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Changing Landscapes: Societal Shifts And Transformative Legal Milestones For The LGBTQ

The recognition of the LGBTQIA++ community has been a revolutionary and transformative socio-legal issue in the 21st century. The community has been a topic of debate for the ongoing struggle for inclusivity, equality, and justice in an era marked by increasing recognition of diverse identities and rejection of discriminatory practices.

Recently, the verdict pronounced on 17th of October 2023, the Supreme Court of India ruled denying legal recognition to same-sex marriages by a 3:2 majority and devised it upon the Parliament to decide the legality of the same. In light of the dramatically changing panorama of LGBTQIA++ rights worldwide, this research paper aims to provide a comparative analytical approach to the community's dynamics across various nations, anchored in a three-fold exploration of jurisprudence, history, and contemporary approaches.

The jurisprudential aspect of this research forms the basis for describing and comparing the standing of the community. Drawing insights from landmark cases and legislative debates, it offers a nuanced understanding of the crucial role played by them in the development and protection of same-sex rights.

Furthermore, retracing the historical narratives shall help to unearth the times of systemic prejudice and discrimination to breakthrough of progressive change. Whereas in the contemporary sphere, the research shall delve into the present-day approaches, public opinionated trends and the policies drafted appertaining to the issue.

Particularly in the area of marriage equality, the global movement to secure protections for the LGBTQ community has made substantial strides in recent decades. The term "LGBTQ" refers to a broad group of people who identify with the following categories: lesbian, homosexual, bisexual, transgender, or intersex. Neverthless, it is essential to observe that around the world people use a range of other terms to denote their gender identity or sexual orientation.

'Gender identity' pertains to a person's profoundly experienced internal and personal perception of their own gender, which might or might not align with the birth or natal sex. Gender identity may pertain to an individual's self-perception as either male or female, gender non-binary, or gender fluidity; it may also encompass more than one gender, be it male, female, or none at all.

Meanwhile 'Sexual orientation' pertains to an individual's ability to experience intense emotional, compassionate, and sexual longing for, as well as engage in intimate and sexual activities with, others. While certain individuals are asexual, which means they do not feel any sexual attraction. Sexual orientation, like religion, defines both personal identity and societal division. Indeed, throughout the twenty-first century, sexual orientation has progressively eclipsed religion as the morally dividing and physically unnoticeable identity.

A person's social identity in the year 1900 was predominantly determined by their religion, ethnicity, social class, and sex. A person's social identity in the year 2000 and after that, have been and will be predominantly determined by their ethnicity, socioeconomic status, gender, and sexual orientation.

The terminology that is used may exhibit significant variation contingent upon historical, cultural, and societal milieus. International human rights law makes it abundantly clear that states are obligated to protect the rights of LGBTQ individuals. Under the law, every individual is safeguarded against discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation, gender identity, expression, and other characteristics. Nonetheless, the community continues to confront repression, imprisonment, and even the threat of being executed in a number of nations.

A significant number of 64 countries worldwide that have criminalised homosexuality do so as a result of European colonialism. Certain nations including Brunei, Iran, Mauritania, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Uganda, and the northern states of Nigeria, impose capital punishment for consensual same-sex activities. In addition to criminal prosecution, discrimination against LGBTQ individuals can manifest in various ways, such as restricted healthcare access, challenges in obtaining employment, workplace abuse or harassment, and numerous other forms of mistreatment.

In practise, governments in a number of countries that have ratified international treaties requiring them to protect human rights continue to pass and enforce legislation that discriminates against, and singles out individuals based on their gender identity and expression or sexual orientation.

Activism and an increasing number of governments have prioritised legislation and safeguards to protect individuals from legal discrimination and political, social, and economic marginalisation due to the severity and pervasiveness of such violations.

Objective Of The Paper
The research paper aims at systematically conducting a comparative analysis of the dynamics of the LGBTQIA++ community's rights and recognition across various nations. By integrating the three interconnected spheres of jurisprudence, history, and contemporary approaches, this study aims to contribute to the understanding of the community's ongoing struggle.

It attempts to shed light on the evolving legal aspects of this matter in the twenty-first century, not only by highlighting the obstacles they have faced but also by highlighting the progress that has been made internationally, where several nations have taken the initiative to recognise, protect and advocate for the cause.

Historical Background
The community has been deprived of a legal status for centuries, first under religious codes, specifically that imposed by the Abrahamic faiths, and then under secular laws, which frequently drew significance from preceding theological traditions.

The proliferation of legal codes, which were initially established in Europe, occurred during the colonial era. During their global expansion, European countries were the firsts that criminalised LGBT. Indigenous societies and customs, which had not traditionally stigmatised same-sex behaviour and gender variation, were thus forced to adapt it. The British colonial penal codes shaped several laws that are still in use today.

As this legacy of criminalization is being undone, the fight for LGBT equality is far from ended. Although the British played a major role in shaping the anti-LGBTQ laws, other ancient western legal traditons impacted the society, though not for a long time. Peru's decriminalization of same sex activity in 1924, followed by Denmark, Poland, Uruguay, Iceland, Switzerland, Sweden, Cambodia, Thailand, Laos, Jordan, Greece, Palestine over time, shows that, despite the British dominance, the countries managed framing laws that were not wholly threatening to the LGBTQ community.

"Consensual ideas of the time were disregarded when the Wolfenden Report, published in the United Kingdom in 1957," suggested that "private homosexual activity between consenting adults should no longer be considered a criminal offence." The Committee reached the conclusion that encroaching upon the private lives of citizens was not within the purview of the law or state.

Also denied by the Committee was the notion that homosexuality constituted a disease. Further The European Court of Human Rights rendered its seminal ruling in Dudgeon v United Kingdom, the first successful case of its kind, in which it determined that Northern Ireland's legislation criminalising same-sex acts between consenting adults violated the European Convention on Human Rights' (ECHR) right to privacy. The case was also relied upon in Toonen v Australia, brought before the UN Human Rights Committee, which repealed Australia's last sodomy laws.

The chronology of some the most impactful laws, is tabulated as under:
Ecclesiastical Law, 1290
The prevailing common law of the time, which was adjudicated in ecclesiastical tribunals as opposed to secular ones, considered sodomy a sin against God punishable by execution by burning or burial.

The Buggery Act 1533
It was the first civil sodomy law in England. Although the act technically permitted convictions of anyone, the ones for the same sex were the most prevalent.

The French Penal Code, 1791
France introduced an innovative penal code in 1791, which was based on the premise that government intervention in private affairs involving private persons was not justified.

The Napoleonic Code, 1804
Following the French Penal Code, the Napoleonic Code was implemented in the majority of French-occupied countries in 1804. It popularised a criminal code in which same-sex conduct was not criminalised in other nations. The French Penal and Napoleonic Codes had profound implications for legal systems across the globe, both directly and indirectly. Ultimately, these codes influenced the adoption of criminal codes that abstained from criminalising same-sex activity.

Indian Penal Code, 1860
The Indian Penal Code 1860 (IPC) was established in accordance with Lord Macaulay's suggestions with the aim of "instilling European morality in resistant masses. "Thus ensued Victorian morality enforcement across the Empire. As a "natural offence," section 377 of the Indian Penal Code imposed a life sentence for "carnal intercourse contrary to the order of nature."

The Jurisprudence
The discourse of the community although, mostly written by the British, yet could be seen to choose different paths in different countries with time. This part of the paper focuses on comparing the legal position of the community in various countries.

For a long time, the United States has been a critical battleground for LGBTQ rights, with its leadership playing an iconic role in defending them overseas. In the fifty years since the Stonewall uprising, LGBTQ rights have undergone a remarkable transformation. In the last few years alone, individuals have been granted "the right to marry",and their representation on television has reached an all-time high.

The court initially rejected and then subsequently went on to upheld the rights of LGBTQ individuals to engage in consensual sexual relationships and to enter into unions and marriages.

One, Inc. v. Olesen, the Supreme Court clearly established that the material published and circulated for gay audience was not inherently obscene. Then in Baker v. Nelson, the first time, the Supreme Court denied marital equality to the couple, who very much later got married anyway, and to add to it in Bowers v. Hardwick , the court upheld the sodomy laws and criminalised the homosexual activities.

However it was overruled in Lawrence v. Texas. In United States v. Windsor , The Court ruled to abolish a provision of the Defence of marital Act (DOMA), 1996 which was one of the primary antecedents to marital equality that defined marriage as a "legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife."

Europe, following the American footsteps has its history set in a timeline from the darkest times to the days of glitter for the LGBTQIA community. Despite starting in America, European LGBT activism predates the riots by decades. European organisations grew out of a need to decriminalise homosexuality during the interwar period. Male homosexual relationships were common in ancient civilizations until the Roman Empire adopted Christianity and institutionalised Christian marriage.

Middle and Modern Ages saw little change, and thus began the saga when male homosexuals and cross-dressers were often executed. In the 18th century, homosexuality was discouraged across Europe, despite legal differences. Be it France, Great Britain, Rome, Spain, or Denmark, the homosexuals were at the risk of being executed by the worst ways imaginable.

From being hanged to death, castrated, stoned or burned to death, the punishments were of harshest nature possible. Surprisingly, this remained the situation, even during the 18th century. Finally the French lawmakers removed homosexuality from the criminal code in 1791 after the French Revolution. Monaco, Prussia, Luxembourg, and Belgium followed. The Netherlands, Portugal (later retreated), the Ottoman Empire, San Marino, and Italy joined France in the 19th century. However, open relationships were nearly impossible for homosexuals.

Even though the law allowed same-sex couples, societies still rejected them and could charge them with indecency. It was during The World Wars where the community suffered the major setbacks. Although a rise of institutions protecting and promoting gay rights was visible after the First World War, the birth of totalitarianism, shut it down altogether. Finally, it was the America's Stonewall uprising that inspired the pride marches in Europe. By the late 1980s, Pride was widespread in Western Europe.

In 1992 EuroPride was incepted, where Eastern Europen City-Capitals like Warsaw and Riga were seen actively participating. The countries kept adding to the number of accepting ones; Sweden, Spain, Denmark, Minsk, Belarus, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Romania, to name a few. In 2001, the Netherlands became the first country in the world to enact same-sex marriage law. Western Europe epitomises marriage equality. Today, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland France, Great Britain, Iceland, Ireland, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, and Sweden allow same-sex marriage.

Russia's LGBT history has been heavily influenced by its rulers and the political opinions Mediaeval Catholic-Protestant Europe shaped Russian homosexuality attitudes the most. From homosexual activities being banned only for soldiers, to decriminalizng it after the October Revolution and from again recriminalizing it under Joseph Stalin to being openly practiced during Mikhail Gorbachev's administration, the stance has never been constant.

The fall of the Soviet Union liberalised society, including homosexuality in 1993. A few years later, Russian criminal law equalised the age of consent and crime punishments for heterosexual and same-sex relations. Transgender rights allowed identity documented gender changes in 1997. Changing legal gender with a medical certificate without surgery or hormone replacement therapy was simplified in 2018.

However, since then, LGBTQ rights in the country have not improved. Sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination are not legally protected anymore. Since 2020, the Russian Constitution prohibits same-sex unions. Russia is known for promoting 'traditional values'.

President Putin signed a new anti-LGBTQ law in December 2022, banning 'propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations' for all ages. Russian lawmakers consider positive and neutral depictions of same-sex relations in media, advertising, books, films, and other sources 'propaganda' and should be banned. Public displays of LGBTQ symbols or topics may be considered propaganda. Russian conservatism in the 21st century led to this anti-LGBTQ law.

British legislation established Australia's anti-homosexual laws. After its independence in 1901, the country-continent could not in a snap get rid of its draconian laws, but remains as one of the fastest to scrap them off. Up until 1924, there was life imprisonment as punishment prescribed for gay sex and in Victoria, it was the death penalty. While Australia never enacted legislation specifically targeting homosexuals as individuals, the offence of "loitering for homosexual purposes" in Victoria served the purpose.

The scant prosecutions that did transpire in accordance with Australian buggery laws were divided on the consensual nature of anal sex, focusing instead on the sexual corruption of adolescents. While seldom prosecuted, the presence of criminal legislation targeting buggery was frequently exploited to coerce individuals and justify police harassment. Prior to the early 20th century, criminal laws served as a deterrent to illicit desire and regarded homosexual activity as something that could be enticed into by any man.

The establishment of the earliest gay rights organisations in Australia can be attributed to the emergence of sexual liberation movements worldwide in the 1960s. C.A.M.P, or the Campaign Against Moral Persecution, was established in September 1970 in Sydney, becoming one of the earliest homosexual rights organisations in Australia. In 1975, South Australia became the first state to decriminalise male homosexuality.

The inaugural homosexual rights march in Australia took place in Sydney in 1978, drawing inspiration from the post-Stonewall movements. In the 1980s, the majority of other jurisdictions reformed their criminal laws. However, until 1994, when the Human Rights (Sexual Conduct) Act 1994 was enacted by the Federal Keating government, consensual homosexual sex between adults was a crime in Tasmania.

This act decriminalised the activity in a consistent manner across Australia. Regarding homosexuals and lesbians, attitudes towards Australia's criminal justice system have undergone a dramatic transformation in a relatively brief period of time. The laws no longer portray illicit temptations as deterrents for young men; rather, they now affirm that sexual diversity is cause for celebration rather than criminalization.

Political fundamentalism, colonialism, and culture conflicts have all contributed a fair share in strangling the sexual liberty in the Middle East region. But, since ancient times, poets have not only spoken of but also praised and written in abundance on the same sex activities. Be it Abu Nuwas from Baghdad, or Hafiz and Rumi from Iran, their musings were not considered as unusual or abnormal.

However the modern times evidently speak the contrary. Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Iraq, Iran, Qatar have imposed death penalty for being homosexual, while Eqypt, Syria, Libya, Oman, UAE have imposed imprisonments. Its Jordan and Turkey where homosexuality, although legal but is often penalised. This radical change from the ancient to modern approaches can be chalked down due to 2 major reasons. One, the advent of British colonialism, as had a similar impact in India. The British government criminalised homosexuality in 1885. Over half of the 70 countries that criminalise homosexuality today, are former British colonies.

The community struggles due to conservative 'sharia' interpretations in local courts. Although homosexuality is not a crime in Egypt, ambiguous "morality" laws are systematically utilized to prosecute persons accused of "promoting sexual deviancy" and other offences. Two, Islamic fundamentalism-radicalism collided with the gay rights movement in the American and European countries thus hardening cultural divisions in the 1980s.

When homosexuality became identified with the West, politicians stood to benefit from anti-LGBT sentiment in the Middle East. The conservative attitude has tended to increase with the passage of time and thus, let alone the rights, it is nearly impossible for the community to even survive in this region.

In the "Chinese Classification of Mental Disorders" (CCMD) version one, issued in 1978, homosexuality was classed as a sexual illness in China. Despite the "Chinese culture of Psychiatry's 2001" decision to declassify homosexuality as a mental disease, members of the LGBT community face stigma and prejudice in Chinese culture. China continues to lag behind developed Western nations in terms of modernization.

Furthermore, in contrast to Western nations, the perspective of the Chinese populace regarding the LGBT community is significantly influenced by the unique cultural milieu of China. LGBT individuals are expected to encounter significant adverse emotions, psychological anguish, and perceive substantial discrimination within the cultural framework of traditional China.

The adherence to the 'rules of nature' holds significant importance in Chinese culture, owing to the historical impact of Confucianism. Individuals are required to adhere to the prevailing gender identities and sexual orientations that are endorsed by the majority. This is consistent with the Doctrine of the Mean ('Zhongyong'), a concept that in Confucianism literally translates to "average" or "ordinary".

Furthermore, as a result of China's collectivist cultural orientation, the Chinese populace is profoundly impacted by both familial and societal forces. Currently there are no laws that protect the community in China, however sexual activities have no explicit prohibition, and though there are no laws recognising same sex marriage, yet in Hong Kong, several court decisions and most notably court case Leung Chun Kwong v Secretary for the Civil Service granted same-sex couples limited rights and benefits in the realm of immigration, tax rights and inheritance.

Similarly, to the contrary depiction of North Korea to be hostile and anti-LGBTQ, homosexuality is legal, though frowned upon. However same sex marriage is not recognized.

The current legal framework for transgender individuals in Japan reflects an outdated perspective, hindering progress toward inclusive and rights-respecting policies. Japan's Gender Identity Disorder Special Cases Act of 2003 perpetuates harmful stereotypes by treating transgender identity as a mental health issue. Despite global trends towards destigmatizing transgender identities, the Japanese Supreme Court's rejection of Takakito Usui's appeal in 2019 underscores the challenges faced by transgender individuals in the country.

The absence of legal recognition for same-sex marriage in Japan stands as a stark contrast to the progressive strides made by many developed economies. Despite widespread support, civil society engagement, and actions by local governments, the national level remains unresponsive to the demand for legal recognition of same-sex marriage.

The Japanese Constitution, particularly Article 24, has been cited as an obstacle to same-sex marriage, emphasizing the need for a nuanced examination of legal doctrines. In both the realms of transgender rights and same-sex marriage, Japan faces pivotal moments requiring legislative reassessment. Achieving comprehensive legal reforms in both these areas is not just a legal necessity but a crucial step toward fostering a society that upholds the principles of equality, dignity, and respect for all. The ongoing advocacy, legal challenges, and international precedents provide a roadmap for Japan to embark on a more inclusive legal journey.

Queer people have shaped India's culture, and ought to be celebrated as a rich legacy not because they were part of it but because they deserve as much love and respect as any other community. The country has steadily been adopting this "new" viewpoint of tolerance and respect for everybody. However, the history shows that this notion is not new.

Ancient India accepted and celebrated all forms of love. The Rigveda says Vikriti Evam Prakriti-what is abnormal is natural. KamaSutra says lesbians were called "Swarinis" they married and had children together. The 12th-century Khajuraho temple in Madhya Pradesh has overt erotic sculptures showing gay sexual flexibility. While homosexuality was disapproved of in mediaeval times, LGBT persons were not shunned.

Society tolerated them and didn't harass them for their sexuality. After British colonisation, section 377 of the Indian Penal Code criminalised sexual conduct "against the order of nature" in 1861, including homosexuality. The scenario then changed with time. Shakuntala Devi released "The World of Homosexuals" in 1977, India's first homosexuality research. It demanded "full and complete acceptance and not tolerance and sympathy". Agra hosted the inaugural All-India Hijra Conference in 1981, with 50,000 community members from throughout India attending. Hijras gained third-sex voting rights in 1994.

First petition challenging section 377 filed by "AIDS Bhedbhav Virodhi Andolan" in 1994 was rejected. But the dynamics took a sharp turn after 2000 through the rapid and progressive judicial pronouncements and subsequent legislations brought forth by the parliament. Naz Foundation filed a PIL in the Delhi High Court challenging section 377. The Delhi High court ruled in 2009 that section 377 violated the "Indian Constitution's rights to life, liberty, privacy, and equality", enshrined in the preamble.

The law no longer criminalised gay intercourse, but it was still not solidly supported as legal by a legislation. Then the Supreme Court of India declared transgenders as the third gender in 2014. It also allowed LGBTQ people to safely express themselves, in 2017, thanks to the Puttaswamy cases, sexual orientation was protected by the Right to Privacy.

Then on September 6, 2018, the SC struck down section 377 of IPC as a result of Navtej Singh Johar v. Union of India. In 2019, Parliament passed "the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill". However, in October, this year the Court denied the community, the right to marry. "This court cannot make law, it can only interpret it and give effect to it," said Chief Justice Chandrachud, and devised it upon the Parliament to decide the legality of the same.

The Role Of Public Opinion
Public opinion always plays a crucial role when it comes to an issue needing immediate attention of the legislature to draft policies and make laws, in democratic countries. Society acts as a catalyst in such procedures and not only does it expedite the process but also, in most cases, ends up shaping the outcome according to its wishes.

As seen, various countries discussed have undergone a dramatic change in framing laws for the recognition, protection and upliftment of LGBTQIA rights after the society embraced their existence, and acknowledged them as a part and parcel of itself. Public feelings, values, and concerns strongly influence lawmakers' agendas and decisions. Elected officials are sensitive to public opinion since it reflects their constituency needs. Politicians base their platforms and goals on constituent emotion, trying to align their laws with popular expectations.

Public opinion measures policy acceptance and success. Legislators closely monitor public reactions and adjust proposals to ensure their viability and appeal. The fight for civil rights, environmental reform, and healthcare shows how public opinion may alter during social upheaval. The complex relationship between public opinion and governance shows how the people and their representatives work together to shape laws and policies.

Significant surges in global support for LGBTQ individuals and issues associated with them have been observed in numerous nations over the past three decades. Regarding these alterations, numerous scholarly investigations have scrutinised the determinants that influence public sentiment.

The studies have shown that nations with more supportive legislation tend to have more tolerant residents. 10% of Americans stated in 1973 that homosexual relations are not immoral. This proportion exploded in the following decade as 2000 saw twice as many individuals to hold this view; by 2017, 50% of respondents held this view.

In a similar vein, the percentage of Americans who believed that homosexuals should be employed as elementary school teachers increased from 42% in 1989 to nearly 70% in 2007. Prior to 2015, when the United States Supreme Court granted federal recognition to same-sex marriages, support for their legalisation had increased significantly. Consistent with the transformations occurring in the United States, global public opinion has, on average, become more liberal.

According to data compiled by the WVS between 1981 and 2008, the percentage of citizens in 52 countries where such data was accessible rose by about 67%. In these countries, the proportion of citizens who believed that homosexuality was always justifiable increased. Regarding North America and Europe, researchers possess a vast amount more data in comparison to other regions.

Over the past three decades, attitudes in these locations, as well as in Australia and New Zealand, have become considerably more tolerant. Knowledge regarding the attitudes of individuals residing in the Middle East and Africa is considerably limited. These inhabitants are, on average, less hospitable than individuals from other regions of the globe.

The transition of generations during a population shift has the potential to influence attitudes throughout an entire nation. An alternative process is an intracohort change, which occurs simultaneously and involves the development of more liberal perspectives among both older and younger individuals.

Numerous studies have demonstrated that the media significantly influences attitudes. During the 1990s, a number of likeable homosexual and lesbian media and television personalities emerged. Positive attitudes are more prevalent among individuals who are more exposed to such media images. Consistent with the significant impact that the media has had on attitude change, there has been a substantial rise in face-to-face interactions with individuals who identify as homosexual or lesbian since the 1990s.

Due to a multitude of factors, including the Coming Out Movement, the majority of contemporary Americans know an LGBTQ individual in person. A greater degree of support is associated with knowing someone who identifies as gay, according to multiple studies.

Moreover, the level of interaction is significant. Individuals are more inclined to hold favourable perspectives when they develop a more intimate connection with a homosexual person. Discrimination and the expression of negative opinions are more difficult to endure when directed at a close acquaintance or family member. Despite the lack of outward disclosure by sexual minorities themselves, research on transphobia has demonstrated that engaging in dialogues with supportive individuals can effectively mitigate prejudice. Attitudes differ across the majority of cultures with regard to gender, age, education, and income.

Apart from these micro-level factors, the 3 macro-level reasons behind changing public opinion can be seen in the form of:
Religion, Politics and Economic Development. While more conservative religious denominations tend to have a narrower approach then the liberal ones, politics is often used as a tool to to secure votes of that section of the society, that exerts dominance in number as well as opinions, thus working for the benefit and whims and fancies of the polititians.

In the majority of significant cross-national studies, economic development, as measured by the Human Development Index, appears to be the most influential factor on attitudes. Richer nations have, on average, a greater proportion of liberal citizens than impoverished nations. The prevailing rationale for this correlation is Inglehart's scarcity thesis.

According to Inglehart, inhabitants of countries with low levels of economic development possess limited material resources, compelling them to prioritise survival-oriented concerns and resulting in a significant reliance on the larger society. As nations, however, become more prosperous, the majority of inhabitants begin to take survival for granted.

Their values and priorities undergo a transformation, placing greater emphasis on autonomy, personal liberty, considerations regarding the standard of living, and acceptance of diverse perspectives. The heightened perception of safety that accompanies greater economic progress fosters a greater tolerance and acceptance of homosexuality.

International Covenants
Despite the fact that LGBTQ rights have achieved substantial momentum in foreign diplomacy over the last decade, worldwide community support for these rights remains contentious. International bodies such as the United Nations have passed pro-LGBTQ rights resolutions; nevertheless, formal statements are usually greeted with hostility by member nations unwilling to evaluate their own track records on the subject.

As a consequence of this schism, the preeminent diplomatic organisation continues to deny official recognition to LGBTQ rights. In contrast, LGBTQ rights are advocated for through informal coalitions like the LGBTI Core Group and specific United Nations agencies.

In 2008, 66 nations declared their backing for LGBT rights at the UN General Assembly. The declaration condemned sexual orientation and gender identity human rights breaches. Russia, China, the United States, the Holy See, and the Organisation of the Islamic Conference opposed it, accusing the 66 countries of trying to "undermine the international human rights framework by trying to normalise paedophilia, among other acts."

Following the 2008 declaration, a 2011 UN Human Rights Council study found LGBT discrimination in law and society to persist. In 2015, the UN Human Rights Council introduced a second report on LGBT violence and international law.

Despite UN efforts to promote LGBT rights, nations' resistant to change keep postponing the progress. In his last year as Secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon acknowledged that his LGBT rights advocacy often clashed with big strong member nations. Despite calling LGBT rights an "institutional commitment," he thought his efforts were mostly ineffective.

LGBT rights are not included in the final Sustainable Development Goals, the UN's global development strategy. On September 29, 2015, 12 UN agencies issued a declaration pledging to stop LGBT violence and prejudice. Ending Violence and Discrimination Against LGBTI People, a statement, calls LGBTI discrimination a breach of "international human rights law" and "a barrier to the Sustainable Development Goals".

The informal LGBTI Core Group of countries and NGOs represents LGBT rights at the UN outside of regular UN entities and promotes Global North-Global South collaboration, including Western and Latin American participation, as well as Albania as its first Muslim-majority observer state. In 2010, the High Commissioner for Human Rights joined the Core Group. Because of member-states' resistance, the UN's official institutions struggle to gain support for LGBT rights.

In 2016, the UN Human Rights Council selected an independent expert to investigate global LGBT violence and prejudice. Several Western and Latin American LGBT Core Group countries supported the measure, which passed 23-18 and established an independent expert formalised LGBT Core Group work in UN agencies. It analysed, promoted awareness of worldwide sexual orientation or gender identity discrimination, collaborated with governments to enact anti-discrimination laws, and provided anti-LGBT violence advice to states, NGOs, and UN organisations.

Lastly, Universal Declaration of Human Rights, European Convention On Human Rights, and various resolutions and treaties mention of right to life which includes something more than mere animal existence to everyone, irrespective of their genders or sexual orientation, which needs to be adhered to as a principle of Jus Cogens in the field of International Law.

Global research demonstrates that only five countries in the worl: dBritain, Bolivia, Ecuador, Fiji, and Malta, have granted LGBT people equal constitutional rights, while most fail to safeguard the group from discrimination and abuse. Despite 22 countries legalising same-sex marriage, LGBT persons face discrimination and rights breaches due to constitutional inequality.

"While marriage equality is an important start, it is not enough to prevent discrimination at work, in housing or many other spheres of life," said Jody Heymann, founding director of WORLD and dean of the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health. "It is crucial for constitutions to guarantee equal rights and protection from discrimination to LGBT individuals in all spheres," she said.

Although the world has become a better place for the community overtime, yet what it lacks is a concrete step taken in the regard. The public opinions, societies' evolution, the policies and laws drafted accordingly have been a kickstart, however what needs to be inculcated is protection guaranteed by the most supreme authority of a land, the grundnorm, the lex suprema- the constitution of any country. Moreover, the countries should take steps to respect their commitments on an international basis, irrespective of the political wind in its teritory.

To conclude, much of the evidence on norm transformation towards LGBTQI acceptance and support comes from the global North, but a rising amount of information from Southern countries and areas reveals that equality discourses have taken hold in many locations. Internationally and nationally, activism is the main force behind such changes, most evidently observed in the legal sphere.

Most attention to LGBTQI issues in underdeveloped nations has centred on human rights. Some interventions may transform norms towards more inclusive, tolerant, and supportive cultures. Interventions, methods, and campaigns usually use a human rights rhetoric that promotes LGBTQI inclusion rather than systemic change that challenges the gender binary.

This is a crucial starting step and not the goal, as Robert Frost puts it, "The woods are lovely, dark and deep, But I have promises to keep, And miles to go before I sleep, And miles to go before I sleep."

Written By: Aditi Pande, 3rd year student at Maharashtra National Law University, Aurangabad

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