CHENNAI: Over 1,000 trans people from Tamil Nadu and Puducherry gathered at Chepauk to protest against the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill that was passed in the Lok Sabha earlier this month.
Speaking to Express, Jaya of NGO ‘Sahodaran’ said, “Some people tell us that something is better than nothing and ask us to accept the Bill since amendments can always be made to it, in time. But it is not acceptable in this case because the bill has failed to include the features outlined by the landmark NALSA judgement in 2014.”
The Supreme Court judgement in April 15, 2014, (National Legal Services Authority vs Union of India) that has come to be known as the NALSA judgement attempted to protect the right of self-identification, among several others.
Under the Transgender Persons Bill, however, trans persons will have to obtain a certificate of identity, recommended by a screening committee that includes a medical officer, as proof of identity as a transgender individual and to invoke their rights under the Bill.
Jaya said the Bill does not take into account the comprehensive set of policies to be adopted by the Centre and the State, as outlined by DMK member ‘Tiruchy’ Siva’s Private Member’s bill on transgender rights that was passed in the Rajya Sabha in 2015.