CHENNAI: The SC’s refusal to legalise same-sex marriages in the country came as a disappointment to several LGBTIQ+ activists in the city. Speaking about the judgment, L Ramakrishnan of SAATHII NGO in Chennai said, “The SC hasn’t come up with anything substantial, beyond recognising that people of any gender have the right to live together as consenting adults (which was already there in the 2018 Navtej verdict). Neither marriage nor civil unions is in the offing. The government has been asked to form a committee to examine some of the rights that could be accorded to queer couples such as medical decision-making of a partner, inheritance, adoption, etc. But there was no consensus among all the five judges on anything except that a committee needs to be formed.”
As a state that has historically recognised and supported members of the LGBTQIA+ communities, the members of the community urged TN to bring a law to legalise same-sex marriages similar to the amendment brought to legalise self-respectful marriages.
Recalling their long fight, the members also said their fight towards equality would continue. “When the Delhi High Court judgment against the Indian Penal Code section 377 was appealed, the Supreme Court initially held decriminalised homosexuality. However, this was struck down by the same Supreme Court in 2018. The present case will create a pan-India understanding of LGBTQIA+ rights. While it is only a setback, not a defeat. We are hopeful of getting these rights,” Sharan Karthick Raj, founder of Tamil Nadu LGBTIQ Movement.