“Familial relationships may take the form of domestic, unmarried partnerships or queer relationships. A household may be a single-parent one for any number of reasons, including the death of a spouse, separation, or divorce... Such atypical manifestations of the family unit are equally deserving, not only of protection under 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 that are different from the traditional ones. The same undoubtedly holds true for women who take on the role of motherhood in ways that may not find place in the popular imagination,” Supreme Court justices D.Y. Chandrachud and A.S. Bopanna maintained in August, while disposing an appeal filed by a government nurse, who was denied maternity leave because her spouse had two children from an earlier marriage.
Their remarks have now thrown open the definition of familial relationships to incorporate unmarried partnerships and queer relationships.
Outlook takes stock of significant rulings and legislations in recent times that specifically deal with women’s rights in the country. Our forthcoming issue will put the spotlight on judicial and legislative developments that impact the LGBTQIA+ community.
(This appeared in the print edition as "Woman at Point Zero")