Chennai: The Madras High Court on Tuesday ordered counselling for the parents of a lesbian couple who had married and are under the protection of NGO International Foundation for Crime Prevention and Victim Care.
The court said that the services of a counsellor, who has experience in LGBTQI (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and intersex) matters, be utilised to provide counselling to the parents who had threatened the couple.
The women had fallen in love while studying in college and entered into a relationship. After the parents opposed their decision, they left for Madurai in February. The couple had told the court that they will be a partner to each other through their life.
Justice N. Anand Venkitesh, in his interim order on Tuesday, observed that he is in the process of "unlearning" preconceived notions that were held by him on such issues and is into deep study of the subject.
Directing the counsellor to submit a report to the court in a sealed cover by April 26, he said: "I am trying to develop this case brick by brick and ultimately construct something purposeful on this issue."
The judge has also sent a request to the Chief Justice requesting him to allow him to continue the case. He was due to change his portfolio from April 1 and the next hearing of the case has been slated for April 28.
The court also ordered that status quo be maintained in the case of the couple and that they continue to be under the protection of the NGO.
The state government prosecutor also informed the court that police will not interfere in the case hereafter and that the kidnap case filed by the parents will be closed with immediate effect.
(from IANS with minor edits)