THOOTHUKUDI: In a first, a transwoman from the district got her marriage with a youth registered with the district registrar office in Thoothukudi on Monday. The Madurai bench of the Madras High Court had already ordered in favour of the couple when the district registrar denied registering the marriage last October. B Arun Kumar (22), tied knot with 20-year-old transwoman P Srija at Arulmighu Shangara Rameswara Temple on October 31 last. Arun is working as a contract labourer in railways while Srija is doing her second year BA (English) at a private college in Thoothukudi.
As the district registrar denied to register their marriage, the couple after tying the knot together, filed a writ petition with the Madurai bench, challenging the registrar’s decision. When the case came for hearing, the learned Government Advocate appearing on behalf of government authorities told the court that section 7 of the Tamil Nadu Registration of Marriages Act, 2009 confers power to the registrar of marriages to refuse registration.
In this case, the authorities of the temple, where the marriage between the parties was said to have been solemnised, had not issued any certificate indicating the performance of the marriage. Moreover, the term “bride” can only refer to a “woman on her wedding day”, but Srija is a transgender and not a woman, which does not fulfil the statutory requirements of section 5 of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955, he said.
In pursuance to the case, justice GR Swaminathan, on April 22, ordered the district registrar to register the marriage between the man and transwoman couple. Advocate Rajendran who helped the couple to get a favourable order said that this is a landmark judgement which will be helpful for the marginalised community to marry the consenting person and lead a decent married life in the society.
Following the court orders, the couple registered their marriage officially at district registrar’s office near New bus stand here on Monday. They exchanged garlands and rings on the occasion in front of the registrar even as the parents and relatives of Srija were present. Arun told Express that he is extremely happy that his dream had come true finally.
It may noted that the parents of Arun Kumar were amiss during the event. Transgenders of the locality headed by Saniya celebrated the registration of the marriage between a man and transwoman. “It is a milestone on part of the life of transgenders. The court had recognised the marriage of a transgender with a normal human. It will help the transgender couples to lead a good married life in the society,” Saniya said.