A prominent gay couple expressed disappointment over the Supreme Court’s setback on the same-sex marriage issue, but vowed to “fight another day.”
Writer Ananya Kotia and lawyer Utkarsh Saxena exchanged rings and announced their engagement before the Supreme Court today.
The Supreme Court yesterday stopped short of legalizing marriage equality, but emphasized that an individual’s right to enter into a union cannot be limited on the basis of sexual orientation. The five-judge court issued four rulings, differing mainly on the issue of adoption rights for queer couples.
The judges asked the Center to go ahead with the formation of a committee to address practical issues faced by same-sex couples such as obtaining ration cards, pension, gratuity and succession issues.
In a post on
“Yesterday was painful. Today Utkarsh Saxena and I went back to the court which denied our rights, and we exchanged rings. So this week it was not about a legal loss, but about our engagement. We are coming back to a to fight another day,” says Ananya. Kotia said in the post.
The post features a photo of the gay couple exchanging rings in a garden, with the dome of the Supreme Court building in the background.
Yesterday hurt. Today, @utkarsh__saxena and I went back to the court which denied our rights, and exchanged rings. So this week was not about a legal loss, but about our engagement. We’ll come back to fight another day. pic.twitter.com/ALJFIhgQ5I
— Kotia (@AnanyaKotia) October 18, 2023
The Center had on May 3 told the court that it plans to form a committee headed by the Cabinet Secretary to explore administrative solutions to the problems faced by same-sex couples without delving into the issue of equality of marriage.
The court gave a three-two verdict on the issue of adoption rights. Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud and Justice SK Kaul recognized the right of queer couples to adopt, while Justice S Ravindra Bhat, Justice PS Narasimha and Justice Hima Kohli dissented.
“There is a certain amount of agreement and a certain amount of disagreement about how far we should go. I have dealt with the issue of judicial review and separation of powers,” Justice Chandrachud said.
Disagreeing with the center’s argument that marriage equality is an urban, elitist concept, the chief justice said: “Queerness is not an urban elite. Homosexuality or queerness is not an urban concept or limited to the upper classes of the society.”
Justice Bhat said the court cannot create a legal framework for queer couples and it is up to the legislature to do so as several aspects need to be taken into consideration.
On adoption, Justice Bhat said they disagree with the Chief Justice on the right of gay couples to adopt. “We express certain concerns. This is not to say that unmarried or non-heterosexual couples cannot be good parents…given the objective of section 57, the state as parens patriae must explore all areas and ensure that all benefits are achieved. the children in general need stable homes.”