The Road ahead for the LGBT+ community after decriminialisation

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On 15th September 2018, the Supreme Court struck down parts of the draconian Section 377 of Indian Penal Code, 1872. This was hailed as a big victory for the LGBT+ community. Many report that the judgement helped them come out of their closet.[i]  A good example is the famous Indian athlete Dutee Chand. Several corporates ranging from well-established companies like Godrej and Lalit hotles to startups like Nestaway, Kolapasi Takeaway food-chain , DropTaxi and Bro4U have employed people from the community and are working on providing an inclusive work environment.[ii]

These development however, represent only a small fraction of the society. A large section of the society is still against the community. A UNESCO survey of 371 gender and sexual minority youth in Chennai revealed that 84% of the participants were bullied. [iii] The legislature has not made efforts towards granting marriage equality to the community. This is a sentiment reflected over the country with Mood of the Nation reporting that 62% of Indians think that same sex marriages should not be legalized. The Surrogacy Bill of 2019, only encroaches the rights of the community further. The bill only allows married couples to opt for surrogacy, discriminating same-sex couples and single parents.[iv] The International Commission of Jurists reported that LGBTQ persons often face extensive rights violations within the domain of housing and the home. This includes discrimination in the rental market; denial of housing; segregation into poorly resourced neighbourhoods; violence and harassment (from landlords, neighbours, family and police); and homelessness.[v]

After almost a year and a half of the judgement the country seems to have dissenting opinions on the community. While, the judgement did make people in remote villages aware about existence of the gay community, the acceptance of the same can be doubted.