That marriage is the only thing that queer and trans persons want as a logical extension of the reading down of Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code is a deeply problematic assumption.
Poushali Basak, PhD scholar, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bombay.
Niharika Banerjea, Professor, Jindal Global Law School, O.P. Jindal Global University, Sonipat, Haryana, India.
The endogamous family has survived because it chooses not to support single women, queer and trans persons, sex workers, or anyone wanting to marry outside of caste and religious norms. Only when this structure is challenged will there be scope to think of families in a renewed manner.
The Supreme Court has heard a set of petitions on marriage equality and reserved judgement 1 . While there are many ways to approach the issue of marriage equality, we will talk about it from learnings and conversations with our kins, allies, and critique-al others 2 and from young persons who have run away from their natal homes due to violence inflicted by their families. This learning relates to the desire to redefine family.
Let us state at the outset that as we write this, the voices of our queer kins, lovers, friends, intimate others, students, and young persons who have shared their familial traumas are with us.
The picture that repeatedly surfaces in the debates and discourses on marriage equality in the Supreme Court premises and outside, is that this is what the LGBTIQKHA+ 3 community has been fighting for in the last several years. Marriage right is the right, conjugal recognition is most coveted and desired, and these will bring an end to the violence, discrimination, isolation in queer and trans persons’ lives. Do we ever take into cognisance that the LGBTIQKHA+ spectrum was never a community? There are hierarchies and variations of experiences related to caste, class, (dis)ability, religion, ethnicity, and geographical location, which counter against an understanding of a homogenous spectrum.
That marriage is the only thing that queer and trans persons want as a logical extension of the reading down of Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code is therefore a deeply problematic assumption.
Published in: The India Forum: A Journal-Magazine on Contemporary Issues
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