The Supreme Court will hear today, two petitions filed by gay couples seeking recognition of same sex marriage under the Special Marriage Act. The petitions are listed for hearing before a bench headed by Chief Justice of India (CJI) DY Chandrachud and also comprising Justice Hima Kohli.
The lead petition by Supriyo Chakraborty and Abhay Dang, two gay men living in Hyderabad, states that the right to marry a person of one’s choice should extend to LGBTQ+ citizens, as well. Supriyo and Abhay have been a couple for almost 10 years. They both got COVID during the second wave of the pandemic and when they recovered, they decided to have a wedding-cum-commitment ceremony on their 9th anniversary to celebrate their relationship. They had a commitment ceremony in December 2021 attended by their parents, family and friends. However, despite the same, they do not enjoy the rights of a married couple, the plea points out.
The petitioners have argued that the Supreme Court of India has always protected the right of inter-caste and inter-faith couples to marry a person of their choice. Same sex marriage is a continuation of this constitutional journey, the plea has contended.The petitions have placed reliance on the judgment of the top court in the Navtej Singh Johar case in which Section 377, which criminalised homosexuality, was struck down as unconstitutional.It has also been contended that the Supreme Court in Puttaswamy case, held that LGBTQ+ persons enjoy the right to equality, dignity and privacy guaranteed by the Constitution on the same footing as all other citizens.
The second petition has been filed by gay couple Parth Phiroze Mehrotra and Uday Raj contending that non-recognition of same-sex marriages is violative of right to quality under Article 14 and right to life under Article 21 of the Constitution.
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