Gay couples in India fight for same-sex marriage

STORY: This gay couple is asking India’s Supreme Court to recognize same-sex marriage

Uday Raj Anand and Parth Mehrotra have been together for 17 years

[Parth Mehrotra, Litigant and Chief Editor of Juggernaut Books]

“We have started a family together, we live together, we then started a family together through surrogacy. It’s the natural next step, I am just like you, I am just like anybody out there and it’s a natural next step for us to want to get married. And so, our plea to the court is ‘give us that right to get married’.”

In 2018, India decriminalized homosexuality by scrapping a colonial-era ban on gay sex

Despite the ruling, some members of the LGBTQ community complain about discrimination

Anand and Mehrotra are among the four gay couples who filed the petition to the Supreme Court

They say not being able to legally recognize their union denies them certain rights

such as those linked to medical consent, pensions and adoption

[Uday Raj Anand, Litigant and businessman]

“One of us isn’t the legal father of our children; we have two children together. You know, we put them to bed every night and we sing to them and we read to them and one us is ‘Daddy’ and one of us is ‘Papa’. But on paper, one of us doesn’t have any relationship with these children. So, what happens if he (Mehrotra) were to pass away? The children would have no rights to his estate.’’

Same-sex marriage is a sensitive subject in the socially conservative country of 1.4 billion people

Prime Minister Narendra Modi's law ministry has opposed same-sex marriages in the past

[Sushil Modi, Member of Bharatiya Janata Party]

“Same-sex marriage would cause complete havoc with the delicate balance of personal laws in the country. Families, children, and their upbringing is also related. Not only this, but adoption, domestic violence, divorce, and a wife’s right to stay in the marital home are all also related to the institution of marriage. So, I would like to say that two judges cannot decide on such social issues and parliament and society must debate it.”