With the contemporary advocacy around queer marriage, the need for legal and cultural recognition has obfuscated the substantive needs of pre-existing queer alliances.
Katyayani Sinha, Lecturer, Jindal Global Law School, O.P. Jindal Global University, Sonipat, Haryana, India.
Since 2014, two legislative actions, the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act 2019, and the Draft Trafficking in Persons (Prevention, Care and Rehabilitation) Bill 2021, have been pivotal in re-inscribing the Indian state’s colonial policing of queer kinship networks.
By criminalising relationalities outside the heteropatriarchal conjugal home, the sexual subaltern is exposed to the state’s mechanisms of rescue and rehabilitation. These developments have occurred alongside the constitutional recognition of privacy in K.S. Puttaswamy v. Union of India (2017) 10 SCC 1 and the decriminalisation of the anti-sodomy law in Navtej Johar v. Union of India 2018 (10) SCALE 386 which have been celebrated as victories of self-determination and dignity for queer kinship.
These judicial pronouncements, although symbolically pertinent, fail to materially protect queer kinship, and with the contemporary advocacy around queer marriage, the need for legal and cultural recognition has obfuscated the substantive needs of pre-existing queer alliances.
Queer communities continue to organise for their own emancipation and despite their vulnerability, queer visibility offers a public counter-narrative of resistance and survival against the brutalities of society and the state.
Published in: Feminist Legal Studies
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