The “gay prince” and LGBTQIA activist Manavendrasinh Gohil urged the government to legalise same-sex marriage in the country.
“We want to be allowed to live and have rights like married couples do in India. That was the purpose of the petition before the Supreme Court”, Gohil, who belongs to the royal family of the erstwhile princely state of Rajpipla, said during a press conference in Rajkot Sunday.
A marathon hearing seeking legal recognition of same-sex marriages in India is underway in the apex court by a five-judge bench headed by Chief Justice DY Chandrachud.
Citing the Constitution that gives equal rights to all Indian citizens, Gohil said, “If a man and woman have rights to marry then why not a man and a man? In India, I know 50 odd couples who live together. Society has no problem, but what about their future? What happens if one of them dies? If you die, your wife gets your pension. She has ways to take care of her livelihood. But in our case, we have no benefits of cohabiting,” Gohil, who is the co-founder of the Lakshya Trust that takes up LGBTQIA issues, said.
In Rajpipla, The Lakshya Trust established India’s first gay ashram. Additionally, it has locations in Vadodara and Rajkot. Gohil, who represents the AIDS Healthcare Foundation as its brand ambassador, collaborates closely with the Gujarat AIDS Control Society to raise awareness of HIV/AIDS.