If you went to an institution for admission or in a company to get a job but you get rejected because of your gender, how would you feel?
Many of the people in our society face a similar problem whether it is in respect of education, job or in daily life at public places. Anyone who belongs to the LGBTQ+ community faced these situations almost every day.
Even after having a very modern society and equal rights provided by the law to every citizen, there are many people who still face discrimination everyday. We all know that LGBTQ+ people are treated badly in our society.
We should understand that LGBTQ+ people are just like a rainbow having different-different sexuality and what they all need is only the acceptance by society.
Table of Contents
- What is the meaning “LGBTQ+”?
- LGBTQ laws you should know about
- LGBTQ+ people are now Recognised as Third Gender
- Decriminalization of same-sex relationship
- Transgender Person (Protection of Rights) Act, 2019
LGBTQ+ is an acronym for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Asexual, Pansexual, Gender Fluid and so many more identities that are used to describe someone’s sexual orientation and gender.
Women who have an attraction towards other women are known as lesbian and men who have an attraction towards other men are called gay.
Bisexuals have an attraction toward both men and women. People who feel that they are different from the sex that was assigned to them at birth are known as Transgender.
Queer is a term that is used for people who are either questioning their gender or sexual orientation or deter from their assigned gender or sexual orientation. 
This different lifestyle is what makes people view it as a taboo.
The LGBTQ community is struggling to build a safe space for themselves in a still conservative society. The freedom to openly express themselves and be accepted remains a struggle.
Right to equality for all
Article 14 of the Indian Constitution provides that it should give every citizen of India the right to equality including equal treatment of law and equal protection by law.
LGBTQ+ people also have the right to be treated equally among other citizens.
Our Constitution under Article 15 prevents discrimination against any citizen based on sex, religion, caste, or place of birth.
Also, the Supreme Court in National Legal Services Authority v. Union of India prohibited discrimination on the basis of gender identity.
Any kind of discrimination with towards the LGBTQ+ community based on their sexuality is a violation of Article 15.
Why Right to Privacy and Freedom of Speech and Expression Necessary?
The protection of life and personal liberty is a fundamental right. The Supreme Court has interpreted Article 21 as the right to live with dignity and the right to privacy.
Our Constitution allows the right to Freedom of Speech and Expression to all citizens under Article 19.
The Supreme Court noted that consensual carnal intercourse among adults in private space does not harm public decency or morality and no one has that right to interfere in their life unnecessarily. They are free to live their personal life as per their will.
Common belief is that are there are two genders, male and female, but there is a third gender which is neglected and taught about in schools.
The Supreme Court has mandated that recognition of a third gender on documents under the Indian Constitution. Now any government documents, such as voter ID cards, passports and bank forms, shall provide a third gender option along with male and female.
If you are a transgender, you can apply for voter ID here, just like everyone else.
In 2014, the Supreme Court declared transgender people as socially and economically backward and directed the union and state government to frame welfare schemes for them.
Decriminalization of same-sex relationship
In 2009, the Delhi High Court found Section 377 which prohibits consensual homosexual sex to be violating of fundamental rights provided by the Constitution of India.
Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 prohibits carnal intercourse against the order of nature, which means that bestiality is an offence.
Navtej Singh Johar & Ors. v. Union of India being landmark judgment the Supreme Court decriminalized the part of this Section which criminalise the consensual sex among adults, including homosexual sex.
This Act was enacted to protect the rights of transgenders and to make provision for their welfare. It prohibits any kind of unfair discrimination against transgender people and gives them equal rights to avail of opportunity and privileges dedicated to the public under Section 3.
It gives recognition of the identity of a transgender person and sexual assault against transgenders is punishable under Section 18 of this Act. A transgender can also file a complaint under Section 354A of IPC which provides punishment for sexual harassment.
It directs the Government to take measures for the welfare of transgenders.
Different State Governments and Judiciary had taken many initiatives regarding rights of LGBTQ+ such as mentioned below;
In 2019 High Court of Tamil Nadu included the term trans women in the definition of a bride under the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955, and directed the authorities to register marriage between a man and trans woman. One has to be over the age of 18 years to undergo a sex re-assignment surgery.
The Uttarakhand High Court directed the State Government in 2018 to provide a reservation for transgender people in educational institutions. But still, there is a need for other steps taken by the government for the implementation of these provisions appropriately in our society.
This Act is does not provide 360-degree protection to transgenders. It has been crticized by many people owing to various short-comings in the Act. There is a need to enact new laws for transgenders. The short-comings will be dealt in another post.
LGBTQ+ is an umbrella term for people who have different sexual orientation or gender.
The society needs to be more accepting to the LGBTQ.
The Fundamental Rights provided in the Constitution are useless without more laws to protect the LGBTQ.
We need to be more open-minded and respect their choices.
- Emanuella Grinberg, What the ‘Q’ in LGBTQ stands for, and other identity terms explained. https://www.cnn.com/interactive/2019/06/health/lgbtq-explainer/, published 14/06/2019, accessed 11/5/2020. ↑
- Writ Petition (Civil) NO.604 OF 2013. ↑
- Navtej Singh Johar & Ors. v. Union of India, Writ Petition (Criminal) NO. 76 OF 2016. ↑
- National Legal Services Authority v. Union of India, Writ Petition (Civil) NO.604 OF 2013. ↑
- Naz Foundation v. Govt. of NCT Delhi, WP(C) No. 7455/2001. ↑
- Writ Petition (Criminal) NO. 76 OF 2016. ↑
- Transgender Person (Protection of Rights) Act, 2019, Section 8. ↑
- Manu Sebastian, Transwoman A ‘Bride’ Under Hindu Marriage Act” : Madras HC; Also Bans Sex Re-Assignment Surgeries On Intersex Children, https://www.livelaw.in/news-updates/transwoman-regarded-as-bride-madras-hc-bans-sex-re-assignment-surgeries-intersex-children-144467, accessed 11-5-2020. ↑