They fell in love as teenagers, but it took a court ruling for Noora and Adhila to be able to live together as a lesbian couple in the southern Indian state of Kerala.
Kerala High Court ruled last year that there was no law to stop the couple cohabiting, putting an end to years of harassment from their families that culminated in Noora being abducted by her relatives – prompting Adhila to go the court. “Noora was missing and I was terrified that her family would do something to hurt her seriously,” Adhila, 22, recalled, asking not to use her or Noora’s full names. “We put our full faith in the judicial system.
We both held onto hope that the court would rule in our favour,” she said. Now, like millions of LGBTQ+ people across the country of 1.4 billion, they are anxiously watching the outcome of a case being heard by the Supreme Court that could grant them the right to get married.
Four gay couples have asked the court to recognise same-sex marriages, setting the stage for a legal face-off with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government which has in the past refused to legalise such marriages.