India: Centre to reintroduce transgender bill with suggested changes

The government is set to reintroduce the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill, 2016 in the budget session of Parliament, which resumes on March 5, after incorporating some of the suggestions made by a parliamentary committee. 

“Apart from the suggestions made by the parliamentary panel, the government took cognisance of the suggestions made by various rights groups on altering the definition, and some suggestions such as doing away with the need to have a screening committee at the district level,” said an official, who asked not to be named.

The 2016 bill had proposed that a transgender person may make an application to the district magistrate for issuing a “certificate of identity as a transgender person”. The district magistrate would then refer the application to a district screening committee constituted by the appropriate government. According to the official, the revised bill would allow a certificate to be issued by the district magistrate indicating a change in gender on receipt of applications “after being satisfied”, the official said, suggesting that medical screening would not be required.

While officials say the revised bill will drop “neither wholly female nor wholly male” from the definition, it is not as yet clear whether it will fully adopt the definition suggested by the parliamentary panel: “a person whose gender does not match with the gender assigned to that person at birth and includes trans-men and trans-women (whether or not they have undergone sex reassignment surgery or hormone therapy or laser therapy etc), gender-queers and a number of sociocultural identities such as kinnars, hijras, aravanis, jogtas, etc.” Read more via Hindustan Times