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LGBTQ Issues in India- An analysis by EASTfacts Media

LGBTQ ISSUEs IN INDIA

On 6, sept. 2018, the supreme court of India, in its landmark decision of Navtej Singh Johar vs. Union of India, ruled that consensual homosexual acts would no longer constitute a crime. The historic move changed section 377 of the Indian Penal Code which had been continuing since British colonial rule.

The change was welcomed by Indian and global LGBTQ + communities as a step towards acceptance and equal rights of LGBTQ peoples. Now,  after two years of passing this law, the question arises of how much liberty and rights have been enjoyed by these people and what are difficulties they still face.




What are LGBTQ rights and protection laws?

People around the world face violence and inequality- and sometimes torture, even execution- because of who they love, how they look, or who they are. Sexual orientation and gender identity are integral aspects of our selves and should never lead to discrimination or abuse. In India, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and transgender(LGBT) rights have evolved in recent years.

There is nearly 2,80,000 transgender in India. They are allowed to change their legal gender post-sex reassignment surgery under legislation passed in 2019 and have a constitutional right to register themselves under a third gender. The country has repealed its colonial-era laws that directly discriminated against homosexual and transgender identities and also explicitly interpreted article 15 of the constitution to prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

Despite recent political movements in favour of LGBT rights, there is a significant amount of homophobia present among the Indian population. Almost half of all Indians objecting to the same-sex relationship according to a 2019 opinion poll. In the 2010s, the LGBT people in India increasingly gained tolerance and acceptance, especially in large cities.

Nonetheless, most LGBT people in India remain closeted, fearing discrimination from their families who might see homosexuality as shameful and immoral. And still, many legal protections have not been provided for, including same-sex marriage.

LGBT History in India:

LGBT in India has been documented many times. Many ancient Indian texts have written in favour of homosexuality and other Gender-related issues. Religion has played a role in shaping Indian customs and traditions. In Hinduism, the concept of the third gender is acknowledged and has a strong tradition of portraying those (third gender) identifying as such positively.

The Kama Sutra, a Sanskrit text on human sexual behaviour, used the term TRITIYA-PRAKRITI to define men with homosexual desires and described their practices in great detail. It also described lesbians, bisexuals, transgender, and intersex people.




The Hindu Khajuraho temple which is famous for its erotic sculptures contains several depictions of homosexual activity. Historians have argued, for a long time, that pre-colonial Indian society didn’t criminalise same-sex relationships, nor did it view such relations as immoral or sinful. Therefore, It can be said that Homosexuality was never illegal or a criminal offence in ancient Indian but was criminalised by the Britishers during their rule in India.

Foundations working on to overcome the issue of LGBT:

  1. Human rights watch is continuously working for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender people’s rights and with activists representing a multiplicity of identities and issues. They are documenting and exposing abuses based on sexual orientation and gender identity worldwide, including torture, killings and executions, arrests under unjust laws, unequal treatment, censorship, medical abuses, discrimination in health and jobs and housing, domestic violence, abuses against children, and denial of family rights and recognition. They advocate for laws and policies that will protect everyone’s dignity.

  2. Families must need to respect their child’s gender(homosexuality). They must not consider it shameful and immoral. 

  3. Many other organisations such as UNO and Indian organisations Include samabhavana society, sahodari foundation, Sappho for equality. 

Now, it can be said that the things and attitudes of society towards LGBTQ + communities are changing but there is still a long way to go in India.


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