Transgender Persons Act comes into effect

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News: Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment notified Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act, 2019

Facts:

Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act, 2019

Aim: Social, economic and educational empowerment of transgender persons.

Definition of Transgender: Those whose gender does not match the gender assigned to that person at birth.

Key Provisions:

  1.  Right to Self-Identification: Person would have the right to choose to be identified as a man, woman or transgender, irrespective of sex reassignment surgery and hormonal therapy.
  2. Acquiring Certificate: transgender persons need to go through a district magistrate and district screening committee to get certified as a transpersons
  3. Prohibition of Discrimination: No discrimination against transgender persons in accessing education, employment and healthcare
  4. National Council for Transgender persons (NCT): It would advise the central government on related policies and legislation and also act as a centre for grievance redressal
  5. Responsibilities of Government:
  •  Provide health facilities to transgender persons including separate HIV surveillance centres
  • Provide, through an insurance scheme, medical expenses for sex reassignment surgery, hormonal therapy, laser therapy or any such health-related
  •  expenses
  • Take steps for rescue and rehabilitation, vocational training and self-employment
  • Create transgender sensitive schemes, and promote their inclusion in cultural activities

Additional Information:

  1. NALSA Judgement, 2014: The Supreme Court in National Legal Services Authority v. Union of India & Ors. upheld that transgenders should be treated as a third gender for the purpose of safeguarding their fundamental rights.
  2. Section 377 Judgement, 2018: SC in Navtej Singh Johar v. Union of India case decriminalised homosexuality by partially striking down the certain provisions of Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

Marriage between Man and Trans woman: In April 2019, Madras High Court upheld that the marriage solemnised between a man and a trans woman was valid under the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 and ordered its registration. This is the first time in India where marriage between a man and Trans woman has been legally recognised.