A gay couple on Monday filed a writ petition in the Kerala High Court stating that the provisions of the Special Marriage Act are discriminatory as they do not allow the registration of same-sex marriages.
The petition was filed jointly by Nikesh Usha Pushkaran and Sonu MS who exchanged rings with support of both of their families at the popular Guruvayurappan temple in July 2018. However, their wedding hasn’t been legalised yet.
Their petition contended that officials are not taking a decision on their application to register their marriage under the Special Marriage Act. Through the petition, the couple argued that non-recognition of their marriage was violative of the principles of equality, individual dignity and personal autonomy as prescribed under the constitution.
“Though the text of the Act does not exclude homosexual unions under its ambit expressly, Section 4 and Schedules 2-4 of the Act carry a heterosexual undertone in its language as it shows marriage as an affair between a male and a female,” the petition said.
“For both homosexuals and transgenders, though homosexuality was decriminalised in 2018 by virtue of Supreme Court ruling other civil rights and liberties like marriage, adoption, insurance, etc are still not accessible…the petitioners have suffered public humiliation after they made a disclosure of their love for each other. Internet trolls and other homophobic elements in the society have also attacked the petitioners. But greater is the insult and indignity the petitioners have suffered at the hands of law–the impugned provisions of the Special Marriage Act 1954 which refuse to recognise the petitioners’ union, causing immense pain and agony to the petitioners,” it added.
The judge in the High Court admitted the petition and sent notices to the state government and the Centre for their responses.
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