- Justice Anand Venkatesh of the Madras High Court, in Sushma vs Commissioner of Police, urged the State government to come up with a procedure for registering a “Deed of Familial Association” which would provide legal status to relationships between same-sex couples and other LGBTQIA+ couples.
- This order is trendsetting in the light of the recent Supreme Court decision in Supriyo vs Union of India wherein the Supreme Court refused to recognise the right to marry, or even the right to civil unions, of same-sex couples.
- An emerging concept, the ‘deed of familial association’ as proposed by the petitioner in the case provides for a deed to ensure that two persons from the LGBTQIA+ will have a right to live in a relationship and also have a right to protection.
- The deed will provide a shield against harassment by society and discrimination that can impact employment, housing and assimilation in society. However, the deed will not give the contracting individuals the legal status or rights flowing from a marriage or a civil union.
- Justice N Anand Venkatesh said that though the SC has refused to recognise marriage between same sex couples, it has categorically recognised the right of choice of two persons to have a relationship.