On Sunday, Bindu Queer Rights Foundation (BQRF) an organization working for the LBGTIQ called a public meeting to discuss the Supreme Court’s refusal to give legal recognition to same sex marriage. Discussion on Review petition, exhaustive consultation with parents, community, allies and lawyers to work a way out post this judgement.
Bindumadhva Khire, director of the foundation said the Supreme Court’s judgement had far reaching effects. The Supreme Court has asked a high powered committee headed by cabinet secretary to hold extensive consultations with the states to see what can be done about the various concerns on lack of benefits to same sex couples. Khire said this committee, which does not have a time frame for its consultation, can tweak policies. “But our main fight was about equality, recognition and dignity- those were not granted at all,” he said.
Analysing the judgement, Khire said the refusal of the Supreme Court to recognize marriage as a fundamental right is a huge setback and regressive in approach to human rights. Khire even pointed out that some private companies accept same sex partners for insurance claims and other medical benefits. “Ways can be found where some of the complaints can be addressed. But at the end of the day the recognition in the form of marriage or civil unions is important and we need to work on that,” he said.
Khire said one of the petitioner Nitin Karani and BQRF are working with an advocate to file a review petition for the judgement. Review petitions are filed asking for revision of judgements in view of new findings or on other grounds. In January, Khire said BQRF is planning a way forward legal consultation workshop with community members, parents of LGBTQ, allies and lawyers to understand the way forward. One participant at today’s session said “Constitutional experts would be needed to understand whether this judgement has in any way contradicted the earlier judgements of the case,”.
Last week, the Supreme Court of India refused to grant legal sanction to same sex marriage. The majority judgement said this was the function of the legislature and refused to issue any directions for the same.
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