More than 400 parents of LGBTQIA+ members have written an open letter to the Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud to consider the plea for ‘marriage equality’.
Even as a Supreme Court bench is currently hearing a batch of petitions on the legalisation of same-sex marriages in India, the parents of LGBTQIA+ members, who belong to a group called ‘Sweekar – The RainbowParents’, said in their heartfelt letter to the CJI that they want to see their children and children-in-law find “legal acceptance in society for their relationship under the Special Marriages Act in India”.
The five-judge SC bench headed by CJI DY Chandrachud, which also includes justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul, Ravindra Bhat, Hima Kohli, and PS Narasimha, started hearing the pleas seeking legal recognition of same-sex marriage from April 18.
Further, in their letter the parents wrote that from knowing about gender and sexuality, to understanding the lives of our children, to finally accepting their sexuality and their loved one – they had gone through the whole “gamut of emotions”.
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“We empathise with those who are opposing ‘marriage equality’, because some of us were there too,” stated the letter.
According to the parents, it had taken them “education, debate and patience” with their LGBTQIA+ children to realise that their lives, their feelings and their desires were “valid”. They empathised with those who are opposing same sex marriage because some of them had been there too.
“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,” they wrote.
Praising the Supreme Court for striking down section 377 that had criminalised consensual gay sex in September 2018, the letter also pointed out, “The honourable Supreme Court of India read down section 377 to decriminalise consensual sexual relationships, and in doing so, with its statements, ascertained that our children should be treated with dignity and acceptance.”
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In April 2023, it is five years since the Navtej Singh Johar vs Union of India judgement, the letter said. And added that gender and sexuality have appeared in election manifestos and corporate India has also begun opening up gradually to the idea of queer lives.
“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,” stated the letter.
Moreover, they ended the letter saying that they as parents were “growing old”. And, they hoped they get to see the legal stamp on the rainbow marriages of their children in their lifetime.