The verdict of the Supreme Court to hand over the decision of whether or not to allow same-sex marriage to the government has come as a jolt to thousands of LGBT members and activists fighting for years to get legal validation to conjugal union. Though ‘deeply disappointed’ , prime petitioner Supriyo Chakraborty is unwilling to lose hope. “One day we will have full marriage equality… we are very hopeful of that,” said the Hyderabad-based wedding planner.
“Though the court reiterated that queer people have the right to form relationships, they stopped short of legal recognition…We (he and his partner Abhay) are deeply disappointed by the judgment,” said Supriyo, adding,”On a personal level, we feel proud that we fought this battle. Though we lost, lots of dinner table conversations were initiated because of this case.”
On November 14, 2022, almost a year after he and Abhay held a grand “promising ceremony” where they even exchanged wedding vows, Supriyo approached the SC with an appeal to legalise marriage among people of the same sex. Another 20 from various parts of India also filed similar petitions subsequently, which were then clubbed together. “While we’ve made progress since the 2018 judgment when Section 377 was struck down and decriminalised, there is still a considerable distance to cover…but I have faith in the legislature to recognise marriage equality some day,” Supriyo said.
Another petitioner from Hyderabad, Vyjayanti Vasanta Mogli, felt that they have a “painstakingly long battle ahead”. The trans activist who has specifically petitioned about marriage equality, termed Tuesday’s verdict as a “grim reminder of the need to strategise and do a lot of grassroots-level advocacy with communities, places of work, places of worship, etc”. “The opposition to marriage equality was in many ways on grounds of religion and personal laws. A lot of advocacy is needed with religious leaders, governments and elected bodies to change that.”
“Horizontal reservation will ensure trans people become policymakers, IAS officers, and raise pertinent questions on the rights of trans persons,” she added.