[Same Sex Relationship] Word must come from my heart, same not possible if I’m not fully woke on the aspect: Justice Anand Venkatesh decides to undergo psycho-education

  • Shruti Kakkar
  • 05:14 PM, 29 Apr 2021

The Single Judge Bench of Justice N Anand Venkatesh of Madras High Court upon a counsel’s request for issuing certain guidelines to deal with cases involved in same sex relationship has recently observed that to deal with the issue he wanted to subject himself for psycho education to understand same sex relationships better & to pave a way for his evolution. 

I want to give myself some more time to churn. Ultimately in this case, the words must come from my heart and not from my head, and the same will not be possible if I am not fully “woke” on this aspect. If I write an order after undergoing psycho-education, I trust that the words will fall from my heart.”, Justice Venkatesh remarked. 

These observations came in light of the plea filed by same sex partners seeking directions to Inspector of Police to not cause harassment to the petitioners & ensure that there is no danger from their parents to their life & limb.

On the last date of hearing, the Court referred the parents of a same-sex couple to a counselor specialising in LGBTQ+ issues, Ms Vidhya Dinakaran & directed her to submit the report in a sealed cover.

The report submitted by Ms Dinakaran was set out under four heads. The first part explained the falsified notions of sex, gender, sexual orientation & also explained as to how those terms must be understood. The second part dealt with the mental status & the observations made after counselling the petitioners on 13.04.2021. In this part, Ms Dinakaran opined that the petitioners perfectly understood the relationship that they entered into & there was absolutely no confusion in their minds about the same. She also observed that the couple had love & affection for their parents & feared that they may be coerced into separation which would cause a lot of mental trauma to them. She further opined that the petitioners wanted to continue their education & work simultaneously & take care of themselves. The petitioners wanted to be in touch with their family members & were also willing to wait for their parents & hoped that they would understand the relationship at some future point of time.

The third part & the fourth part dealt with the mental status and the observations made, while counselling the parents of the first petitioner on 14.04.2021 & parents of the second petitioner on 16.04.2021 respectively. The psychologist with regards to the petitioner's parents opined that they had apprehensions about upon being looked down by the society & their own community & preferred their daughters to live a life of celibacy which according to them was more dignified than having a partner of the same sex.

In this backdrop & taking into consideration the progress that had been in this case petitioner’s & their parent’s cooperation, 

Justice N Anand Venkatesh added that, “It must be seen how far the earlier counselling has impacted the minds of the parents and how far they are able to understand the relationship between the petitioners. Obviously, the evolution cannot take place overnight and it requires continuous effort to bring in a change.

Therefore the Bench directed parents of the petitioners to undergo one more round of counselling with Ms. Vidhya Dinakaran, Counselling Psychologist.

The matter is now listed for further hearing on June 7, 2021 at 2:15 PM.