Same-sex Marriage: SC advocate Nundy seeks Kerala’s Left’s support

NEW DELHI | Updated: 18 October, 2023 1:49 pm IST
The petitioner Karuna Nundy has expressed that the developments were still a small step in the right direction

Nundy’s statement comes at a time when the Supreme Court ruled in a split verdict that the right to marry is not fundamental

NEW DELHI: Karuna Nundy, one of the petitioners in the same-sex marriage case submitted at the Supreme Court, asked the Communist Party of India (Marxist) government in Kerala to pave the way by legalising same-sex marriage, on Tuesday.

“The Left government in Kerala has always said that they support the queer community, and now the time has come for them to practice the same. Marriage is in the concurrent list and all they need is a government notice to recognise same-sex couples as a union,” Nundy said.

Her statement comes at a time when the SC ruled in a 3:2 split verdict that the right to marry is not fundamental. However, as of now, stating that only the legislature can make laws concerning the amendment of the Special Marriage Act, the constitutional bench directed the government to form a committee to make a decision to legislate on the same-sex marriage issue.

 

The bench comprised Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud, Justices Ravindra Bhatt, Sanjay Kishan Kaul, Hima Kohli, and PS Narasimha.

Following the verdict, Nundy also demanded the states that “claim to be inclusive” to also formulate laws that recognise civil unions among same-sex couples as legitimate.

She said, “There’s no reason for the state government to delay the action. If political parties aim to distinguish themselves as inclusive of Dalits, tribals, people of all religions, and, significantly, queer people, they should commit to taking action within their power today.”

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While saying this, however, she also added that the verdict was still a small step in the right direction, highlighting the fact that with this development, marriage between two transgender people will be easier and more streamlined.

“There were a few steps forward in the verdict, for example, trans marriages are now recognised nationally. It had initially been recognised at the Madras High Court but now, even the SC has taken note of it,” she said.

The petitioner also highlighted the fact that the judgment has now also recognised that the community is under threat of violence and has now issued directives to ensure safeguards for the non-binary community.

She said, “Queer couples who are under legal threat of FIRs submitted by their families in an unjustified manner, or are being attacked by non-state actors, will now have the support of the police, wherein they will have to step in and protect them at all costs.”

However, concerning the right to adopt, she expressed her disappointment, stating that although the CJI and Justice Kaul passed their verdicts stating that all queer couples can provide the same safe space to a child that a cis-het couple can, however, “unfortunately, Justice Bhatt and the three other judges did not share the same thought”.

Nundy was one of the advocates who was representing one of the 20 petitioners in the same-sex marriage case.

ALSO READ: Same-sex marriage ruling: Supreme Court passes the baton to legislature

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