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In A First, After A Tough Legal Battle, Tamil Nadu Man And Transwoman Get Their Marriage Registered

  • IWB Post
  •  May 21, 2019

It was only last October that Sreeja, a transwoman, and Arun Kumar, a cisgender man, got married at the Sri Sankara Rameswarar temple in accordance with Hindu customs, after struggling with the temple management who refused to officiate their wedding.

But while things worked out in the couple’s favour with help from their friends, the struggle to receive their marriage certificate went on. Just like in many cases that we observe, a lack of provisions in existing norms makes it difficult for the LGBTQ community to register their marriages, similar was the case with this couple, as the Sub-Registrar refused to issue a marriage certificate.

However, after a well fought legal battle, the High Court passed a judgment in their favour on April 22, upholding their marriage. The court stated that discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation impairs equality before the law, and held that the expression ‘bride’ under the Hindu Marriage Act would also include transwomen. It also said that if the gender identity is chosen to be expressed as that of a woman, then the State authorities can’t question self-determination.

With the above-stated judgment, the couple became the first man-transwoman couple in Tamil Nadu to have their marriage registered. Speaking to TOI, Sreeja shared, “I am very happy. I am planning to undergo surgery so that I can give birth to a child. This will set an example- that marriage between a man and transwoman has to be legally registered and they can happily live ever after like any other couple.”

Sreeja met Arun through a mutual friend in high school, but for Sreeja to convince her mother, a single parent, about her transformation took time. While she came around the fact, Arun’s parents didn’t approve of the choice of their son and distanced themselves from the couple.

H/T: The Times of India 

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