After being unable to get their marriage registered due to discriminatory rules, a gay couple has moved the Kerala High Court, seeking to strike down certain provisions of the Special Marriage Act, 1954.
The petitioners, a businessman and an IT professional had decided to get married in September last year. However, the religious authorities declined to solemnise the wedding. Thereafter, the couple decided to get their marriage registered under the Special Marriage Act, 1954, which does not recognise homosexual marriages.
In their plea, the couple stated that it was aggrieved by the provisions of the Special Marriage Act, 1954 whereby the law provided only permits a heterosexual (opposite sex) couple to get married and a homosexual couple like them is denied equal access to the institution of marriage.
They claim that the impugned provisions of the Act violate their fundamental rights and are thus "illegal and unconstitutional" to that extent.
Seeking declarations in this connection and to obtain the relief for getting married under the Act, the writ petition was being moved jointly by the petitioners, who submitted that they have suffered public humiliation after they disclosed their love for each other.
But, greater is the insult and indignity the petitioners have suffered at the hands of law, which refuses to recognise their union, causing immense pain and agony to them, they said in the petition.
Noting that the impugned provisions restrict the process of application, solemnisation and registration of marriages to heterosexual couples alone and exclude homosexual couples from its ambit, the petitioners said it must be held "unconstitutional" and thus be struck or read down to that extent of illegality.
Considering the writ petition on Monday, the Kerala HC has sought the views of Central and state governments on the matter.