The Madras High Court on Tuesday, 30 March, sent the parents of two women, who identified themselves as lesbians and were in a live-in relationship, for counselling by a specialist in the field. This, the court said, will help parents face the issue ‘wisely'.
The women were seeking protection for their living together without any hindrance from both their parents.
"To be open, I am also trying to break my own preconceived notions about this issue and I am in the process of evolving and sincerely attempting to understand the feelings of the petitioners and their parents, thereafter proceed to write a detailed order on this issue," the Justice N Anand Venkatesh said.
Earlier last week, Justice Venkatesh expressed desire to hear the couple in-camera due to the ‘sensitivity involved in the case’.
WHAT IS THE CASE ABOUT
The women, both natives of Tamil Nadu’s Madurai, have been in a relationship for the last two years. While one of them is 22 years of age and pursuing MBA, the other is a 20-year-old undergraduate student. The parents, who came to know of their relationship, were ‘shocked’ and ‘exerted pressure for them to separate'.
“The Petitioners did not mince any words and there was so much of clarity in what they wanted to convey,” the court observed, reported LiveLaw.
The couple is now under the care of a Chennai-based NGO.
WHAT HAS THE COURT SAID
Before passing an order, the court has referred the petitioners and their respective parents to a counsellor to Vidya Dinakaran, who specialises in working with the LGBTQIA+ community.
Justice Venkatesh added that he personally spent time in doing some research and collected materials to arrive at a proper understanding of the issue. However, he added that a report from a specialist will provide support to this court to move forward.
“But, there was a call from inside which kept reminding me that if I venture into such an exercise at this stage, it will only be hypocritical of me since the order will not reveal my true and honest feeling about this very important issue,” he said.
Dinakaran is expected to submit her report on 26 April.
(With inputs from Live Law.)