LGBTQIA: India’s Madras HC prohibits ‘cure’ of sexual orientation, issues procedures to police to handle LGBTQ cases
Justice Anand Venkatesh decreed strict action against those found to be indulging in experiments to ‘cure or change’ sexual orientation by health professionals.
Madras HC bans ‘cure’ of sexual orientation, issues guidelines to police to handle LGBTQ cases
The Madras High Court has proposed several measures, including legislations and modifications in curricula of educational institutions, to remove biases against the LGBTQIA+ community, Bar and Bench broadcasted on Monday.
A single judge bench of Justice Anand Venkatesh decreed strict action against those found to be taking part in endeavors to “cure or change” the sexual orientation by physical and mental health professionals.
Venkatesh was listening to a petition filed by a lesbian couple seeking safety from police harassment and their families, who were against their alliance.
“I strongly feel that the change must take place at a societal level and when it is complemented by a law there will be a remarkable change in the outlook of the society by recognising same-sex relationships”,
Venkatesh said in his judgement, according to Live Law. He anticipated that legislative changes were needed to eliminate social discrimination against the LGBTQIA+ community to ensure their life and prestige.
Madras HC takes lgbtqia side
Nonetheless, Venkatesh added, that till the time such legislations are enforced, the community cannot be “left in a vulnerable atmosphere”, and thus listed a number of plans for various institutions, including the judiciary and police.
The court ruled the police to close missing objections, if it was found that they involve consenting adults belonging to the LGBTQIA+ population. The prison officials have been asked to house transgender and gender-nonconforming prisoners are housed separately from cis-men prisoners to eradicate opportunities of sexual aggression by the latter, Bar and Bench noted.
As for educational establishments, the court authorized schools to use parent teachers’ association meetings to teach parents on LGBTQIA+ community and gender nonconforming students. It also implored school authorities to ensure availability of gender-neutral restrooms and change of name and gender on academic documents for transgender persons.
In recommendations for the judiciary itself, the court urged that awareness programmes should be held for judicial officers with non-governmental organisations at all categories to provide suggestions and recommendations to ensure non-discrimination of persons belonging to the LGBTQIA+ community.
Justice Venkatesh himself underwent an educational session with a psychologist to comprehend same-sex relationships better, while hearing the case. In his order, the judge cited to the petitioners, Vidya Dinakaran and Trinetra, as his “gurus” (teachers), for “pulling him out of darkness”, Live Law reported.
“Unlike regular litigations, the present case has given this court, not only an opportunity but also a vested responsibility to weigh the cause for inclusivity and justice against discrimination by heretofore social understanding of morality and notions of tradition,” Venkatesh said in his ruling.
Tags: LGBTQIA, India, Madras HC, LGBT, pride month