Dutee Chand opens up on same-sex marriage: '...they don't speak out due to fear' | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Dutee Chand opens up on same-sex marriage: '...they don't speak out due to fear'

May 12, 2023 10:20 PM IST

The Supreme Court on Thursday reserved its verdict on petitions demanding the legal recognition of same-sex marriages in India.

Sprinter Dutee Chand - the first Indian athlete who came out to be involved in a same-sex relationship - expressed her solidarity on legalising non-heterosexual marriages in India. Speaking to the news agency ANI on Friday, Chand said that there are several others like her (involved in non-heterosexual relationships) in the country but they don't speak out “due to fear”.

Sprinter Dutee Chand(AFP)
Sprinter Dutee Chand(AFP)

Also read: Shashi Tharoor responds to filmmaker's ‘betrayal’ charge as Congress-led Rajasthan opposes same-sex unions

“Several countries have granted recognition to same-sex marriages. This should happen in India too,” Dutee Chand said.

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“…In every sector, we need security and guidance. When we get old, if there's some medical situation, they will ask for the guardian of the patient. Our parents may not be there…in this case, I and my partner will be there for each other. If it's legalised, we can even provide authorisation on each other's behalf,” she added.

The sprinter added that if section 377 was not de-criminalised, then there would be a criminal case filed against her. "

After nearly 10 days of hearing arguments for and against marriage equality rights for the LGBTQIA community, the Supreme Court's five-judge Constitution bench comprising of the Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud, Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul, S Ravindra Bhat, Hima Kohli, and PS Narasimha reserved its judgment.

During the arguments, the petitioners submitted that same-sex marriages can be accorded legal recognition under the Special Marriage Act (SMA) to grant dignity to their unions, other than ascertaining the community’s access to social security and other benefits. On the other hand, the Centre has been opposing legalising same-sex marriages, stating that the “parliament and not the court, should consider the issue.”

Several states including Assam, Andhra Pradesh, and Rajasthan have opposed the legal recognition, while Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Manipur, and Sikkim have sought more time to give their opinion on the issue.

(With inputs from ANI)

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