The High Court of Kerala in south India on Monday ruled that a lesbian couple should live together.
Importantly, the judges upheld the Supreme Court’s recent decision to dismantle Section 377 of the Penal Code which criminalized gay sex.
The bench said 24-year-old Aruna should live with her partner, 40-year-old Sreeja S of Kollam, according to local media.
Kollam filed a court petition to release Aruna from her parents. Upon discovering Aruna’s lesbian relationship, her family trapped her in their home and admitted her to a mental hospital, according to the Times of India.
But, the hospital refused to hand Aruna over to Kollam. Kollam then filed her case and referenced the recent striking down of Section 377.
When Aruna was produced before the court, she told the judges she wanted to live with Kollam. Justices C K Abdul Rehim and R Narayana Pisharadi issued ruled Aruna could go with Kollam.
Landmark Supreme Court decision
In safeguarding the rights of the lesbian couple to live together, the Kerala High Court upheld the Supreme Court’s landmark decision earlier this month.
India’s Supreme Court on 5 September ruled to alter colonial-era, Section 377 of the Penal Code.
India has a population of 1.3 billion. Therefore its estimated LGBTI population of 78 million makes this the biggest decriminalization verdict in history.
Judges in Delhi said Section 377 was unconstitutional.
‘We have to vanquish prejudice, embrace inclusion, and ensure equal rights,’ said Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra in his judgment.
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.