The Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill, 2019 was passed by Parliament on November 26, 2019. The Bill defines a transperson as someone whose gender does not match the one assigned at birth. It prohibits discrimination against them in employment, education, housing, healthcare and other services.
The Bill allows self perception of gender identity. But it mandates that each person would have to be recognised as ‘transgender’ on the basis of a certificate of identity issued by a district magistrate.
A recommendation from the 2016 Standing Committee to have a screening committee was rejected. Opposition MPs have raised concerns about certain provisions in the Bill.
The trans community has also vehemently rejected the Bill citing several clauses that are detrimental to their fundamental rights:
1) The Bill | States that transgender persons will have the right to “self-perceived” gender identity.
Activists | Change of gender identity in documents cannot be done without a certification by the District Magistrate after proof of a sex reassignment surgery is provided.
2) The Bill | Enforces a minor’s right of residence compelling any transperson below 18 to cohabit with their natal family.
Activists | Families are often a source of gruesome violence against the trans community leading them to separate from the natal family.
3) The Bill | Criminalises begging.
Activists |It does not offer reservations for employment and education.
4) The Bill | Strongly focuses on transwomen and hijras.
Activists | There is little emphasis on the intersex, gender queer and even transmen.