New Delhi (ILNS): The Delhi High Court, hearing a petition for same-sex marriages, observed today that “We have to end our (mental) blockages. The law is gender neutral.” While issuing notice to the Centre and the Delhi government on two separate petitions seeking registration of marriage under the provisions of Special Marriage Act, 1954, the bench of Justices Rajiv Sahai and Asha Menon also observed:
“Please try to interpolate the law for the citizens of Sanatan Dharma in the country. This is not a general petition. This is for the rights of every citizen of the country.”
The issue has been listed for further hearing on January 8 next year.
Advocate Rajkumar Yadav, appearing for the Centre, said in the court that this is a strange situation and such a situation has not been faced in 5,000 years of Sanatan Dharma. On this, the bench said that the year-old blockages will have to end now. Justice Menon said: “We have to end our blockages. The law is gender neutral.”
One of the two petitions filed in the High Court has been filed by Mental Health professionals Kavita Arora and Ankita Khanna, who have been with each other since the last eight years, but are unable to get married. In her petition, she wrote: “The petitioners are just like any other couple, just these two are women.”
Senior Advocate Maneka Guruswamy and Arundhati Katju represented the petitioners, who have fought a long battle to get homosexuality out of the purview of crime in India. On this matter Maneka Guruswamy said:
“The purpose of marriage is not just to have children. People also marry for emotional support and the petitioners are demanding their basic rights today – insurance, being able to take loans, together buying a house – things that can’t happen without marriage.”
The second petition has been filed by Indian national Vaibhav Jain and NRI Parag Vijay, who got married in US in the year 2017. The Indian Embassy refused to register their marriage this year under the Foreign Marriage Act, 1969. Due to this, he could not come to India like a married couple during the Corona virus epidemic.
The petition said that denial of marriage to the LGBTQ community is a violation of their fundamental rights to freedom, equality, life and freedom of expression, which is guaranteed by the Supreme Court.
The apex court, in its historic judgment in 2018, rejected the mention of criminality from same sex relationships.