Fresh plea seeks legalisation of same-sex unions
Three gay men and a lesbian woman filed a petition on Thursday urging the Delhi high court to declare a marriage between any two persons, irrespective of their sex, legal under the 1954 Special Marriage Act.
The plea asked the court to declare that SMA applied regardless of sex to any two persons who wish to marry, by reading down gender or sexuality-based restrictions in the act. This is the third petition in the HC seeking legalisation of same-sex unions. “We pray that this hon’ble court recognize us, and other members of the LGBTQ+ community, as people, and uphold non-discriminatory access to the act,” the plea read.
A bench of justices Rajiv Sahai Endlaw and Amit Bansal – who are hearing the other petitions — sought the Centre’s response and posted the matter for further hearing on April 20.
The first petitioner, lawyer Udit Sood, did not return to the country after higher studies, seeing the liberty given to the couples abroad. The second petitioner, Saattvic, lives in Vancouver and said he was forced to relocate to stay with his partner.
The third petitioner, Lakshmi Manoharan, is a scientist in California. She said she experienced frustration and helplessness about being unable to care for her aging parents.
The fourth petitioner, Gagandeep Paul, is considering moving to Canada so that he and his partner may marry. The plea was filed by advocates Megha Mishra and Tahira from law firm Karanjawala and company.