect the rights of the couples who choose to marry under this Act.

Process of Registration of Marriage under the Act

  • Step 1: The parties who want to marry under this Act have to give notice of their intention to the Marriage Officer of the district where they reside at least 30 days before the date of marriage.
  • Step 2: The Marriage Officer has to publish the notice in a conspicuous place and invite any objections to the marriage within 30 days.
  • Step 3: If no objection is received or if the objection is dismissed by the Marriage Officer or a competent court, the marriage can be solemnized by the Marriage Officer in the presence of three witnesses.

Important provisions

  • The marriage is registered by the Marriage Officer in a Marriage Certificate Book and a certificate is issued to the parties.
  • Marriage under this Act is valid throughout India and also applies to Indian citizens abroad.
  • The marriage under this Act does not affect the personal laws of the parties regarding succession, inheritance, adoption, etc.
  • The parties can seek restitution of conjugal rights, judicial separation, nullity of marriage, or divorce on various grounds as specified in the Act.

Significance of the Special Marriage Act

  • It allows inter-faith and inter-caste marriages without any conversion or ceremony.
  • It provides a uniform and secular law for marriage and divorce for all citizens of India.
  • It protects the rights and interests of both the husband and wife in matters of property, maintenance, custody, etc.
  • It simplifies the process of registration and documentation of marriage.


  • The Special Marriage Act is a progressive legislation that recognizes the right of individuals to marry according to their choice and conscience. It also provides legal recognition and protection to such marriages and safeguards the interests of the spouses and their children.


Value Judgement

  • A value judgement is an assessment of something based on a set of criteria, standards or preferences.
  • It can be positive, negative or neutral, depending on how the thing being judged meets or fails to meet the expectations of the evaluator.
  • Value judgements are often subjective and influenced by personal values, beliefs and emotions.
  • They can also be objective and based on factual evidence or logical reasoning.
  • Value judgements are common in everyday life, as well as in academic, professional and ethical contexts.
  • They can have significant implications for decision-making, behaviour and communication.

Must Read Articles:

Special Marriage Act: https://www.iasgyan.in/daily-current-affairs/special-marriage-act-41#:~:text=Under%20the%201872%20act%2C%20the,renounce%20one's%20religion%20was%20removed.


Q. What are the legal implications of legalising same-sex marriage in India and how would it affect the Special Marriage Act of 1954? Would legalising same-sex marriage require amending the act or enacting a new law? How would such a change impact the rights and obligations of same-sex couples and their families?