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Gay Couple Moves Kerala HC Seeking Registration Of Same Sex Marriage

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A gay couple from Kerala recently moved the Kerala High Court seeking legislation to enable same-sex couples to get their marriage registered too. The couple – Nikesh Usha Pushkaran and Sonu MS hails from Kochi and got married in 2018. The couple has challenged the provisions of the Special Marriage Act, 1954 in their petition, citing that the act has a heterosexual tone as it defines marriage as an affair between a male and a female.

Key Takeaways:

  • Gay Couple Nikesh Usha Pushkaran and Sonu MS got married in 2018, in a private ceremony in Kerala.
  • The religious authorities, however, denied solemnizing their marriage so they decided to do so through the Special Marriage Act, 1954.
  • The Special Marriage Act, 1954 also defines marriage as an affair between a male and a female.
  • Even the format of the marriage declaration certificate carries a heterosexual nomenclature which includes the bride and bridegroom. The same is the case with a marriage certificate.

“Expression of love, growth of one’s personality within a relationship and development of an identity of a union will be incomplete if the law refuses to recognize same-sex marriages and thereby it affects the Article 19(1) rights of the petitioners guaranteed by Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution of India”- The Petition Reads

Marriage As An Affair Between A Male And A Female

The couple has stated in their petition that the provisions of the Special Marriage Act have a heterosexual undertone. The petition says, section 4 and Schedules 2-4 of the Special Marriage Act, 1954 show marriage as an affair between a male and a female or between bride and bridegroom. Even the format of the marriage declaration certificate carries a heterosexual nomenclature which includes the bride and bridegroom. The same is the case with the marriage certificate, their petition states.

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“The institution of marriage affords certain rights and privileges to the persons in matrimony in the society and due to the aforesaid exclusion, homosexual couples like the petitioners are denied an opportunity to enjoy similar rights and privileges. Being married carries along with it the right to maintenance, right of inheritance, a right to own joint bank accounts, lockers; nominate each other as a nominee in insurance, pension, gratuity papers, etc. All these are unavailable to the Petitioners due to their exclusion from the institution of marriage, making the said exclusion more discriminatory,” the petition reads.

The Exclusion Of Homosexuals Is Discriminatory

The couple told the Times of India that after they had married in a private ceremony last year, but the religious and temple authorities were not ready to solemnize the marriage. Post this, they decided to register their marriage under the Special Marriage Act. But they were shocked to find the discriminatory aspects of the law. “The petitioners’ right to expression of love in the form that they aspire to conduct will be meaningless if their marital union is not recognized by law. Expression of love, growth of one’s personality within a relationship and development of an identity of a union will be incomplete if the law refuses to recognize same-sex marriages and thereby it affects the Article 19(1) rights of the petitioners guaranteed by Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution of India,” the petition adds.

Picture Credit- The News Minute

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