In a progressive and landmark judgement, the Madras HC has issued guidelines for the protection of LGBTQ+ community by the state and police.
Justice Anand Venkatesh, who pronounced the judgement as a single judge bench, himself underwent psycho-educational sessions to understand same-sex relationships better.
THe guidelines set by him prohibit any attempts to medically 'cure' or change the sexual orientation of LGBTQ+ people. Talking about the need to sensitise society about LGBTQ+ community, he said:
Ignorance is no justification for normalizing any form of discrimination. Educators should reach out to parents, to help sensitize parents on issues of LGBTQIA+ community and gender nonconforming students, to ensure supportive families.
The guidelines put forth by the court also said that if police comes across any case of missing persons involving consenting adults belonging to the LGBTQ+ community, they shall close the complaint without subjecting them to any harassment.
You can read the guidelines in this Instagram post.
The decision and the entire process is being hailed by netizens.
Such a good day for the courts, such a good day for the law, such a good day for an independent institution. Heart is full. Good night, folks.— Menaka Guruswamy (@MenakaGuruswamy) June 7, 2021
When accepting imperfections lead to perfection of Justice! https://t.co/PknGKi3nqN— Vanshika Mehta (@VanshikaMehta12) June 8, 2021
The Madras HC's verdict is one of the first step to stamp out homophobia in India— Nikhil Rampal (@NikhilRampal1) June 7, 2021
A straight marriage is supported by society, religion and law.
At least one institution supporting homosexuality - might pave a way for acceptance#Pride #India #MadrasHighCourt #LGBTQ https://t.co/Xd8aElCfQm
#Thread #Pride2021— Manuraj S (@manuraj1983) June 7, 2021
Today, Justice N Anand Venkatesh of Madras High Court has guidelines with regard to cases pertaining to LGBTQIA+ persons (to State and Union Governments).
I believe these will have a tremendous impact on how law deals with queer communities:
yeah i will read the 107 page judgment but also because this happened in pride month which is kind of iconic https://t.co/hyxKU7sGng— 😚 (@winniebooh1) June 7, 2021
Justice N Anand Venkatesh, a Madras HC judge made attempts to understand an issue he knew nothing about before giving directions. In doing so, he travelled a path seldom taken and in the process, was pulled out from the "darkness (ignorance)". https://t.co/oNne8UqObE— Ritika Jain (@riotsjain) June 8, 2021
Madras HC bans ‘cure’ of sexual orientation, issues guidelines to police to handle LGBTQ cases— Katyusha (@Indian10000000) June 7, 2021
That such a regressive thought still exists that homosexuality is an aberration & people should conform to what's considered normative sexual orientation itself is a matter of shame !
This is genuinely a path breaking order. The court not only made sure that directions are passed to various ministries and the court is keeping the matter open to ensure compliance. The directions are wide ranging. Makes me so happy reading this. pic.twitter.com/O0PJhfgbKy— Akhilesh Godi 🏳️🌈🇮🇳 (@godisays) June 7, 2021
Fascinating to see a judge lift the veil over judicial neutrality. And to work hard to deconstruct from his own cis-heteropatriarchal upbringing to reach justice. The directions are important too: Take action against those doing 'conversion therapy', sensitise judges, police etc. https://t.co/bl1zHAzTtT— Karuna Nundy (@karunanundy) June 7, 2021
Significantly, this is not a final judgment. The court has taken on a continuing mandamus to make sure directions are implemented towards structural equality for queer folk.— Karuna Nundy (@karunanundy) June 7, 2021
"I realized after a 1-on-1 interaction with the Petitioners that it was I (us) who has to set off on a journey of understanding them and accepting them and shed our notions and not they who have to turn themselves inside out to suit our notions of social morality and tradition." https://t.co/JDRqdVUdJ9— arundhatikatju अरुंधति काटजू (@arundhatikatju) June 7, 2021
This is such positive news. We have a long way to go from here but this step by the Madras HC will pave the way.