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‘Not Fully Woke’: Judge To Go For Counselling on Same-Sex Couples 

During the initial hearing, the judge said that the matter has to be dealt with sensitively and with empathy.

Published
Gender
2 min read
Madras HC Justice N Anand Venkatesh.
i

In a rare instance, a Madras High Court judge said that he will undergo an educational session with a psychologist to understand same-sex relationships before passing the judgment in a case where a same-sex couple sought protection citing threats from their parents.

Justice N Anand Venkatesh has requested an appointment with a psychologist so that he can understand same-sex relationships better and said that it will pave way for "his evolution."

The judge passed an interim order in a plea by a lesbian couple from Madurai, who had eloped and moved to Chennai, and was seeking protection. The couple said that their parents objected to the relationship and filed missing persons complaints.

During the initial hearing, the judge said that the matter has to be dealt with sensitively and with empathy and said that it was a case that shows how society is grappling with acknowledging same-sex couples.

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While passing an interim order on Tuesday, the judge said that he will take some more “time to churn” since the counsel S Manuraj appearing for the petitioners, asked that the court set guidelines in cases of such nature.

“Ultimately, in this case, the words must come from my heart and not from my head and the same will not be possible if I am not fully ‘woke’ on this aspect,” the judge was quoted as saying.

He also admitted that he is trying to remove his preconceived notions on the subject. He then requested a psychologist to fix a convenient appointment and said that such a session will help him evolve.

Meanwhile, the police assured the court that the couple will not face harassment from the parents and the court also directed the parents and petitioners to undergo counselling sessions.

The judge said that the petitioners are in touch with the parents and the parents were able to understand the relationship but issues remained in the parents' mind due to the stigma in the society about such relationships.

The court recorded the statement of the psychologist that there's no confusion in the minds of the petitioners. Hence, the court directed the parents to attend another set of counselling sessions and adjourned the case to 7 June.

(This was first published on The News Minute and has been republished with permission.)

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