New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday said that a marriage entered into by a transgender person is in the nature of a heterosexual relationship and must be recognised by the law.
“Since a transgender person can be in a heterosexual relationship like a cis-male or cis-female, a union between a transwoman and a transman, or a transwoman and a cisman, or a transman and a ciswoman can be registered under Marriage laws,” said a constitution Bench headed by CJI D.Y. Chandrachud.
It said that a transgender man has the right to marry a cisgender woman under the laws governing marriage in the country, including personal laws.
“Similarly, a transgender woman has the right to marry a cisgender man. A transgender man and a transgender woman can also marry,” it added.
The Supreme Court said that intersex persons who identify as a man or a woman and seek to enter into a heterosexual marriage would also have a right to marry.
During the hearing, the Centre government asserted that marriage must only be between ‘biological’ men and ‘biological’ women. However, the written submissions of the Attorney General, the highest officer of the Centre, stated that: “The issues relating to transgender persons arising out of The Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act, 2019 stand on a different footing and can be addressed without reference to the Special Marriage Act.”
In 2019, Madras High Court had ordered registration of marriage between a man and a woman – who happened to be transgender. The High Court had said that the term “bride” in the Hindu Marriage Act cannot have a static and immutable meaning and that statutes must be interpreted in light of the legal system in its present form.