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Rights of the LGBT community in India

"LGBT people are some of the bravest and most potent change agents and leaders I have encountered, and the most forceful defenders of the vulnerable and voiceless, because they know what it's like to be there." -- Ronan Farrow

The LGBT community has been debated for many years. The idea of ​​securing this community through justice, justice and unity was the main motto of the government. The word LGBT is short for lesbian. gay, bisexual, transgender. In the past, this LGBT was called the gay community, but later it came to include other types of homosexuals. Discrimination against this community is commonplace, leaving them socially isolated, marginalized and denied their basic rights as citizens of India.

This paper analyses the insufficient provisions to protect their rights, followed by their composition and the difficulties they face today. Recently, the rights of this community have been realized and judicial interventions have been made to protect them. The same was discussed in the papers that followed the Supreme Court's ruling declaring "rights of the third sex."

LGBT stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender. This community was once known as the gay community, but the word gay refers only to men. As such, the community was introduced as the LGBT community in his mid-1980s.

The term gay has traditionally been used to refer to people who are attracted to people of the same sex. However, generally gay refers to men who are sexually attracted only to men. Lesbians are women who are sexually attracted only to women. A bisexual person is someone who is attracted to both men and women. Transgender people have a gender identity or expression that is different from the gender they were assigned at birth. Some transgender people who seek medical assistance in transitioning from one gender to another identify as transgender.

The Supreme Court of India has ruled that the National Legal Services Authority v. Union of India has made history for transgender people being called the 'third gender'. The ruling affirmed the equal application of the fundamental freedoms guaranteed by the Indian constitution and gave them the right to identify as male, female, or a third gender.

Although the rights of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community have developed rapidly since this ruling, the LGBT community in India still faces significant social and legal challenges not experienced by non-LGBT people. doing. During the colonial period, there were laws that criminalized homosexuality. It was abolished after independence with the introduction of Article 15 of the Indian Constitution. Article 15 of the Indian Constitution prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

Difficulties faced by LGBT in today's society

In a society where only heterosexuality is accepted and homosexuality is considered abnormal, LGBT people face myriad challenges. Abuse is their daily routine and they face it almost every day. They are more likely than people who identify as heterosexual to experience intolerance, discrimination, harassment and threats of violence because of their sexual orientation. facing violence. In many countries, same-sex couples do not enjoy the rights enjoyed by heterosexual couples. These rights are denied. As a result, they face discrimination and are denied access to social protection schemes such as health care and pensions.

LGBT people even hide their gender and do not reveal it for fear of losing their jobs. They gradually develop low self-esteem. Parents of ordinary children will not allow LGBT children to be with them who act solely out of care and concern. Lack of communication between LGBT children and parents often leads to conflict within families.

Many LGBT youth are placed in foster care or sent to youth detention centres or the streets. Her LGBT teens are at a much higher risk of developing health and mental health problems as they grow up due to their rejection by their parents and caregivers. People may resort to drugs or alcohol to relieve stress. You are isolated from everyone. They become victims of hate crimes. Homosexuality is considered a crime in many countries and is often punishable by imprisonment and fines. Furthermore, it is considered a sin under some personal laws and is illegal.

In Hinduism, Hindu scriptures indicate the recognition of the third gender. According to some versions of the Maharashtra epic, some characters changed gender, one such being was Shikhandi, who is sometimes said to have been born female but later identified as male & married to a woman.

The fertility goddess Bakhchara Mata is worshiped as the patron saint of the Hijras. His two major Sanskrit scriptures on dharma and medicine, respectively Nradasmti and Sushruta Samhita, proclaim homosexuality to be immutable and forbid homosexuals to marry opposite-sex spouses. However, in another Hindu text called Manusmriti, there are many penalties for homosexuality. In the case of homosexual men, Manus Murriti attributed the loss of caste to the sexual union between two individuals, homosexual and heterosexual, in a bullock cart.

Fatwa Airamgiri, who introduced a standard set of sanctions against jina (illegal intercourse), including homosexuality, during the Mughal era, summarized the existing set of rules of his Sultanate in Delhi. These could include death by stoning for a Muslim, his 100 lashes for a free heathen, and his 50 lashes for a slave.

During the colonial period, the British government enacted Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code. Article 377 criminalizes homosexuality and bisexuality. Under Section 377 of the IPC, sexual intercourse with a man, woman, or animal in violation of the order of nature is punishable and prohibited. Before this law was enacted in 1861, India had no laws regulating sexual intercourse.

Visibility and Exposure
According to Ipsos' online Global LGBT+ Pride 2021 survey, 59% of Indian respondents support LGBT people who speak openly about their sexual orientation and gender identity, and 39% believe that LGBT people are affectionate in public. (such as kissing or holding hands). 56% openly endorse lesbian, gay and bisexual athletes on sports teams, and 55% endorse more LGBT characters in television, film and advertising.

According to the same survey, 17% of Indians have a homosexual (including gay and lesbian) relative, friend, or work colleague, and 21% have a bisexual relative, friend, or work colleague. 10% have relatives, friends or work colleagues. Twelve percent of transgender co-workers have relatives, friends, or work colleagues who are non-binary, non-conforming, or gender-biased.


  • 2017
    According to a 2017 poll conducted by International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA), 58% of Indians agree that gay, lesbian and bisexual people should have the same rights as heterosexuals, while 30% disagree. did. A poll found that 59% agree that they should be protected from discrimination in the workplace. A poll found that 39% of Indians believe that people in homosexual relationships should be prosecuted as criminals, with a majority of 44% disagreeing. 66% of transgender people agree they should have equal rights, 62% feel they should be protected from discrimination in the workplace, and 60% want their legal gender to change. I felt that I should be allowed to use it.
  • 2021
    According to the Ipsos LGBT+ Pride 2021 Global Survey, 53% of Indians support laws that prohibit discrimination against LGBT people in employment, education, housing, access to social services, etc. 58% of Indians support companies and brands that actively promote equality for LGBT people, and 53% of transgender people compete based on the gender they identify rather than the gender they were assigned at birth of athletes.
Post-Colonial Era
In 2018, the Supreme Court of India decriminalized consensual homosexuality between adults by downplaying Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code and excluding it from the scope of her landmark Navtej Singh Johar v. Union of India.

In December 2002, the Delhi High Court received a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by the Nas Foundation to challenge IPC Section 377. Decriminalization of homosexuality in India is supported by a number of organizations including Naz Foundation (India) Trust, National AIDS Control Organization, Indian Legal Commission, Federal Ministry of Health, India's National Human Rights Commission, and Plan, Indian Commission, most of Section 377 of the IPC was ruled unconstitutional by the Delhi High Court on 2 July 2009 in Naz Foundation v Delhi National Capital Region.

The Delhi High Court said it was "not uncommon" to hold gay gatherings as it was a common practice outside India. To the extent that sexual activity other than sexual activity is unlawful, it violates the fundamental right to life and individual liberty of a person under Articles 14, 15 and 21 of the Indian Constitution, as well as individual rights. Did. Equality before the law and freedom from discrimination. The High Court did not completely invalidate Section 377. Noting that this section applies not only to sex involving minors, but also to non-consensual non-vaginal sex, there is hope that Congress will pass legislation to address this issue. expressed.

On December 11, 2013, the Supreme Court of India upheld the constitutionality of Section 377 of the IPC. It said it responded to the appeals of an astrologer named Suresh Kumar Koushal and others, instead leaving it up to Indian lawmakers to provide the clarity they wanted.

Then, on September 6, 2018, the Supreme Court struck down part of Section 377, a British-era law that made homosexual acts consensual. The court confirmed that the other provisions of Section 377, which make unnatural sexual intercourse with children and animals unlawful, remain in force.

Case Study of Navtej Singh Johar v. Union of India:

India witnessed an increasing number of LGBT rights protests when some high profile names including hotelier Keshav Suri, Ritu Dalmia, dancer Navtej Singh Johar among many others came forward and filed the petition before the Supreme court challenging the constitutional validity of Section 377 of IPC.

Arguments were advanced that section 377 violated the constitutional rights to privacy, freedom of expression, equality, human dignity and protection from discrimination.

The court unanimously ruled that Section 377 is unconstitutional as it infringes the fundamental rights of intimacy, autonomy and identity. and decriminalised homosexuality by reading down Section 377 to exclude consensual intercourse between adults of the same sex/gender:
  1. The court further opined that the sexual orientation is an inherent part of self-identity and invalidating the same is denying the right to life and the fact that they constitute a minuscule section of the population cannot be a valid justification to deny them this right.
  2. The court heavily criticized the Koushal judgment and called it irrational, arbitrary and manifestly unconstitutional.
  3. It was also emphasized that discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is unconstitutional considering it is a natural phenomenon as proven by scientific and biological facts.

Discrimination Protection

The Indian Constitution and its various amendments protect the LGBT community against various discriminations.

Article 15 of the Constitution of India states that:
Discrimination prohibited on the basis of religion, race, caste, sex, or place of birth.
  • The State shall not discriminate against any citizen on the basis of religion, race, caste, sex, or place of birth alone or in combination with any of the other grounds.
  • No citizen shall be subject to any disability, liability, restriction, or condition with respect to:
    1. Access to stores, public restaurants, hotels, and places of public entertainment; or
    2. The use of wells, tanks, bathing Ghats, roads, and places of public resort maintained entirely or in part with money provided by the State or designated for the use of the general public.

Adoption Rights

According to the Ipsos LGBT+ Pride 2021 Global Survey, 66% of Indians believe same-sex couples should have the same adoption rights as heterosexual couples, while 21% disagree and 13% are unsure. Similarly, 59% of Indians believe same-sex couples are as likely to be as successful in parenting as other parents, 26% are not and 16% are unsure.

Discrimination and Bullying in Higher Education

The 2016 UGC Rule on Suppressing the Threat of Ragging in Higher Education Institutions (Third Amendment) prohibits bullying, raging, and discrimination against students based on their sexual orientation or gender identity.

Marriage Equality

According to the Ipsos LGBT+ Pride 2021 Global Survey, 44% of Indians support legalizing same-sex marriage, 14% support legal recognition of same-sex couples, 18% oppose and 25% do not express an opinion I chose to Additionally, the survey found that 56% of Indians now hold a different view of same-sex marriage than she did five years ago.

A 2016 poll by the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association found that 35% of Indians supported legalizing same-sex marriage, while another 35% opposed it. A Barkey Foundation poll conducted in September-October 2016 found that support for same-sex marriage was 53% higher between the age of 18 and her age of 21.

Military Service

The Indian Army does not openly allow LGBT people to serve. Bills amending the Army Act 1950, Navy Act 1957 and Air Force Act 1950 were introduced in the Indian Parliament by his BJP member Jagdhan Bikapal in late December 2018 to allow LGBT people to serve in the armed forces. Now The House of Representatives did not vote on the bill.

Some State Laws:
  • State of Karnataka:

    The 2017 National Transgender Policy was issued by the Government of Karnataka in October 2017 and aims to raise awareness of transgender people in all state educational institutions. Educational institutions address issues of abuse, violence and discrimination against transgender people. An oversight committee was also set up to investigate allegations of discrimination.
  • State of Maharashtra:

    The Transgender Welfare Board was established by the Government of Maharashtra in February 2019 to implement health programs and provide formal education and employment opportunities for transgender people. The Board provides free housing to scholarship applicants and offers skills development programs to help transgender people find employment.

    A similar agency was set up in neighboring Gujarat in the same month. The Gujarat State Commission works with government agencies to enable the transgender community to benefit from government programs and provides various social programs for employment and education. A public awareness campaign was also launched to educate the public.
  • State of Kerala and Tamil Nadu:

    The first Indian states to introduce transgender welfare policies were Tamil Nadu and Kerala. Under this policy, transgender people will receive free housing, various citizenship documents, admission to state colleges with full scholarships for higher education, and alternative income sources through the establishment of support groups (for savings) and introduction of income-generating programs are available. (IGP). Tamil Nadu was the first state in which a member of the transgender community established a transgender welfare organization. In 2016, Kerala started offering free surgeries in public hospitals.
  • State of West Bengal:

    West Bengal established the Transgender Welfare Commission in 2015 to coordinate all policy-making and development efforts related to the state's transgender population. However, the commission has been criticized by many transgender activists as a "circumflexed failure". The board is supposed to meet once a month with representatives from many state government departments, but as of July 2017, it has only convened five times.
  • State of Bihar:

    The Bihar government announced the establishment of a transgender welfare organization in July 2019. The commission will investigate and report on the social and legal difficulties faced by transgender people in the state and provide financial assistance up to Rupees - 150,000 for gender reassignment surgery. Additionally, anyone who denies transgender people access to housing or medical facilities could face up to her two years in prison.


Homosexuality is not a mental illness. Straightforward and natural. The human mind cannot control it. The situation for the LGBT community is the worst in India. They are subject to harassment, violence and ridicule. Resolutions adopted by the United Nations have positive effects around the world. India's position on LGBT issues at the United Nations has been very disappointing.

India has stigmatized its image as a democratic republic by stubbornly opposing her LGBT rights internationally. Making people aware of the existence of the LGBT community is very important. Human rights are natural rights that are indestructible and inalienable to human beings by birth. Homosexuals are not extra-terrestrials, they are not sick, and their sexual behaviour is completely dictated by nature.

The Government of India should wipe away its conservative nature and take concrete steps for the welfare of sexual minority.

The supreme court`s verdict on Decriminalization of section 377 was a significant milestone for the LGBTQ community because it gave them the correct to reveal their emotions and live a dignified life but at the identical time it will affect various other laws especially personal laws like section 32(d) of the Parsi Marriage and divorce act 1936; section 27(1-A) of the special marriage act, 1954 etc. Therefore, to cater to this problem several amendments within the family laws shall be conducted.

Educating people about LGBT rights is essential. Human rights are inalienable and inalienable rights that are given to every human being by birth. People need to understand that being gay is not sick, alien, or abnormal. Rather, their sexual orientation obeys the laws of nature entirely.

Human rights should include recognition of LGBTQ rights. Articles 14, 15, 19, 21 and 29 all disallow same-sex partnerships, disallow adoption, guardianship, surrogacy, in vitro fertilization, safe and include her LGBT+ Violated by inability to access work. Furthermore, discrimination based solely on sexual orientation violates Articles 14, 15 and 21 of the Army and Navy Law.

The marriages of the LGBTQ community should happen under the special marriage act, 1954 despite personal laws because it is more clear and unambiguous as compared to the private laws, moreover, in Shariat law homosexual marriages don`t seem to be allowed therefore Muslims cannot do homosexual marriages if they are going with their personal laws.

Therefore, all the marriages of LGBTQ shall be done under the Special Marriage Act to get rid of the paradox and to forestall the chaos or the legislators should draft a brand new act which, specifically will cater to the marriages of LGBTQ community.

In the end, I might prefer to say that though, the judgment by the Hon`ble Supreme Court was given within the favour of the LGBTQ community but the social implications of it might be a huge task to be dealt by the community members. The judgment should work effectively both on paper and in practicality.

  • Human rights in India
  • LGBT rights in Asia
  • LGBT culture in India
  • National Council for Transgender Persons
  • High Court: 'Same Sex Couples can live Together

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