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Will continue struggle on streets, say LGBTQIA+ members on SC ruling

National Network of LBI (Lesbian, Bisexual, Intersex) Women and Trans Persons shared the implications of the verdict and outlined its continued commitment to the LGBTQ+ rights movement

Supreme Court rules that Benami law cannot be applied retrospectively, says Supreme Court.

Press Trust of India New Delhi

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Expressing disappointment with the Supreme Court verdict refusing to accord legal recognition to same-sex marriage, some members of the LGBTQIA+ community on Tuesday vowed to continue their struggle on the streets and to engage with the state on the matter.
At a press conference, the National Network of LBI (Lesbian, Bisexual, Intersex) Women and Trans Persons shared the implications of the verdict and outlined its continued commitment to the LGBTQ+ rights movement.
A five-judge Constitution bench of the apex court unanimously refused to accord legal recognition to the union of same-sex couples in the country, but recognised equal rights for queer people and their protection.
Reacting to the ruling, Chayanika, an LGBTQIA+ community member, said, "We are upset but want to move ahead.... We have no place to be dejected or complacent. We will continue our struggle."

"Just leaving us in 2018 (when the Supreme Court decriminalised gay sex) is not what we expected the bench to do. The bench to unanimously say that there is no right to marry for same-sex couples was not needed. There is a protection that marriage offers and we thought it was the responsibility of the judiciary to uphold it," she said.
Chayanika emphasized the community's determination to continue their battles on the streets and to engage with the state with the hope that it can evolve and protect the rights of minority communities.
Another community member, Varsha Verma, pointed out a silver lining in the verdict.
"Not marriage, but the Supreme Court recognised that we have the right to protection. Now we can say to the Supreme Court that protection is applicable to queer couples, quoting the Shakti Vahini judgment. Now, in states, Shakti Vahini cells can become active and use it to provide protection to queer women. Protection is now the state's responsibility, which is a very positive thing," Verma said.
Koyel, also part of the group, acknowledged the disappointment felt by many within the LGBTQIA+ community but emphasized that the fight for rights was never expected to be easy.
Koyel highlighted the significance of the Chief Justice's words, particularly regarding the extreme forms of violence faced by the community.
They expressed hope that the judgment could be used as an advocacy tool to demonstrate the existence of queer people, their relationships, and their families.
Another member from the community, Fred Rogers, reaffirmed the commitment to fight for the solemnization of same-sex marriage.
"The five-judge bench acknowledged that there is discrimination, and we can work from there. There are directions given to state authorities. The judgment could have catered to many of us who are parents and advocated for the rights of children," Rogers said.
Holding that transgender people in heterosexual relationships have the freedom and entitlement to marry under the existing statutory provisions, the apex court said an entitlement to legal recognition of the right to union, akin to marriage or civil union, or conferring legal status to the relationship can be only done through "enacted law".
A five-judge constitution bench headed by Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud delivered four separate verdicts on a batch of 21 petitions seeking legal sanction for same-sex marriages.
All the five judges were unanimous in refusing to accord legal recognition to same-sex marriage under the Special Marriage Act and observed it is within Parliament's ambit to change the law for validating such union.
Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul, S Ravindra Bhat, Hima Kohli and P S Narasimha were also part of the constitution bench.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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First Published: Oct 17 2023 | 11:52 PM IST

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