Civil Union And Concept Of Marriage:
The Supreme Court clarified that the hearing’s scope would be limited to developing a notion of a “civil union” that finds legal recognition under the Special Marriage Act.
- A civil union (also known as a civil partnership) is a legally recognized arrangement similar to marriage, created primarily as a means to provide recognition in law for same-sex couples.
- Civil unions would be accompanied by rights such as inheritance rights, property rights, parental rights, employment benefits to spouses, joint parenting right to abstain from testifying against one’s partner — similar to the spousal privilege given under Section 122 of the Indian Evidence Act.
- A civil union is a legal agreement between two individuals that provides them with some of the rights and benefits of a marriage, such as inheritance rights, tax benefits, and access to healthcare.
- Civil unions were recognized solely by issuing states and not by federal law, whereas marriages were recognized both at the state and federal levels.
- Couples in civil unions were not able to enjoy the benefits of being in a civil union uniformly across all states, due to variations in state laws.
- Civil unions provided spousal privileges similar to those given under Section 122 of the Indian Evidence Act, whereas marriages automatically provided this privilege.
- In the wake of the legalisation of same-sex marriages, several civil unions were converted into marriages.
- A civil union is the legal status that provides same-sex couples specific rights and responsibilities normally conferred upon married couples.
- This means that same-sex couples who are in a civil union have access to legal protections and benefits that were previously unavailable to them.
- These rights are often similar to those conferred upon married couples, such as inheritance rights, employment benefits to spouses, joint parenting or joint ownership rights, and the right to abstain from testifying against one’s partner.