Two women got married in a temple in Uttar Pradesh’s Bundelkhand region on Saturday after divorcing their husbands. Reports have claimed the two had met in college but were forced to drop out because of their relationship and were then married to men.
However, the registrar has said he cannot recognise the marriage, the Hindustan Times reported on Tuesday.
“How could I have registered the marriage when there is no such provision?” asked Pal, who retired on Monday. “Same-sex marriage is not allowed. We don’t even have an online proforma for it.”
“Registrar RK Pal has refused to register the marriage on the ground that there was no government order on same sex marriage,” the women’s advocate Daya Shankar Tiwari said.
The women, aged 24 and 26, said their lawyer told them they can live together. “Our lawyer has told us that since the Supreme Court has done away with Section 377, we can stay together,” one of them said. “No one can trouble us. We have been living together as a couple for some time now.” The Supreme Court had read down Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code in September, decriminalising homosexuality.
The couple dropped out of college six years ago and were forced by their families to marry other people six months later. “We divorced our husbands and fought a legal battle to stay together again,” one of them said.
Their lawyer Tiwari said he will challenge the registrar’s decision in court, adding that the women are within their legal rights to live together.