The Madras High Court has been dominating headlines for its progressive approach in dealing with LGBTQ+ related cases. Justice N Anand Venkatesh recently spoke about educating himself on same-sex relationships and the various problems faced by them.
However, the Madras High Court has gone beyond self-rectification and has made significant suggestions in various areas of society in a bid to eradicate the discrimination faced by the LGBTQ+ community. It suggested landmark changes be made in educational institutes, prisons, the police and the judiciary for the benefit of the community.
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1. According to LiveLaw, the following changes are to be made in educational institutes:
- In both schools and colleges, parent-teacher meetings should be used to sensitize parents on issues regarding the LGBTQ+ community in a bid to ensure they are more supportive.
- Institutes are to allot gender-neutral restrooms for gender non-conforming students.
- The name and gender of transgender students should be changed if and when required.
- Alongside ‘M’ and ‘F’ gender columns, a ‘Transgender’ column should also be included in necessary forms.
- Counsellors who are LGBTQ+ inclusive should be appointed.
2. In prisons, authorities have been asked to house transgender and gender non-conforming prisoners separately from cisgender male prisoners to eliminate chances of sexual assault by the latter, reports Bar & Bench.
3. In the police,
- programs will be held often to educate officers on how to protect the LGBTQ+ community better from offences.
- officers will be educated on the rights of people belonging to the said community.
- officers will be taught to create awareness about the offences and penalties under The Transgender Persons Act (2019) and The Transgender Persons Rule (2020).
4. Physical and mental health professionals
- are prohibited to “cure” or “change” the sexual orientation of people from the LGBTQ+ community to heterosexual. If found guilty of “conversion therapy”, appropriate action will be taken against them, including the withdrawal of their license to practice, reports NDTV.
- are to attend awareness programs in a bid to promote acceptance of diversity.
5. Special awareness programs shall be conducted for judicial officers of all ranks providing them with suggestions to ensure non-discrimination of people from the LGBTQ+ community.
What do you think of these steps that work towards making society more acceptable towards the LGBTQ+ community?