The Karnataka Transgender Samithi (KTS) has issued a statement on the Rights of Transgender Persons Bill (2014) introduced by MP Tiruchi Siva and passed in Rajya Sabha on 27 Feb 2015.
While welcoming the Bill, the KTS statement draws attention to certain lacunae and loopholes that need to be addressed urgently. Chief among these are:
2. Need to address violence perpetrated by the police on transgender people.
3. Need for provisions in the personal sphere, such as those pertaining to marriage, inheritance and adoption.
4. Need to decriminalise sexual acts, currently penalised under Section 377, in order to affirm the sexual rights and expression of transgender people.
5. Need to ensure that the National and State Commissions envisaged in the Bill are headed by transgender people with experience in grassroots advocacy.
6. Inclusion of intersex persons, as has been affirmed by the Jackuline Mary (2014) verdict of Madras High Court.
7. Procedures for self-identification, as spelled out in the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment Experts Committee report.
8. Provisions to address violence perpetrated by family members.
Key demands of the Statement are:
- A national consultation should be organized to discuss and debate the provisions of the Transgender Rights Bill and all shortcomings should be addressed before the bill is present before the Lok Sabha.
- A delegation of members from the community shall be allowed to facilitate a consultative process to analyze the bill and the recommendations ought to be taken into consideration.
- The recommendations of the MSJE report ought to be implemented in toto without any dilution.
- The Commission envisaged in the bill should work with autonomous groups and should function in a decentralized way.
A detailed section-wise response to the Bill is provided by KTS in their statement, which may be downloaded here.
Thanks to Gowthaman Ranganathan for sharing the report with permission from the Karnataka Transgender Samithi to upload and circulate it.