Odisha HC Supports Same-Sex Couple's Decision To Live Together

Justice S.K. Mishra ruled that the duo has the right to decide on their sexual preference.

Cuttack: The Orissa high court has allowed a same-sex couple to continue a live-in relationship, stating that human beings, irrespective of gender identities, are entitled to the full enjoyment of their rights.

A division bench of Justice S K Mishra and Justice Savitri Ratho, while hearing the habeas corpus plea of a 24- year-old transman earlier this week, said that “the state shall provide all kinds of protection to them, including the right to life, right to equality before the law and equal protection of the law”.

The petitioner, who identifies himself as a man, said the mother and the uncle of his partner forcibly took her home in Jajpur, and arranged her marriage with another person, prompting him to approach the court.

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Justice S.K. Mishra, who headed the bench, ruled that the duo has the right to decide on their sexual preference, and directed the Jajpur superintendent of police to ensure that the partner gets to join the petitioner in Bhubaneswar.

The mother, who is a widow, and the sister would be allowed to visit the woman at the petitioner’s house, he said.

Justice Savitri Ratho said that freedom of choice was available to the two, who have decided to live together.

The bench also observed that although the woman will join the company of the petitioner on account of judicial intervention, there is no bar on her in case she wants to part ways with the petitioner or go back to her mother.

“The society should support their decision. We hope and trust that the duo will lead a happy and harmonious life,” Justice Ratho added.