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Same sex couple files PIL in Supreme Court seeking legal recognition of their US registered marriage

The Supreme Court was approached by a same-sex couple for seeking to legally recognise their US-registered marriage, under the Foreign Marriage Act, 1969.

The petitioners couple has sought a declaration to the effect that LGBTQIA+ community have the same rights to marriage as heterosexual counterparts.

The plea by the couple stated that the denying them the same rights is violative of the rights guaranteed under Articles 14 (equality), 19 (freedom), and 21(life and liberty) of the Constitution of India.

As per the plea, one of the petitioners is Indian who got married to an American national in 2010 , the marriage was registered in the United States of America.

The couple then wanted to get their marriage registered under the Hindu Marriage Act but the same was refused by the registrar.

The couple then approached the Indian Embassy in Washington DC for registering their marriage under the Foreign Marriage Act.

After they waited for months, the request was denied, and the petitioners claimed that they were ill-treated by the authorities.

In the plea, the petitioners have submitted that the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 and the Foreign Marriage Act, 1969 ought to be read liberally to apply to marriages between members of the LGBTQIA+ community, as they do to their cisgender and heterosexual counterparts.

The plea contended that while doing so there was a violation of the Petitioners’ rights under Articles, 14, 15, 19 and 21 which the Supreme Court in Navtej Shingh Johar v. Union of India (supra) had held are guaranteed to LGBT and non-LGBT Indians with equal force.

The plea further says that over the years the concept of marriage has become more inclusive instead of merely being a union only between heterosexual persons.

The plea states that same-sex marriage will not harm traditional families and allowing same-sex marriage in no way interferes with procreation or child-rearing within opposite-sex marriage, but it does harm same-sex couples and their children by denying them legal benefits, financial security, and making child-rearing more difficult.

The plea states its irritation over the Indian consulate for not having registering the marriage of the Petitioners.

Moreover, it is contended that denying the petitioners the right to marry under the Hindu Marriage Act is violative of Section 5 of the Act.

The petition has been filed through advocate Nupur Kumar and drawn by advocates Hamza Lakdawala and Rohin Bhatt.

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