Madras HC guidelines for LGBT Community – UPSC GS2

Context : The Madras High Court has issued guidelines aimed at mainstreaming LGBTIQA+(Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex, Queer, Asexual) persons.
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.
  • 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.
    • Inclusion: 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.
    • Gender-neutrality: 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.
    • Conversion banned: 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.
  • Tamil Nadu is set to be the first state to ban ‘conversion therapy’ in India.
  • 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.

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