India: Lok Sabha passes transgender persons protection of rights bill

The Lok Sabha on Monday passed the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill, 2019, PTI reported. The bill was passed by a voice vote even as opposition parties shouted slogans against it.

It was introduced by Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment Thawar Chand Gehlot last month.

The bill defines a transgender person as one whose gender does not match the one assigned at birth and that a person would have the right to choose to be identified as a man, woman or transgender person, irrespective of sex reassignment surgery and hormonal therapy. But, it requires transgender persons to go through a district magistrate and district screening committee to get certified as a trans person and a revised certificate may be obtained only if the individual undergoes surgery to change their gender either as a male or a female.

Minister of State for Social Justice Rattan Lal Kataria said the bill made provision for establishing a national authority for safeguarding rights of transgenders. He said according to the 2011 census there are more than 4.80 lakh transgender persons in the country. The minister highlighted that there are provisions for penalty and punishment in cases of offences and sexual harassment against transgender persons. Read more via Scroll