Accepted paper:

Examination of the legal status of intersex and transgender persons in Nigeria

Authors:

Olanike S. Adelakun (University of Pretoria)
Taiwo Odumosu (Olabisi Onabanjo University)

Paper short abstract:

This paper investigates the legal status of a transgender person that has undergone a gender reassignment surgery and an intersex person for the purpose of marriage in Nigeria. It discusses the legal requirements for the various forms of marriage that are permissible under the Nigerian law.

Paper long abstract:

With about 27 countries of the world legally permitting same sex marriage, many African countries have outlawed marriage between same sex couples. Nigeria enacted the Same Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Act in 2014. By the Act, same sex marriage is expressly prohibited and criminalized with a penalty of 14 years' imprisonment where convicted. While the law focuses on association of same sex persons, there is no provision of law that takes a position on the right of an intersex person or a transsexual person who has undergone a gender reassignment surgery. In the same light, there is no judicial stance on this position. It is against this background that this paper investigates the legal status of a transgender person that has undergone a gender reassignment surgery and an intersex person for the purpose of marriage in Nigeria. The paper discusses the legal requirements for the various forms of marriage that are permissible under the Nigerian law. The paper further discusses the prohibitions that can invalidate a marriage within the Nigerian context. Effort is made to determine if such a person within the scope of this research is required to make a disclosure of gender status and the effect of non-disclosure if such a person gets married in Nigeria. It investigates the social attitude towards such persons. A comparative approach to predict the likely approach of the judiciary to fill the gap on the legal status of an intersex and a gender reassigned person is adopted.

panel Law02
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