‘Hope to see rainbow marriages…’: Parents of LGBTQIA+ children write to CJI | Latest News India - Hindustan Times

'Hope to see rainbow marriages…': Parents of LGBTQIA+ children write to CJI

Apr 25, 2023 12:30 PM IST

Sweekar is a “support group for parents of LGBTQIA+ by parents of LGBTQIA+ to help navigate our journey towards acceptance”.

As the Supreme Court hearing for and against the legalisation of marriage for non-heterosexual couples enters a fourth day, Sweekar - The Rainbow Parents - a support group of parents of Indian children who identify as members of the LGBTQIA+ community - wrote to Chief Justice DY Chandrachud Tuesday to 'consider the plea for marriage equality'. The case is being argued in front of the top court's Constitution Bench, which is led by the chief justice.

The Supreme Court's five-judge bench headed by DY Chandrachud is hearing a batch of petitions seeking legal recognition of same-sex marriages in India. (HT Photo)
The Supreme Court's five-judge bench headed by DY Chandrachud is hearing a batch of petitions seeking legal recognition of same-sex marriages in India. (HT Photo)

Sweekar - which says it 'helps navigate our journey to acceptance' - numbers over 400 parents from across the country. In its letter to the chief justice, the group said: "We desire to see our children and our children-in-law find legal acceptance for their relationship under the Special Marriages Act in our country. We are certain that a nation as big as ours, which respects its diversity and stands for the value of inclusion, will open its legal gates of marriage equality to our children too."

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Saying member-parents had undergone a 'gamut of emotions', the letter referred to the 'journey from knowing about gender and sexuality to understanding the lives of our children, to finally accepting their sexuality and their loved one'.

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The parents acknowledged the 'journey' of those opposing the marriage equality plea and also that some of those may include parents of those from the LGBTQIA+ community.

On its members' journeys, Sweekar said, "It took us education, debate and patience with our LGBTQIA+ children to realise that their lives, their feelings and their desires are valid."

"Similarly, we hope that those who oppose marriage equality will come around too. We have faith in the people of India, the constitution and the democracy of our nation."

The group's letter also spoke about the top court's landmark judgment on Section 377 and the decriminalisation of same sex relationships. The judgment 'ascertained that our children should be treated with dignity and acceptance', the group said.

Stating that India has opened up to queer relationships gradually, the letter also said, “Society is a changing and evolving phenomenon. Just as a rising tide lifts all boats, the judgement by the honourable Supreme Court created a ripple effect on society and has helped move the needle from hate to tolerance to acceptance."

"… hope we get to see the legal stamp on the rainbow marriages of our children in our lifetime'.

The court began hearing this case last week, when those arguing for marriage equality and the right of consenting adults to form marital bonds with the person of their choice spoke in front of the five-judge bench led by chief justice DY Chandrachud and asked for the marriages of non-heterosexual couples to be recognised under the Special Marriage Act and other applicable laws.

Meanwhile, in a controversial move, the Bar Council of India became involved Sunday, imploring the court to stop hearing the case. The lawyers - seen as betraying the personal and professional lives of many of their colleagues - declared a pro-petitioner ruling by the court would result in 'destabilising the social structure of the country' and that it would be a 'catastrophic' moment.

The government had earlier declared the petitions asking for marriage equality referred to 'urban elitist views' - a sentiment questioned sharply by the court, which said it had not seen proof to that effect. The government also said the matter should be left to the legislative and not the judiciary.

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    Sanskriti Falor is a Senior Content Producer at the News Desk of HT Digital. Having worked in Digital Media for the past two years, she is interested in covering civic issues and global affairs.

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