Conversion therapy for the LGBTQIA+ community

The News

Conversion therapy for the LGBTQIA+ population has just been outlawed by the National Medical Commission (NMC), which also referred to it as professional misconduct in a letter to all State Medical Councils.

The NMC is the top regulatory authority for medical professionals in India.

The NMC claimed that it was acting in accordance with a Madras High Court (HC) ruling while also authorising state organisations to discipline medical practitioners who disobey the guideline.

About: Conversion Therapy

An intervention to alter a person's sexual orientation or gender identity is known as conversion therapy or reparative therapy.

This happens with the intention of converting the person into a heterosexual individual through the use of psychiatric/mental treatment, medications, exorcism, and even violence.

For young people whose gender identification conflicts with their sex anatomy, conversion therapy also entails efforts to change their fundamental identities.

Judiciary on Conversion therapy

The Madras High Court ordered NMC to issue an official notice in 2022 naming conversion treatment as a violation of the Indian Medical Council (Professional Conduct, Etiquettes, and Ethics) Regulations, 2002.

A same-sex couple seeking police protection from their parents was the subject of a court hearing.

To ensure their safety and security while leading a life of their choosing, the HC issued a set of provisional regulations for the police, activists, Union and State Social Welfare Ministries, and the NMC.

The ruling prohibited using medical procedures to treat or alter the sexual orientation of LGBTQIA+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, or of any other orientation) individuals.

It requested that authorities take action against professionals who engage in any kind of conversion treatment, including the cancellation of a medical licence.

The Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment was requested by the court to compile a list of NGOs and other organisations that could address the community's problems.

The District Legal Services Authority should work with law enforcement agencies to provide legal assistance to the community, the court ruled.

The Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act, 2019, and the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Rules, 2020, must be adhered to by agencies in letter and spirit, the court said.

The court ruled that awareness-raising campaigns are essential to properly comprehending the community and its concerns.

LGBT rights

According to the 2011 Census, there are about 480,000 transgender individuals in India.

Even though LGBT rights in India have advanced quickly in recent years, they continue to confront social and legal barriers that do not apply to non-LGBT people.

The nation's colonial-era legislation, like as Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), which directly discriminated against homosexual and transgender identities, have been repealed, modified, or read down.

In its historic ruling in Navtej Singh Johar v. Union of India in 2018, the SC read down Section 377 of the IPC to decriminalise consenting gay relations.

The Indian Constitution guarantees fundamental rights and forbids discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity in line with Article 15 (prohibition of discrimination on the basis of religion, race, caste, sex, or place of birth).

Source: The Hindu

Posted by V.P.Nimbalkar on 6th Sep 2022