Medical courses in India reaffirm queerphobia: Madras HC

National Medical Commission, Indian Psychiatric Society told to revamp curriculum
Image used for representational purpose (File photo| Ashwin Prasath, EPS)
Image used for representational purpose (File photo| Ashwin Prasath, EPS)

CHENNAI: The Madras High Court on Tuesday observed that medical courses in India reaffirm queerphobia and discrimination against LGBTQIA+ communities and called for necessary reforms in the medical curriculum. Justice N Anand Venkatesh made the observation while hearing a plea filed by a lesbian couple seeking protection from their relatives. 


The court directed the Additional Solicitor General to bring these issues to the attention of the National Medical Commission and Indian Psychiatric Society and to direct them to file a report as to how they are going to handle this issue in the future by carrying out necessary changes in the curriculum.

The court has ordered police to ensure LGBTQIA+ persons, and NGOs are not harassed. The State public prosecutor assured that these concerns would be communicated to the Director General of Police so that steps are taken to create awareness. 

Addressing the Advocate General of the State, the court added, “Tamil Nadu is always known for introducing reforms in the interest of persons belonging to marginalised communities and sects and therefore, this State must be a role model to create a favourable atmosphere to persons belonging to the LGBTQIA+ community.

This court is confident that the State Government will work towards recognition and development of persons belonging to the community and that they will be brought within the mainstream of the society. The expectation of this court must be kept in mind by the State Government while filing compliance or status report before this court.” The matter will be taken up on October 4.

The court referred to an example of a doctor prescribing anti-depressants and erectile dysfunction drugs to a gay man.

“This sample case clearly exhibits ignorance on the part of the doctor who is not even aware that there is no “cure” for gender identity. These are ways and means adopted by professionals under the guise of conversion therapy,” the order said.

This lack of knowledge on part of the psychiatrist concerned can directly be attributed to the course that he studied and which is yet to be revamped and brought up to date, the court added.

Related Stories

No stories found.

The New Indian Express