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Gay couple moves Kerala HC to strike down certain provisions under Special Marriage Act

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Kochi, Jan 28: A gay couple has moved the Kerala High Court, seeking to strike down certain provisions under the Special Marriage Act, 1954, which do not permit to get their marriage registered.

Considering the writ petition by the petitioners on Monday, the court has sought the views of Central and state governments on the matter. The petitioners, a businessman and an IT professional had met each other in May 2018 and fallen in love. After being in a relationship for two months, they decided to get hitched.

Gay couple moves Kerala HC to strike down certain provisions under Special Marriage Act

In September last year, they got married in a private ceremony. However, the religious authorities declined to solemnise the wedding and hence the couple decided to get their marriage registered under the Special Marriage Act, 1954, which does not recognise homosexual marriages.

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In their plea, the gay couple stated that it was aggrieved by the provisions of the Special Marriage Act, 1954 whereby the law provided therein 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.

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    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.

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    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.

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