India’s top court declares same-sex couples entitled to social benefits, deserve legal protections

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08/29/2022

A Supreme Court ruling in India affirmed that same-sex couples and other non-traditional families are entitled to social benefits, a decision that stands in stark contrast to last week’s moves by Singapore to exclude LGBTQ people from the legal right to marry. The law “must not be relied upon to disadvantage families which are different from traditional ones”, the top court’s two-judge panel wrote in its decision. “Familial relationships may take the form of domestic, unmarried partnerships or queer relationships.” The case revolved around maternity leave benefits for a woman who had adopted her husband’s children from a prior marriage, then conceived a child of her own. While the case did not directly concern an LGBTQ family, the ruling, written by Justice D.Y. Chandrachud defined a household broadly, to include single parents, stepparents and adoptive families.

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