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Kerala HC to hear lesbian couple’s plea against forced conversion therapy on April 9

By Rintu Mariam Biju      23 March, 2024 03:30 PM      0 Comments
Kerala HC to hear lesbian couples plea against forced conversion therapy on April 9

KOCHI: The Kerala High Court has agreed to hear a writ petition filed by a lesbian couple highlighting that one of them was subjected to forced conversion therapy by their parents to alter their sexual orientation, on April 9.   

Justice Devan Ramachandran issued notice to the Respondents, including a private hospital where the forced conversion therapy is allegedly happening. The petitioners, hailing from Malappuram had sought action against the Kozhikode-based-private hospital for subjecting the petitioner to forced conversion treatments.  

The hospital’s medical team had allegedly claimed that homosexuality could be cured using medicine. 

"The practice of conversion therapy is not scientific and is against the fundamental rights of the individuals. Conversion therapies are illegally practiced on people against their will. Hence liable to be declared unconstitutional and violative of fundamental rights," the plea stated. 

The plea relied on the High Court’s order in Queerala & Anr. v State of Kerala & Ors. wherein the State government was directed to frame guidelines to ensure that stringent action is taken to prevent forced conversion therapy.

Apart from claiming that homosexuality can be cured suing medicine, the doctor and his team (in the private hospital) in violation of the Mental Healthcare Act, 2017, also refused to allow the petitioner’s partner from communicating with others. 

In their plea, it was stated that they had been in a relationship for the past three years and were residing together. After a complaint was filed by their parents before the Judicial First Class Magistrate Court, they were permitted to live together. Despite the order, one of them was detained by their parents. 

Owing to this, a habeas corpus petition was filed in the High Court in June 2023 alleging that the petitioner’s partner was being illegally detained by her parents. The bench closed the habeas corpus petition after the latter told that she wanted to be together with petitioner. 
With the aid of the police and the women's protection cell, the couple reunited. Later, another plea was filed before the High Court on apprehensions that threats from family members would continue. In July 2023, the Court granted police protection to the couple.



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