Why the Firstpost defence of the Madras High Court "Sex Is Marriage" ruling is bollocks.
Always quick to appear wiser, Firstpost - the same guys who set one Lakshmi Chaudhry on me to call me sexist and then eventually agree with me on everything I said - have pretty much repeated the feat. This time with the judgement of the Madras High Court.
The Firstpost piece is here http://www.firstpost.com/india/why-the-madras-hc-judgment-on-premarital-sex-is-a-progressive-one-883961.html
Read it and it seems to be making a point. But read it again and you'll see the writer, one Apoorva Dutt hasn't read the actual judgement, and has no clue what she is talking about. Is it yet another example of "Firstpost-saying-shit-for-pageviews"?
Sure the judgement says that live-in relationships that produce kids are the equivalent of a married relationship when it comes to paying maintenance etc. That's good and positive.
Then it goes and says that doing some mumbo-jumbo chants and rituals aren't marriage either. OK, acceptable.
But it goes further and says that any single provable act of sex is marriage. It says, and I quote "Legal rights applicable to normal wedded couples will also be applicable to couples who have had sexual relationships which are established." And a "sexual relationship" could be a single act of sex.
This is bollocks, and I could be guilty of contempt of court for saying it - and so is the ruling that, and again I quote "If after having a sexual relationship, the couple decided to separate due to difference of opinion, the ‘husband’ could not marry without getting a decree of divorce from the ‘wife’."
This is not just wrong but plainly sexist. Note it allows the woman to marry or have sex with another man - but not the man to marry or have sex with another woman if they have made out before.
The court further says "either party to a relationship could approach a Family Court for a declaration of marital status by supplying documentary proof for a sexual relationship."
So, sure, there was a positive part of the judgement that gave children from live-in relationships the same rights as those from marriages. But then you find the writer is clueless in matters relating to law. She said "it legitimises children". No it doesn't. Because there is nothing illegal in having a child without a marriage. It has always been legal in India, it has never been illegitimate.
Every child born in India is already fully legal, and has as much right as a citizen of the country as any other child. With two exceptions: inheritance rights and right to maintenance.
This judgement further sorted the inheritance and maintenance issue - but frankly that was already sorted by Katju many years ago in his landmark judgement.
So actually this judge actually said nothing new and progressive. He further confirmed that marriage was always a social event with no legal significance whatsoever - except to clarity in matters relating to inheritance and maintenance - which we anyway got years ago.
But the reason this judgement is regressive is that it now deems a single act of sex as equivalent of an act of marriage. As long as you have "documentary proof" of the sexual act.
So every sex video is a documentary proof of marriage. As is every day-after pill bought. As is every used condom. Or fetus aborted. Or contraceptive prescribed.
And guess what - if you have had sex before and you're a man - and it can be proven, you can't marry anyone else without the consent of your earlier partner, now called your wife, even though she may already be married to someone else.
It is a bullcrap judgement.
It has little new to add that is progressive.
It is being rightfully condemned. And needs to continue to be condemned. And ridiculed.
Regardless of Firstpost's strategy of generating pageviews based on seemingly contrarian but ultimately clueless posts.
Ignore them. Fight the crap judgement.
Or at least ridicule it.