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Protect transgenders from Section 377: Panel

NEW DELHI: A parliamentary Panel has suggested that the Centre exempt the Transgender community from the ambit of the law criminalising homosexuality, noting that welfare of this socially marginalised group requires an initiative in this direction.

In its report on the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill, the standing committee on social justice and empowerment has said, “Transgender persons remain at the risk of criminalisation under Section 377. The bill must at the very least recognise the rights of transgender persons to partnership and marriage.”

The said legislation seeks to ameliorate the lot of the group which has historically faced social stigmatization. It lays down provisions to enforce social inclusion of transgender persons and proscribes acts of discrimination against them. However, it is silent on persecution that transgender persons face because of their sexual practices which are perceived to be in conflict with the laws proscribing same-sex relationship.

The recommendation is seen as seeking the creation of a special window for transgender persons in the controversial Section 377. Besides, the panel has said that the bill should “recognise transgender persons’ right to marriage, partnership, divorce and adoption”.

Interestingly, the panel, comprising members from different ideological schools and headed by senior BJP MP Ramesh Bais, has made a bold statement in support of homosexuality. “Transgender is not an anomaly. It is a part of the spectrum of people’s realities.

While there is no shame in being gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender or intersex or even straight – there is a most certain shame and dishonour in being a homophobe, a transphobe and a bigot,” the committee has noted.

Source : timesofindia

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Protect transgenders from Section 377: Panel


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