The couple went to Guruvayoor temple and got married in a secret ceremony at the car parking area of the temple on July 5, 2018, but authorities are solemnising their marriage.

Published: 27th January 2020 09:40 PM  |  

KOCHI: After facing many hurdles in life, Kerala’s first openly gay married couple have embarked upon a legal battle to get married. 

35-year-old PP Nikesh and 31-yar-old Sonu, residing in Kakkanad, Ernakulam sought to declare that Section of the Special Marriage Act 1954 restricting solemnisation of marriages only between a man and woman is unconstitutional.

Nikesh and Sonu, a businessman and an IT professional respectively, had met each other in May 2018 and fell in love. They decided to marry after being in a relationship for several months. Having faith in God and in Hinduism, they wanted to explore the possibility of a religious marriage ceremony. They took advice from many who discouraged them.

However, they went to Guruvayoor temple and got married in a secret ceremony at the car parking area of the temple on July 5 2018.

According to them, the temple authorities would not solemnise their marriage or issue a certificate. All their efforts to convince people went in vain. Hence, they decided to solemnise their marriage under the special marriage Act. But the authorities are hesitant to accept this request.

The petition stated that they intend to get their marriage solemnised and registered under the Special Marriage Act. ‘The provisions in the Act violate the fundamental rights of the petitioners and thus are illegal.’ the couple said. 

The petitioners pointed out that the transgenders as a third gender is recognised. But, the Supreme Court had held that gender identity is intrinsic to one’s personality and the denial of the identity in which one is entitled to self-determine is a violation of dignity.

The Supreme Court had also held that homosexuals are entitled to equal rights and full access to all civil liberties under the Constitution of India. Though homosexuality was decriminalised in 2018, other civil rights and liberties like marriage, adoption and insurance are still not accessible.

The non-recognition of marriage among homosexuals violates the rights guaranteed under Article 15 (1) of the Constitution of India. It stated that the state shall not discriminate against any citizen on grounds only of religion, race, caste, sex, place of birth or any of them.

The petitioners submitted that the have the right of self-determination of one’s own sexual identity, aspire to live with the partner of their choice and for the law to recognise that choice.

The court on Monday issued notice to the centre and the state government and sought their view