India: "Transwoman A 'Bride' Under Hindu Marriage Act" : Madras HC; Also Bans Sex Re-Assignment Surgeries On Intersex Children

In a notable judgment, the Madurai Bench of Madras High Court has directed the authorities to register a marriage solemnized between a man and a transwoman. They approached the High Court after the the registration authorities had refused to recognize and register their marriage solemnized in a temple. The authorities stated that a transwoman cannot be treated as 'bride' as per Section 5 of the Hindu Marriage Act 1956.

While allowing the petition, Justice G R Swaminathan, referred to judgments of the SC in NALSA, Puttuswamy(privacy case) and Navtej Johar(decriminalization of homosexuality) cases and observed that 'personhood' of transgender persons has been recognized under Indian Constitution.

"...after making an exhaustive reference to the human rights jurisprudence worldwide in this regard, the Hon'ble Supreme Court held that Article 14 of the Constitution of India which affirms that the State shall not deny to "any person" equality before the law or the equal protection of the laws within the territory of India would apply to transgenders also. Transgender persons fall within the expression "person" and hence entitled to legal protection of laws in all spheres of State activity as enjoyed by any other citizen of this country", said the judgment.

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