Tag Archives: transgender

Having a Homosexual Relationship Is Not Wrong in India


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By T. V. Antony Raj

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The Buggery Act 1533, formally An Acte for the punishment of the vice of Buggerie (25 Hen. 8 c. 6), was an Act of the Parliament of England that passed during the reign of Henry VIII piloted through Parliament by Thomas Cromwell.

The Act defined buggery as an unnatural sexual act, “the detestable and abominable Vice of Buggery committed with Mankind or Beast” against the will of God and Man. This was later defined by the courts to include only anal penetration and bestiality.

It was England’s first civil sodomy law, such offences having previously been dealt with by the ecclesiastical courts. The act remained in force until repealed and replaced by the Offences against the Person Act 1828, and buggery remained a capital offence until 1861, though the last executions were in 1835.

The Indian Penal Code introduced in 1861 during the British rule of India. Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code was modelled on the Buggery Act of 1533,. It makes sexual activities “against the order of nature“, illegal.

377. Unnatural offences: Whoever voluntarily has carnal inter­course against the order of nature with any man, woman or animal, shall be punished with imprisonment for life, or with impris­onment of either description for a term which may extend to ten years, and shall also be liable to fine.

Explanation: Penetration is sufficient to constitute the carnal intercourse necessary to the offence described in this section

All over the world many still consider homosexuality as a “deviant behaviour” and not merely a question of one’s sexual orientation or preference. In India, too many consider homosexuality as taboo, and opinions are divided on this controversial issue but the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender or LGBT community and some freedom-loving people want homosexuality de-criminalised.

On July 2, 2009, in response to a petition challenging the constitutional validity of Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) which criminalized consensual sexual activities between homosexual adults conducted in private, the Delhi High Court struck down portions of Section 377 concerning gay sex as unconstitutional. The judgment held that Section 377 infringed upon fundamental rights under Articles 14, 15, 21 of the Constitution of India, and declared the section unconstitutional to the extent that it criminalized private consensual sexual activity between adults. 

Some religious bodies challenged this judgment of decriminalizing Section 377 in the Supreme Court of India.

On December 11, 2013, in Suresh Kumar Koushal vs Naz Foundation case, the Supreme Court of India held that Section 377 providing punishment for gay sex was constitutionally valid and overturned the judgement of the Delhi High Court, thereby shutting the small window for gay rights opened by the Delhi High Court. The Supreme Court held that amending or repealing section 377 should be a matter left to Parliament, not the judiciary. 

On Saturday, November 28, 2015, speaking at the Times LitFest, late finance minister Arun Jaitley of BJP and his predecessor P Chidambaram of Congress came out in support of gay rights. 

Arun Jaitley is the first leader from the BJP to have supported decriminalization of consensual sex among gay adults. Speaking in his capacity, he said, “When millions of people world over are having alternative sexual preferences, it is too late in the day to propound a view that they should be jailed. The Delhi High Court’s view appears more acceptable.” 

Speaking just afterwards, Chidambaram, who was also speaking in his capacity, said that the Delhi High Court verdict decriminalizing gay sex was a wonderful one and the Supreme Court should have stayed with it.

On February 6, 2016, a three-member bench of the Supreme Court reviewed curative petitions submitted by the Naz Foundation and others and decided that they would be reviewed by a five-member constitutional bench.

On August 24, 2017, the Supreme Court upheld the right to privacy as a fundamental right under the Constitution in the landmark  Puttaswamy judgement. The Court also called for equality and condemned discrimination, stated that the protection of sexual orientation lies at the core of the fundamental rights and that the rights of the LGBT population are real and founded on constitutional doctrine. This judgement was believed to imply the unconstitutionality of section 377. 

In January 2018, the Supreme Court agreed to hear a petition to revisit the 2013 Naz Foundation judgment. 

On Thursday, September 6, 2018, in the judgment given by a five judges bench comprising the then Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, Justices R F Nariman, D Y Chandrachud, A M Khanwilkar and Indu Malhotra, the Supreme Court of India pronounced the much-awaited verdict on a clutch of petitions challenging the constitutional validity of section 377 of the IPC which criminalises consensual gay sex. It ruled unanimously in Navtej Singh Johar vs Union of India that Section 377 was unconstitutional “in so far as it criminalises consensual sexual conduct between adults of the same sex.” 

However, other portions of Section 377 relating to sex with minors, non-consensual sexual acts, and bestiality stay in force.

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State Mandate: Allow Boys in Girls’ Locker Rooms


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Drew-Zahn_avatar

by DREW ZAHN

.Student discomfort is not a reason to deny access,‘ says education commish

Little gir lembarrassed hands cover eyes
Shame! Shame!

A new, official interpretation of state law released by Massachusetts Commissioner of Education Mitchell Chester requires schools to permit “transgender” boys to use girls’ locker rooms, bathrooms and changing facilities if the boys “assert” they’re really girls.

“Some students may feel uncomfortable with a transgender student using the same sex-segregated restroom, locker room or changing facility,” the official document admits, but then concludes, “this discomfort is not a reason to deny access to the transgender student.”

Kris Mineau, president of the Massachusetts Family Institute, however, says there’s something far more significant than “discomfort” at stake.

“The School Commissioner’s first duty is to protect all students, from kindergarten to grade 12, not endanger them,” Mineau said in a statement. “The overriding issue with this new policy is that opening girls’ bathrooms to boys is an invasion of privacy and a threat to all students’ safety.”

Furthermore, the policy document explains, neither doctor’s note nor hormone therapy nor even parental permission is needed for a student to switch sex: If a boy says he’s a girl, as far as the schools should be concerned, he’s a girl.

“The responsibility for determining a student’s gender identity rests with the student,” the statement reads. “A school should accept a student’s assertion of his or her gender identity when there is … ‘evidence that the gender-related identity is sincerely held as part of a person’s core identity.’”

The document further warns that referring to transgendered students by their birth name or sex, if it doesn’t match their current, preferred name or sex, “should not be tolerated and can be grounds for student discipline.”

The document creates policy related to a law that went into effect in July of last year called “An Act Relative to Gender Identity,” which in turn amended G.L. c. 76, §5 “to establish that no person shall be excluded from or discriminated against in admission to a public school of any town, or in obtaining the advantages, privileges and courses of study of such public school on account of gender identity.”

According to the 11-page policy paper, that means that boys who identify as girls should not only be addressed by the feminine pronoun and be listed as girls on official transcripts, but they should also be allowed access to girls’ facilities and be allowed to play on girls’ athletic and club teams. Likewise for girls who insist they’re boys.

Andrew Beckwith, attorney for Massachusetts Family Institute, however, warns that the document’s definition of transgender “is extremely broad.”

“If a male student tells his teacher he feels like a girl on the inside, the school has to treat him in every way as if he actually is a girl,” Beckwith explained, citing the policy paper. “School personnel may be forbidden from informing the parents of their child’s gender decisions, and students can even decide to be one gender at home and another at school.”

The Massachusetts Family Institute notes during the debate the law giving rise to this new policy had been dubbed the “Stealth Bathroom Bill,” even though opening public bathrooms to self-identified transgender people were specifically removed from the law out of legislators’ concerns for the safety, privacy and modesty of all its citizens.

In schools, however, the bathroom provisions will now effectively be put back in.

“Each situation needs to be reviewed and addressed based on the particular circumstances of the student and the school facilities,” the education policy states. “[Yet] in all cases, the principal should be clear with the student (and parent) that the student may access the restroom, locker room and changing facility that corresponds to the student’s gender identity.”

The policy also gives the following example: “In one middle school, a male-to-female transgender sixth-grader socially transitioned after spring break. For the rest of the school year, she used the nurse’s restroom and the other unisex restrooms at the school. Beginning in seventh grade, she used the girls’ restroom.”

Democratic State Rep. Colleen Garry has introduced amending legislation to the current law says she would prevent precisely these scenarios by ensuring that people use the restrooms and locker room facilities consistent with their anatomical sex.

“Like many of my colleagues, I am very concerned about Commissioner Chester’s directive to open public school bathrooms to all genders,” said Garry. “This was not the intent of the Legislature, and we need to pass legislation that clearly defines the use of such facilities.”

WND contacted Commissioner Chester’s office for comment, but received no reply. The Massachusetts Department of Elementary & Secondary Education can be contacted through its website.

WND has also reported previous attempts by state lawmakers in other states who have attempted to open up shower and bathroom facilities to cross-dressers and “transgendered” individuals.

In Maryland, for example, Montgomery County used the courts to squash a petition of 27,000 residents concerned about county legislation that granted men access to Womens’ restrooms, and vice versa, in the name of “gender identity” and “anti-discrimination.”

And in New York City, a lawsuit opened up the bathrooms in Grand Central Station after a man in woman’s clothing was arrested for using the ladies’ room.

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Re-posted from WND Education

http://www.wnd.com

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Who is Pinki Pramanik? Did She Rape a Woman?


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Myself By T.V. Antony Raj

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Pinki Pramanik (born April 10, 1986 in Purulia) is an Indian track athlete. She specialises in the 400 metres and 800 metres.

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Pinki had success with the national 4×400 metres relay team. She won silver at the 2006 Commonwealth Games, gold at the 2006 Asian Games, and another gold at the 2005 Asian Indoor Games. She won three gold medals at the 2006 South Asian Games. She won the 400 metres and 800 metres events, as well as the relay.

Her first success was at the age of 17 when she won two bronze medals at the Asian Indoor Athletics Championships. She was chosen to represent Asia at the IAAF World Cup.

In domestic athletic events she has won three times at the All-India Open National Championships. After 2007 she rarely competed due to a series of injuries and a car crash.

Pinki was arrested on June 14, 2012 in West Bengal after she was accused of being a man by her live-in partner, a 30-year-old estranged woman, who also alleged that Pinki raped her.

Photograph of the policemen taking her to jail show her being groped by one of them.

On June 15, 2012, she was remanded to 14 days judicial custody. Pinki was lodged in Dumdum correctional home since June 15, after her bail plea was turned down by the same court.

This led to medical tests to determine her gender at a private nursing home in North 24 Parganas district where the sprinter was taken subsequent to her arrest. Subsequently, a 29-second MMS showing the athlete completely naked and undergoing tests at the private nursing home went viral online.

The tests conducted at the district hospital were inconclusive. Initial private tests claimed to show Pinki to be male. Pramanik disagreed with these results and police ordered a separate government-led test as part of the trial. The Court then directed a chromosome pattern test. She was then taken to the Seth Sukhlal Karnani Memorial Hospital (SSKM Government Hospital) in Lala Lajpat Rai Sarani, Kolkata, where an 11-member medical board carried out tests.

Today (July 10, 2012), the 11-member medical board of the SSKM Government Hospital, formed to determine the gender of Pinki Pramanik, has concluded that the athlete has predominantly male features. This came on a day a local court in Barasat granted Pramanik bail in the rape case.

After the Karyotyping — a chromosomal test — was conducted at the West Bengal University of Technology, the reports were sent to the SSKM Hospital on Monday. On Tuesday, the hospital’s medical board went through the reports and concluded that Pramanik has 46, XY Karyotype which is common in a normal male.

A member of the medical board, who did not want to be named, told The Indian Express, “Normal Karyotypes for females contain two X chromosomes and are denoted as 46, XX. Males have an X and a Y chromosome and are denoted 46, XY. Tests reports revealed that Pramanik has predominantly male features. The test reports, along with our observations, has been submitted to the court.”

“At the same time, Pramanik has the disorder of sexual development. In medical science not everything can be said in black and white. This case has shades of grey. Pramanik does not have all the features that a normal adult male has,” the doctor said. Asked if such a person can rape someone, he said that it was “very difficult” to tell.

However, Tuhin Roy, Pinki’s lawyer, said that based on the medical reports, the district and sessions judge’s court held that the athlete is “physically incapable of committing rape” and granted Pramanik bail after 25 days in custody.

Today, members of women’s forums and former athletes gathered in front of the court and demonstrated, demanding Pramanik’s immediate release.

Pinki Pramanik appears to have a following in Bengal. Some amount of discontent is building up in the country regards to the treatment given to Pinki Pramanik.

Activists say the government is doing nothing to protect a woman in police custody.

Indian ace swimmer Padma Shri Bula Chowdhury Chakraborty

Indian athlete Jyotirmoyee Sikdar

On Friday July 6, former athletic champions from Bengal, Jyotirmoyee Sikdar and ace swimmer Padma Shri Bula Chowdhury Chakraborty, came out in the open to rally around Pinki Pramanik, claiming that the athlete’s human rights have been violated and that she deserves a more dignified treatment.

Rebel Trinamool Congress MP Kabir Suman

Rebel Trinamool Congress MP Kabir Suman has taken up cudgels for the Asiad gold medallist sprinter. He has composed a bitterly sarcastic song on the Asian Games gold medallist. It goes like this:

Desher janya rupor padak, desher janya sona /
Relay race e tumi desher gorbo seta mone rakhbo na /
Tomar linga jaachai porbo video te dhora aache /
Mobile e tola sei chobi aaj internet e nache

(You have earned gold and silver for the country.
You did the country proud, winning medals in relay races, but we don’t want to remember that.
The video grab of your gender test is the talk of the town.
It’s doing a jig on the internet)

Meanwhile, a four-member team of the West Bengal Commission for Women, led by its chairperson Sunanda Mukherjee, met the athlete in prison during the day.

“After speaking to her, we realised that there have been several instances of violation of women rights. Ms. Pramanik was kept in the prison without any female police personnel and was referred to as a male in police records,” she said.

Earlier, representatives of civil rights groups and sportspersons raised concern over Ms. Pramanik’s alleged mistreatment at the hands of the police.

While the Calcutta High Court had asked the State government to file an affidavit in connection with the case, the West Bengal Human Rights Commission asked for a report from the State’s Home Secretary and the Director General of Police.To add fuel to the fire, Madan Mitra, Hon’ble Minister of Sports (Independent Charges) and MoS Fisheries said today, “I have not received anything from Pinki Pramanik’s family, nor from any sports organisation. Nobody has talked to me or written to me saying that what is going on is illegal.”