LGBTQI+ community in India still face an uphill struggle for their rights

The LGBTQI+ and homosexual communities are still facing the inequality, prejudice even after the Supreme Court’s judgment on decriminalization of gay sex by striking down the oppressive Article-377 from the Indian Penal Code.

Striking off the 158 year old provisions of Section – 377 of the IPC, that criminalized gay sex being termed as irrational, indefensible and manifestly arbitrary by the apex court and was considered to be violating the right to equality and dignity. The judgment further opined that the LGBTQ community has full range of constitutional rights that includes sexual orientation, and partner choice.

The legalization versus acceptance- An overview

Majority of Indian laws fall inside the boundaries of family laws that also includes the laws pertaining to surrogacy, adoption, guardianship and adoption. As the LGBTQI+ community is excluded from the right to marriage, their access to these laws are rather very limited.

Even the Central Adoption Resource Authority or CARA regulations allow couples who have married for two years and a single woman can adopt a child and there is no mention of same-sex couples in these policies.

The surrogacy (Regulation) Bill that the Union Cabinet approved stated that altruistic surrogacy is allowed but that does not include live-in couples, most single parents and the LGBTQI+ community.

The road ahead – What can be done to pace up the rights of the LGBTQI+ community

The need for raising awareness about the rights of the LGBTQI+ community is the need of the hour. In addition, same-sex marriages should be taken as a norm. The media and television industry should come forward to raise awareness and in encouraging homosexual marriages through TV shows and movies.

Corporate firms or companies must come forward in giving employment opportunities to LGBTQI+ communities. The older generation should also play a key role in educating the younger generation about accepting the LGBTQI+ community as part and parcel of society.

However, it cannot be denied that there is still a long way to go to make changes in the mindset of society in accepting the rights of the LGBTQI+ community.

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