Kerala gay couple moves High Court to legalise their marriage

Kochi (Kerala) [India], Jan 30 (ANI): A gay couple approached the Kerala High Court seeking to get their marriage registered legally, to strike down certain provisions under the Special Marriage Act, 1954, and declare them as unconstitutional.

Nikesh PP, a businessman from Kunnamkulam and Sonu MS an IT professional from Koothattukulam got married in September 2018 in a secret ceremony. Both are living together in Kochi, Kerala.

Justice Anu Sivaraman, after hearing the petition filed by Sonu and Nikesh though Manu Sreenath, a lawyer who works in the High Court, has sought the views of State and Central government in this matter.

''Section 377 has recently been decriminalised. But it does not say anything about our rights. It only says that you can have sex by the age of 18. There is mention about marriage or legal rights. That is why we decided to file a petition as the first step," Sonu told ANI.

"There was no one to support us, accept the two of us. The petition was filed by Manu Sreenath, a lawyer who works in the High Court. It was he who later supported us," he added.

Sonu asserted about the difficult situations through which the couple had to go through just to be together.

"Men and women get married before they live together. We had to do something similar before we got together. As a part of that, we got married about a year and a half ago at the Thrissur Guruvayur Temple. It was a secret ceremony," said Sonu.

The couple is looking forward to win this case and attain their rights.

"We really hope we win this case. Anyone who hears it will understand it. Heterosexual couples do not have the rights which Homosexual couples have. This is discrimination," Nikesh told ANI.

Moving together did not solve all the problems of Sonu and Nikesh. The couple has been facing frequent hurdles in their lives on a routine basis.

"For us, it's not possible to open a bank account together. We are unable to add a spouse to insurance. The partner does not inherit our property. In an application form, we have to select a single column. All this is being done forcefully with us, this is kinetic," said Nikesh.

"You are only given the right to have sex, stay together and have sex. This is not the only right of a person, remaining rights should also be obtained. We believe that the High Court will give these rights to us. The court has issued notices to the state and central governments. They have been told to reply within two weeks,'' he added. (ANI)