#Sexuality

Madras HC Delivers Landmark Judgment On Multi-Level LGBTQIA+ Sensitisation

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Madras HC on LGBTQIA: In a landmark ruling that wonderfully times with Pride Month, the Madras High Court on Monday directed authorities to introduce necessary multi-level changes to curb prejudice and increase inclusivity for India’s queer community.

The court suggested measures in support of the LGBTQIA+ community while ruling on the case of a same-sex couple seeking protection from harassment by parents and police, as per reports. More on it here.

The order was passed by Justice Anand Venkatesh, who earlier this year in April during the case hearing, vowed to sit with a psychologist in order to clear his own preconceived notions about homosexuality and “pave way for [his] evolution.”

Ruling on the case June 7, he noted, “Ignorance is no justification for normalising any form of discrimination.” The court placed a ban on attempts, medical or otherwise, to “cure” people adhering to different sexual orientations. 

Measures Suggested By Madras HC On LGBTQIA+ Sensitisation

The court suggested reforms in the school and college curricula to sensitise students, parents and teachers to the LGBTQIA+ community with adequate policy upgrades for their protection. These include gender-neutral washrooms for students who don’t conform to any/one gender and inclusion of ‘T’ for transgenders alongside ‘M’ and ‘F’ options on admission and other forms.

As per Bar & Benchthe introduction of sensitisation programs in the judiciary, prisons, and other law-order enforcement agencies has also been suggested, with assistance from mental health experts.

The Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment (MSJE) has further been advised to enlist community-based NGOs and experts to maintain a record of LGBTQIA+ persons and take steps to counter harassment faced by them.

Saying LGBTQIA+ persons cannot be left vulnerable, Justice Venkatesh added, “I realised, after a one-on-one interaction with the Petitioners, that it was I (us), who has to set off on a journey of understanding them and accepting them and shed our notions, and not they who have to turn themselves inside out to suit our notions of social morality and tradition.”