Family May Take Form Of Unmarried Or Queer Relationships, Says Supreme Court

New Delhi: Expanding the traditional meaning of family, the Supreme Court, in a recent order, made certain significant observations. “Familial relationships may take the form of domestic, unmarried partnerships or queer relationships. An “atypical” manifestation of a family unit is as real as its traditional counterpart and deserves protection under the law. The predominant understanding of the concept of a “family” both in the law and in society is that “it consists of a single, unchanging unit with a mother and a father (who remain constant over time) and their children,” news agency PTI reported.

A bench of Justices DY Chandrachud and AS Bopanna said in an order uploaded on Sunday, “this assumption ignores both, the many circumstances which may lead to a change in one’s familial structure, and the fact that many families do not conform to this expectation, to begin with. Familial relationships may take the form of domestic, unmarried partnerships or queer relationships.”

The bench made these observations in a judgment delivered on August 16, while granting the relief of maternity leave to a Central Government employee regardless of the fact that she had availed child care leave for the children of her husband from his earlier marriage.

The Supreme Court bench said that these manifestations of love and families may not be typical but they are as real as their traditional counterparts and such atypical manifestations of the family unit are equally deserving not only of protection under the law but also of the benefits available under social welfare legislation.

“The black letter of the law must not be relied upon to disadvantage families which are different from traditional ones. The same undoubtedly holds true for women who take on the role of motherhood in ways that may not find a place in the popular imagination,” informed Justice Chandrachud who penned down the verdict on behalf of the bench, the report said.

Get real time updates directly on you device, subscribe now.

Comments are closed.