Transgender Can Be ‘Bride’ Under Hindu Marriage Act: Madras HC

New Delhi: Transgenders and intersex persons who identify as women will now be considered “bride” under the Hindu Marriage Act, the Madurai bench of Madras High Court said in a landmark ruling on Monday.

“The only consideration is how the person perceives herself,” a single-judge bench of the high court said.

A report in The Print said the ruling came on a plea by Arun Kumar and Srija —a couple from Tuticorin — who wished to get their marriage registered by the state. The couple had married as per Hindu rituals last October, but state authorities refused to register their marriage, saying Srija, a transwoman, was not a “bride” as per Hindu Marriage Act.

In the judgment, Justice G.R. Swaminathan said: “Sex and gender are not one and the same. A person’s sex is biologically determined at the time of birth. Not so in the case of gender.” He directed the state authorities to solemnise the couple’s marriage.

The Madras High Court also ruled that a marriage between a cisgender (one who identifies with the biological gender one’s born with) and a transgender who identifies as a woman will be valid under the Hindu Marriage Act.

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