Review plea filed in Supreme Court for civil rights of homosexuals

A plea has been filed in the Supreme Court seeking review of an order by which a plea for various civil rights, such as same-sex marriage, adoption and surrogacy for the LGBTQ community was dismissed.

The apex court, on October 29, 2018, had dismissed a plea filed by Tushar Nayyar which had sought reliefs such as grant of civil rights to the members of LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, transsexual, queer) community besides seeking decriminalising the consensual gay sex.

“We are not inclined to entertain this petition after the decision of this Court in Navtej Singh Johar v Union of India decided on September 6, 2018,” the apex court had said.

Seeking the review of the order, the plea said that the petition, which was dismissed, was not limited to the issue of decriminalising the consensual gay sex only.

The plea had raised the issue of “non-recognition of same-sex marriages” under the Special Marriages Act, 1954) and denial of adoption and surrogacy rights to the members of the LGBTQ community members.

The plea had sought civil rights of the LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, transsexual, queer) community as part of the basic human rights and said that these rights were not addressed in the apex court’s judgement on Section 377 of the IPC which had criminalised consensual gay sex.

It had sought recognition of their rights to same-sex marriages, adoption, surrogacy, IVF and directions so that the community can serve openly in the army, navy and air force.

“LGBTQ rights are not recognised as part of human rights. Non Recognition of same-sex marriages (Indian Special Marriages Act, 1954), availability of adoption, surrogacy, IVF (for LGBTQ only) is violative of Article 14, 15, 19, 21, 29. Discrimination solely on basis of sexual orientation violates Article 14, 15, 21 in relation to Army, Navy, Air force Act.

“Other instances of indirect discrimination are not addressed in the Navtej Singh Johar case. People in the military are not allowed to serve openly. Heterosexual people end up marrying LGBT people, end up consummating marriage with them, which harms heterosexual people most. Gay women have it worst,” the plea had said.

The plea had said that the definition of marriage for LGBTQ had not been addressed in the apex court’s judgement of September 6, 2018.

The plea said both heterosexuals in an opposite-sex relationship and homosexuals in a same-sex relationship are similarly circumstanced as the general nature of relationship is romantic and sexual one, either at the time of marriage as in a love marriage or is sought or hoped to be as in the case of arranged marriage.

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