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Parliamentary panel’s historic recommendations for Transgenders

A transgender person should have the option to choose either ‘man’, ‘woman’ or ‘transgender’ as well as have the right to choose any of the options independent of surgery/hormones, the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Social Justice and Empowerment, headed by the Chairperson Ramesh Bais has recommended in its 43rd report presented in the Loksabha.

The Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill, 2016, which seeks to define a transgender person and prohibit discrimination against them says, “Transgender community is one of the most marginalized communities in the country because they do not fit into the general categories of gender of male or female”.

The Committee, in its historic report, has recommended that the Bill must recognize transgender persons’ right to marriage, partnership, divorce and adoption, as governed by their personal laws or other relevant legislation.

Noting that the transgender community faces problems ranging from social exclusion to discrimination, lack of education facilities, unemployment, lack of medical facilities and so on; the report observes that the Constitution of India under Article 14 guarantees to all persons equality before law, Clauses (1) and (2) of Article 15 and Clause (2) of Article 16, inter alia prohibit in express terms discrimination on the ground only of sex and sub-clause (a) of Clause (1) of Article 19 ensures freedom of speech and expression to all citizens, yet the discrimination and atrocities against the transgender persons continue to take place.

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