Madras HC directs State Government to address LGBTQIA+ community in dignified way

By Legal Wires 4 Minutes Read

The Madras High Court has directed the Government of Tamil Nadu to come up with a standardized prospective glossary containing the words and expressions to address persons belonging to the LGBTQIA+ community and also to extend the scope of the ‘Garima Greh’ scheme to all the members of the community.

S. Sushma & Anr. v. Commissioner of Police & Ors.

A Single Judge Bench of Justice N. Anand Venkatesh urged the Additional Advocate General, appearing for the State of Tamil Nadu to take into consideration a list of 24 words and expressions suggested by petitioners to address the LGBTQIA + community.

“At some stage, there must be a beginning where persons belonging to this community are addressed in a more dignified manner. The learned Additional Advocate General shall take note of the words and expressions that have been suggested and it can be forwarded to the Government of Tamil Nadu, facilitating it to come up with a standardized guide/prospective glossary containing the words and expressions,” the court directed.

The senior members of panel counsel had submitted that the scheme ‘Garima Greh’ covers only the persons falling under the category of transgenders. The court observed that the scheme would become beneficial and non-discriminatory only if it is extended to the entire LGBTQIA+ community and remarked that such schemes are the only ray of hope for the community as they don’t have any support from the family or the society.

“In the considered view of this Court, transgender persons are only a fraction of the entire LGBTQIA+ community. The benefit under the scheme has to be extended to the entire LGBTQIA+ community and must not be confined only to transgender persons. The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment shall take this into consideration and enlarge the scope of this scheme to all persons from the LGBTQIA+ community. Only then can it be considered as a wholesome and non-discriminative welfare scheme benefitting persons who otherwise are being marginalised in the society”, observed the court.

The court opined that once the government publishes such a list, it will have “more force” and be easier to implement. Also, the court urged the media and press to consider using the said list of words and expressions to address the LGBTQIA + community.

Legal Wires

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