A lesbian couple in India rushed to the capital, Delhi, to seek protection from their families who disapprove of the relationship.
Luckily, the Delhi High Court granted them police protection, according to local media.
It is another sign that the Indian justice system is working to uphold a landmark Supreme Court ruling last month that decriminalized gay sex.
The two women, aged 20 and 21 from Rajasthan, said they feared for their lives after their respective parents discovered their same-sex romance.
Justice Najmi Waziri directed Delhi police to protect the couple, according to The Times of India. A police officer will visit or speak to the two women, who are believed to still being in Delhi, each day.
The court plea said the pair had become romantically involved in 2017. The couple suffered mental and physical abuse from their families and so fled to Delhi last week.
One of the women’s well-connected family members had also allegedly tried to intimidate the couple’s court advocate.
Dismantling Section 377
India’s Supreme Court on 6 September ruled to alter colonial-era, Section 377 of the Penal Code. The 1861 law criminalized ‘carnal intercourse against the order of nature’.
The law applied to anal and oral sex. It therefore effectively criminalized homosexuality, with those convicted under the law facing up to 10 years in jail.
Significantly, the judgment enshrined LGBTI equality.
The court ruled ‘sexual orientation of an individual is natural and discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is a violation of Freedom of Expression’.
Last week’s ruling in Kerala was believed to be the first time a judge upheld the 377 ruling.
The bench said 24-year-old Aruna should live with her partner, 40-year-old Sreeja S of Kollam.
Sreeja filed a court petition to release Aruna from Aruna’s parents. They had trapped her in their home and admitted her to a mental hospital.