Same-sex marriage will become reality one day, says India's fastest woman

Dutee Chand cited the example of widow remarriage becoming accepted in India over time, and predicted the same for same-sex marriage in the country

Indian sprinter Dutee Chand has been in a relation with her partner for five years (photo: Getty Images)
Indian sprinter Dutee Chand has been in a relation with her partner for five years (photo: Getty Images)


India’s fastest woman Dutee Chand has expressed the belief that same-sex marriages will become a reality one day. She made the remark when asked for her views on Tuesday's Supreme Court judgment on the legality of same-sex marriages.

"The Supreme Court has not prevented same-sex persons from staying together. As the country has no such legislation for marriage between same-sex persons, the court did not interfere in it," she said.

Chand, who had no hesitation in revealing that she has been in a relation with her partner for five years, said they love each other and would like to get married.

"We are optimistic that the Centre and Parliament will certainly consider the case and make a proper legislation for marriage between same-sex persons in future," Chand said.

A five-judge constitution bench of the Supreme Court on Tuesday unanimously refused to accord legal recognition to same-sex marriages under the Special Marriage Act, ruling that it is only within Parliament's ambit to change the law for validating such union.

The sprinter said a marriage between two people of the same sex should not be seen in terms of urban-rural, upper-lower, caste, creed or religion. "It is a problem of humanity and all should get proper rights in life," she said.

On her optimism that legal status will be granted to same-sex marriages, Chand said, "Was there any provision of widow remarriage in India? Same-sex marriages will one day be allowed in the country."

Meera Parida, a transgender activist affiliated to the ruling Biju Janata Dal in Odisha, said, "The Supreme Court judgment should be viewed positively. The court has no objection on transgender couples living together. Though marriage is not a fundamental right, according to me it is something more than that. LGBTQs should get the rights to marry in the world’s biggest democracy."

She pointed out that even after staying together for years, same-sex couples cannot get insurance and pension benefits. Civil society should consider these issues too, she added. "What is wrong if two adults stay together as partners for life?" she asked.

LGBTQIA+ stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, intersex, pansexual, two-spirit, asexual and ally persons.

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