Two years after it introduced a Bill on transgender rights in Lok Sabha, the Union government has reworked the definition and several crucial clauses and is set to re-introduce it in Lok Sabha next week.
The Cabinet on Thursday cleared 27 amendments to the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill and accepted nine of the 11 major suggestions of a parliamentary standing committee, which had examined the Bill.
Earlier Transgender Bill Flaws :-
♣) A transgender person was defined as “one who is
(i) neither wholly female or male
(ii) a combination of female and male
(iii) neither female nor male
It also requires that such a person’s gender “not match the gender assigned at birth, and includes trans-men and trans-women, persons with intersex variations and gender-queers.
♣) There was no option of self-declaration for a transgender.
♣) Absence of a definition of “discrimination”. While the Bill laid down that there should be no discrimination against a transgender person, it was not defined – which has now been rectified in the modified Bill.
New Bill Features :-
♣ Modification of a Definition :- The Cabinet has modified the definition and has defined a transgender as whose gender does not match with the gender assigned at birth and includes trans-men, transwomen, gender-queers, and other socio-cultural identities.
♣) Right to choose to be Identified :- The Bill has said that a person would have the right to choose to be identified as a man, woman or transgender, irrespective of sex reassignment surgery (SRS) and hormonal therapy.
♣) The Bill has now made it mandatory for all organisations to designate an official to examine complaints of discrimination and other grievances.
Major Issues left Unaddressed :-
- The government, however, has refused to address two major issues – decriminalising homosexuality under Section 377 that directly concerns transgenders
- Reservation for transgender community in educational institutions and government organisations.