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Leaving No One Behind

Supreme Court Refuses To Recognise Same-Sex Marriage Right; LGBTQIA+ Community And Activists Disappointed

A five-judge Constitution bench of the Supreme Court today refused to grant legal recognition to same-sex marriages in India

Pride Month Special: How India Can Tackle The Challenge Of Equal Healthcare For LGBTQIA+ Community?

New Delhi: Marriage equality continues to be a distant dream for LGBTQIA+ community in India, as Supreme Court on Tuesday (October 17) refused to grant legal recognition to same-sex marriages. A five-judge Constitution bench of the Supreme Court was in agreement that marriage equality overall must be decided by the Parliament and cannot be brought in by the court.

Chief Justice of India (CJI) D Y Chandrachud, who was heading the bench pronouncing its verdict on 21 pleas seeking legal validation for same-sex marriages, said, “The court can’t make law but only interpret it and it is for Parliament to change the Special Marriage Act.

Also Read: The Love Story Of A Queer Couple Reflects The Ordeal Of LGBTQIA+ Community

However, the CJI made many favourable points, demanding equal rights for the community. Disagreeing with the centre’s argument that marriage equality is an urban, elite concept, the Chief Justice today said,”Queerness is not urban elite. Homosexuality or queerness is not an urban concept or restricted to the upper classes of the society.

He further added that the right to enter into union includes the right to choose one’s partner and the right to recognition of that union and said, “A failure to recognise such associations will result in discrimination against queer couples. The right to enter into union cannot be restricted on the basis of sexual orientation.”

Also Read: Indian Psychiatric Society Supports Right To Marriage, Adoption For LGBTQA Community

Here’s a look at what activists think of the judgement: 

Sayantika Majumdar and Nikita Prakash, same sex couple, who has been breaking the stereotypes set for lesbian partners on social media platform and spreading awareness said,

“Marriage is our basic right and should not be restricted to the concept of gender. Our law validates marriage as the union of people and we feel, it should not be a privilege for certain sexual orientations and genders. It is very unfair that some basic rights are enjoyed only by straight people and not by people of all genders.”

Activist Anjali Gopalan speaking to ANI (a news agency), who was among one of the petitioners in the same sex marriage case said that the Supreme Court judgement is disappointing but as an activist we will continue to fight. She added,

“We have been fighting for equal rights for LGBTQIA+ Community for long and will continue to do so. What the Chief Justice of India said regarding the community rights for marriage and adoption is good but it is disappointing to the disagreement from the other judges. We live in a democracy but we are denying basic rights to our own citizens.”

One of the another petitioners in the case and LGBTQIA+ rights activist Harish Iyer said that although the verdict was not in their favour but many observations by the Supreme Court were made in the favour of the community. He added,

“War is underway…it might take sometime but we will get societal equality.”

Also Read: Same Sex Marriage: Rainbow Parents Seek Marriage Equality For Their Children, Write To Chief Justice of India 

NDTV – Dettol have been working towards a clean and healthy India since 2014 via the Banega Swachh India initiative, which in its Season 10 is helmed by Campaign Ambassador Ayushmann Khurrana. The campaign aims to highlight the inter-dependency of humans and the environment, and of humans on one another with the focus on One Health, One Planet, One Future – Leaving No One Behind. It stresses on the need to take care of, and consider, everyone’s health in India – especially vulnerable communities – the LGBTQ populationindigenous people, India’s different tribes, ethnic and linguistic minorities, people with disabilities, migrants, geographically remote populations, gender and sexual minorities. In a world post COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (WaterSanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign will continue to raise awareness on the same along with focussing on the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children, fight malnutrition, mental well-being, self-care, science and health, adolescent health & gender awareness. Along with the health of people, the campaign has realised the need to also take care of the health of the eco-system. Our environment is fragile due to human activity, which is not only over-exploiting available resources, but also generating immense pollution as a result of using and extracting those resources. The imbalance has also led to immense biodiversity loss that has caused one of the biggest threats to human survival – climate change. It has now been described as a “code red for humanity.” The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollutionwaste managementplastic banmanual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene. Banega Swasth India will also be taking forward the dream of Swasth Bharat, the campaign feels that only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and the country can become a Swasth or healthy India.

 

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