Madras High Court guidelines for mainstreaming LGBTIQA+ community

What is the News?

The Madras High Court has issued guidelines aimed at mainstreaming LGBTIQA+(Lesbian, Gay, Transgender, Intersex, Queer, Asexual) persons.

 What was the case?
  • A petition has been filed in the Madras High Court by a lesbian couple whose relationship was being opposed by their parents.
  • They have asked the Court to provide protection against police harassment and from any threat or danger to their safety and security.
Madras High Court guidelines for mainstreaming LGBTIQA+:
  • The Madras High Court has issued guidelines aimed at mainstreaming LGBTIQA+ persons.
  • The court said that LGBTQIA+ persons are entitled to their privacy and have a right to lead a dignified existence. This includes their choice of sexual orientation, gender identity, gender presentation, gender expression and choice of partner thereof.
    • This right and the manner of its exercise are constitutionally protected under Article 21 of the Constitution.
What are the Madras High Court guidelines for mainstreaming LGBTIQA+?

 Educational Institutions:

  • Parent Teachers Association(PTA) meetings should be used to sensitize parents on issues of the LGBTQIA+ community and gender-nonconforming students. This is to ensure supportive families for the LGBTQIA+ community.
  • Necessary amendments should be made to policies and resources to include students belonging to the LGBTQIA+ community in all spheres of school and college life.
  • Educational institutions should have the availability of gender-neutral restrooms. Apart from that, the educational institutions should provide the inclusion of ‘transgender’ in addition to M and F in the gender columns of application forms.

Judiciary:

  • Judiciary should conduct awareness programmes for Judicial Officers at all levels in coordination with the enlisted NGOs and community support.
Police and Prison authorities:
  • Conducting awareness programmes for police and prison officials for protection from and prevention of offences against the LGBTQIA+ community.
  • Conduct sensitization about the legal rights of the LGBTQIA+ community at regular intervals.
  • Outreach programs should be conducted by the NGOs with community support to put forth first-hand problems faced by the LGBTQIA+ Community in the hands of law enforcement agencies and to train them in providing effective assistance.
Physical and Mental Health Professionals
  • Mental health camps and awareness programs should be conducted to understand gender, sexuality, sexual orientation and promote acceptance of diversity.
  • Any attempts to medically “cure” or change the sexual orientation of LGBTIQA+ people to heterosexual or the gender identity of transgender people to cisgender should be prohibited.
  • Action should be initiated against the concerned professional involving themselves in any form or method of conversion “therapy” including withdrawal of licence to practice.
    • Conversion therapy or Cure therapy is the pseudoscientific practice of trying to change an individual’s sexual orientation.
    • In this therapy, psychological, physical, or spiritual interventions will be carried out for the members of the LGBTQIA+ community to change them heterosexual.

Note: Tamil Nadu is set to be the first state to ban ‘conversion therapy’ in India.

Source: Indian Express

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