COIMBATORE: This Valentine’s Day will be special for R Manigandan (25) and Surega (24), a transwoman, who have been striving hard to get their marriage registered because they have won in their battle against all odds. The duo struggled to get their marriage registered ever since they got married on February 14, 2018.
It was not that the society wasn’t against them. On the contrary, they were accepted by the society. Instead, it was the law, or lack of it, that authorities cited while repeatedly refusing to register their marriage. However, officials from the Registration Department in Coimbatore recently informed Manigandan and Surega that their marriage will be registered under the Tamil Nadu Registration of Marriages Act, 2009.
The Inspector General of Registration, Chennai, had sent a notification to all district and sub-registrar offices on January 28 asking them to register marriages of transgender persons.
Manigandan and Surega breathed a sigh of relief as the notification brought them double happiness. One, their struggle to register the marriage would end and second, this announcement would enable any transperson across the State to register their marriage.
Not wanting to waste any time, the couple communicated to authorities that they wish to register their marriage on Valentine’s Day.
“Our family members and friends were so happy,” said Surega, adding that their marriage registration would take place at the sub-registrar’s office in Vadavalli.
Manigandan, on the other hand, said the marriage certificate would enable them to adopt a child. When contacted, Coimbatore District Registrar A Suresh Kumar said, “It was only recently that we received a communication from Chennai on the matter. The couple can now register their marriage,” and added that date of birth in their identity proof caused the confusion.