As reported by the Independent, the Indian government told the country’s Supreme Court on Monday that marriage is an “exclusively heterogenous institute,” opposing petitions that are seeking to legalize same-sex marriage.
This week, India’s top court, led by Chief Justice D.Y. Chandrachud, heard pleas pursuing marriage equality. The government, ruled by conservative Prime Minister Narendra Modi, contested the petitions, stating that the legislation surrounding same-sex marriage is a process that is upheld by the government. It added that allowing gay marriage would allow an “urban elitist view for the purpose of social acceptance.”
“A decision by the court in recognizing the right of same-sex marriage would mean a virtual judicial rewriting of an entire branch of law,” the government’s affidavit read. “The court must refrain from passing such omnibus orders.” It comes just one month after the Indian government condemned same-sex marriage, claiming it is “not comparable to the Indian family unit concept.”
It has been five years since India voted to decriminalize homosexuality. However, members of the LGBT community still face discrimination across the country, including from conservative rural communities and religious leaders.
Here are four other international news stories you may have missed this week from Yahoo News’ partner network.
Dozens killed in stampede at Yemen aid distribution
At least 78 people were killed during a stampede in Yemen when crowds rushed to receive cash assistance, Reuters reported on Thursday. Hundreds of people gathered at a school in the capital, Sanaa, to receive 5,000 Yemeni riyals, equivalent to around $9, handed out by merchants during the holy month of Ramadan.
“When the door opened, there was a big rush by people wanting to reach the schoolyard first and some people began falling on the steps leading to the entrance,” a medic who worked in the rescue effort told Reuters. The Houthi Health Ministry said 77 others were injured, with 13 people still in critical condition.
Why it matters: Since the Arab Spring in 2011, the people of Yemen have faced one humanitarian crisis after another. With the dire conditions they face appearing to have no end, families have been forced into desperate situations that mean survival by any means necessary.
The United Nations estimates that 80% of the population — roughly 24.1 million people — is in need of aid and protection. Since 2015, more than 2.3 million children have been displaced, with 11 million children facing serious malnourishment.
“After eight years, many children and families feel stuck in a perpetual cycle of hopelessness,” Peter Hawkins, Yemen’s UNICEF representative, said in March. “Visiting a family recently who have been displaced from their homes for over seven years, you realize that for too many families, little of their situation has changed beyond the children’s faces.”
Canada to pay 5 First Nations millions over land dispute
The Guardian reported on Monday that the Canadian government will pay five groups of First Nations $800 million (nearly $600 million in U.S. dollars) in a settlement over a land dispute dating back to the 19th century.
Both federal and provincial governments admitted that administrations had broken treaties that would allow First Nations peoples to access lands for hunting, and from which to generate income. Signed in 1899, Treaty 8 had been overlooked by government officials, forcing Indigenous groups to look for recompensation for the loss of land and earnings.
The Halfway River First Nation, Saulteau First Nation, Doig River First Nation, Blueberry River First Nation and West Moberly First Nation were included in the compensation package.
“Honoring Treaty 8 is a key part of our work to advance reconciliation ... and reconnect these five Nations with their land,” David Eby, the leader of British Columbia, told reporters. “By settling these treaty land-entitlement-specific claims, we’re restoring the rightful amount of land that was promised under the treaty and all the benefits that should have flowed at the time to those Nations.”
U.N. to pull out of Afghanistan over women’s working rights
As reported by the Guardian, the United Nations said it will make the “heartbreaking” decision to leave Afghanistan if the Taliban continue not to allow women to work for the organization.
Achim Steiner, the head of the U.N. Development Program, said the announcement comes after months of negotiations between the organization and Taliban leaders. Over 80% of the staff employed by the U.N. in Afghanistan are women. Since the edict came into force earlier this month, women who work for the U.N. have been forced to stay at home. It comes at a time when Afghanistan is facing several humanitarian crises, with at least 28 million people in need of aid.
Why it matters: Since their takeover in August 2021, the Taliban have effectively banned women from participating in public life. The latest clampdown follows previous edicts that barred women from universities and prevented girls from attending secondary school. There has been a restriction on the freedom of movement for women across the country, with women also forbidden to visit parks, gyms and bathhouses.
India’s population to surpass China’s this year: U.N.
Reuters reported on Wednesday that India will overtake China as the most populated country in the world, according to estimates predicted by the United Nations. Data released by the United Nations Population Fund indicates that India will have almost 3 million people more than its neighbor by mid-2023.
India is estimated to have 1.4286 billion people, with China predicted to fall to second place with 1.4257 billion, the agency’s report stated. The U.S. comes in third, with an estimated population of 340 million by the end of June.