Delhi HC Orders Police Protection For Lesbian Woman Threatened With Conversion Therapy

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Police Protection For Lesbian Woman: A 23-year-old woman in Delhi has been given court-ordered police protection after being threatened with conversion therapy and being forced to marry a man against her will.

Justice Mukta Gupta issued a notice on the woman’s petition. She further directed the Delhi Police to ensure complete protection. The court said steps may be taken for the dissolution of her marriage as well.

On March 10, the Delhi High Court ordered the police to provide the woman with complete protection from persecution and harassment. It stated in its ruling that an adult woman cannot be forced to stay with either her family or her husband’s family against her wishes.

The woman is from the rural Pauri Garhwal district in Uttarakhand. She fled from her husband’s home on March 7 after her mother said she consulted a religious guru who would ‘cure’ her of her sexual orientation.

According to the woman’s petition in court, her mother stated that the guru would perform a “conversion therapy using psychic interventions to change (the woman’s) sexual orientation.” The woman’s mother had consulted the guru after the woman informed her parents about her displeasure at being forced to stay in a heterosexual relationship.

After being threatened with conversion therapy, the woman sought help from an NGO. She temporarily resided with another NGO Shakti Shalini until her case hearing in court.

The woman reportedly told her parents about her sexuality to persuade them to call off the wedding. The parents went ahead with the marriage anyway and married her off against her will in October 2019. The petition filed also alleged that the police leaked information about the woman and the contact details of the activists helping her to the woman’s family.

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