First anniversary of landmark judgement day celebrated

Madurai-based NGO holds discussions with activists through videoconferencing

Published - April 22, 2020 08:15 pm IST


On April 22, 2019, the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court, in a landmark judgement, upheld the marriage between a cisgender man and a transgender woman. In his verdict, Justice G.R. Swaminathan also directed the State to ban sex selective surgeries on intersex infants and children.

Thus, Tamil Nadu became the first State in the country to ban sex normalising surgeries on intersex infants and children, except in cases where they become necessary to overcome life-threatening situations.

Srishti Madurai, an NGO that works for the rights of LGBTQIA+ community, celebrated the first anniversary of the pronouncement of this historic judgement and held discussions through videoconferencing with activists in different parts of the country on the implementation of the recommendations made in the judgement.

“It is a momentous day in the journey of intersex rights in India. This judgement led to a ban on unnecessary medical surgeries on intersex infants/children in Tamil Nadu and recognises the consent rights of intersex children and the right to bodily integrity,” said Gopi Shankar, executive board member of International Lesbian Gay Bisexual Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA Asia).

“If the judgement becomes a law at the national level, India will become the second nation after Malta to have a legal regime protecting the rights of intersex children. The judgement highlighted the need to remove stigma against intersex people and obligation of the government to raise public awareness of intersex rights,” ze (a pronoun sometimes used instead of ‘he’ or ‘she’ because it does not show a particular gender) said.

However, the activist felt that even after a year of the pronouncement of the judgement, comprehensive human rights protection was still a distant reality for the intersex community in India. “This is quite visible from the recent legislative attempts such as enactment of the Transgender Persons Act, 2019, where specific needs of intersex people have not been recognised,” ze said.

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