Members of the LGBT community held a demonstration in Bengaluru against the Transgender Persons' (Protection of Rights) Bill, 2016. The bill which was passed in the Lok Sabha recently has sparked nationwide outrage among the transgender community. Some members of the transgender community complained that the bill is draconian and alleged that it criminalises them.
The bill has defined a transgender person as one who is partly female or male or a combination of female and male or neither female nor male. In addition, the bill has stated that the person’s gender must not match the gender assigned birth.
The bill states that transgenders must get a certificate of identity issued by a District Magistrate based on the recommendations of a screening committee.
The bill directs central and state governments to provide schemes for transgender persons in areas including housing and employment.
The bill recommends central and state governments to address social stigma and discrimination faced by the transgender community.
The bill advocates imprisonment and fine for compelling a transgender person to beg, denying access to public places, physical, sexual and verbal assault.
The Transgender community feels that there is no clarity in its definition of a transgender and rather tries to impose a definition on them. Transgender activists are also against the identification procedure and said it is a blatant violation of human rights. The gender affirmation surgery recommendation is also said to be anti-transgender. The activists say that penalising begging and sex work without providing an alternative to transgenders is disastrous.
Transgender activists also point out that the bill does not advocate any reservation for the community. They said that at a time when transgenders are fighting for their basic rights the bill is said to make things even worse. The bill is pending to be passed in the Rajya Sabha and with the opposition expressing strong reservation about the bill, it remains to be seen if the bills goes to the Select Committee or makes it across without any amendments.