Terming the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill which was passed in the Rajya Sabha as regressive, a group of transgender activists Saturday appealed to the President not to give nod to the bill.
The representatives of LGBIQUA+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, queer, asexual) groups, told a press conference that the bill undermined their rights. The bill, they said, requires individuals who change their gender to give a 'proof of surgery' which was against the Supreme Court order in the 2014 National Legal Services Authority vs Union of India case and also mandates a third person to declare the gender of an individual.
The bill would put back transgender rights by 50 years. A theatre artist and transgender activist A Revathi said the term 'third gender' was also problematic, which implied a hierarchy between genders and push them down further, Revathi said and insisted that they are called as Thirunar or transgender people.
On November 26, the Rajya Sabha passed the bill on protection of rights of transgenders after a motion to refer it to a select committee of the Upper House was defeated. The Lok Sabha had passed the bill on August 5. The Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill, 2019, seeks to provide a mechanism for social, economic and educational empowerment of transgenders and was moved for consideration and passage in the Rajya Sabha by Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Thawar Chand Gehlot on November 20.