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Madras HC Judge To Sit With Psychologist To “Understand Same-Sex Relationships Better”

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Justice N Anand Venkatesh, a Madras High Court Judge made an appointment with a psychologist so he could understand same-sex relationships better. Justice Venkatesh said that the appointment would help “pave way for my evolution”.

Justice N Anand Venkatesh made the decision after a lesbian couple made a plea for protection. When the matter came up, he acknowledged that the matter should be dealt with “sensitivity and empathy”. It was described as a “sample case of how society, even now, is grappling to come to terms with same-sex orientation”. He added that he was attempting to overcome his preconceived notions on same-sex relationships.

The order said that “A session with a professional will help me understand same-sex relationships better and will pave way for my evolution.”

“Missing girl” complaints had been filed by the parents of the lesbian couple as they objected to their relationship. In the earlier hearings, the parents dropped the “missing girl” cases and the police informed the court that the couple would not face harassment from the police force.

The court also directed the parents of the couple, along with the petitioners, to go to counselling. Justice N Anand Venkatesh noted that the petitioners are now in touch with their parents. The parents still have concerns regarding the stigma attached to same-sex relationships, but were able to understand the relationship better.

The psychologist’s opinion that the petitioners have no confusion about their relationship was recorded by the court. It was observed that the couple had affection for their parents and their only fear was that they might be coerced into separating.

The order had said that “It must be seen how far the earlier counselling has impacted the minds of the parents and how far they are able to understand the relationship between the petitioners. Obviously, the evolution cannot take place overnight and it requires continuous effort to bring in a change.

The court also took on record the assurance of the state that the FIRs filed on the parent’s complaint will be closed immediately.