The Indian Supreme Court is hearing final arguments on a number of petitions seeking to legalise same-sex marriage. The hearings are being “livestreamed in public interest”.
With same sex couples and LGBTQ+ activists hoping for a judgement in their favour and the government and religious leaders strongly opposing same sex union, the debate is expected to be a lively one.
Among those keenly watching the proceedings are Dr Kavita Arora and Ankita Khanna, a same sex couple who’ve been waiting for years to tie the knot.
For Kavita and Ankita, it wasn’t love at first sight. The women first became co-workers, then friends, and then came love.
Their families and friends readily accepted their relationship, but 17 years after they met and more than a decade after they started living together, the mental health professionals say they are unable to marry – “something most couples aspire to”.
The two are among 18 couples who have petitioned the Supreme Court to allow same sex marriage in India. At least three of the petitions have been filed by couples who are raising children together.
Chief Justice DY Chandrachud called it a matter of “seminal importance” and set up a five-judge constitutional bench – which deals with important questions of law – to rule on it.