They ran away in May 2017 after believing their parents would not accept their romance.
Two lesbian women have married in Bengaluru, despite same-sex marriage being illegal in India. After their wedding, the couple has gone on the run, away from their families.
Aged 25 and 21, the anonymous women supposedly are distant relatives and had known each other for a long time.
Their marriage acts as the first lesbian wedding to take place in the city.
Parents of the younger woman have filed a complaint with police. However, due to their age, police say they cannot do anything.
The two lesbian women married in a Koramangala temple. In a statement given to police, the older woman of the two revealed how she had fallen in love with the 21-year-old when she was in her teens.
Despite at first rejecting her advances, the 21-year-old soon developed a relationship with the 25-year-old. They ran away in May 2017 after believing their parents would not accept their romance.
The families of both women eventually filed a missing person’s report with the police. And while they eventually found the two lesbian woman, police claim they cannot go further with the case as they are both adults.
This means they cannot force the couple to go back to their parents. Despite the family of the young 21-year-old hoping to “make them realise” the fallout of their relationship.
Gowthaman Ranga, from the Alternative Law Forum, believes the police cannot prosecute the couple with Section 377, the law that criminalises homosexuality. He said:
“The 2013 judgement categorically says that one cannot be booked under Section 377 based on identity [gays or lesbians]. However, it varies from case to case.”
Offering a different opinion, a former public prosecutor, S Doreraju, also gave his thoughts to Bengaluru Mirror:
“Lesbian marriage is not recognised and is a punishable offence under Section 377, provided one of them becomes a complainant. Parents of both the women can also lodge a complaint but not under IPC section 377 [Causing hurt by act endangering life or personal safety of others.].
“They can give other reasons such as ‘psychological imbalance’ or ‘negatively influencing’ the other woman.”
Meanwhile, the 21-year-old reportedly has refused to return to her parents. She is currently staying with a non-governmental organisation (NGO).