The Madras High Court granted time for the State Government to undertake a larger consultation with the stakeholders regarding the Tamil Nadu Gender and Sexual Minority (LGBTQ+) Policy.

The Court stated that before the implementation of the final policy, the interests of stakeholders, especially those from the transgender community, need to be addressed. The Court also stated that the policy needs to be translated into Tamil to ensure a broader reach and increased response from stakeholders.

The Court noted that “there is an assurance that the operationalization of the policy will prioritize the benefits of individuals belonging to the transgender community.”

A Sinlge Bench of Justice N. Anand Venkatesh observed, “The unveiling of the Tamil Nadu Gender and Sexual Minority (LGBTQ+) Policy is a commendable stride towards recognizing and addressing the rights and welfare of trans and intersex individuals within the state. The policy underscores a notable commitment to empowerment and inclusivity, articulating detailed rights related to movement, property, and public office for the LGBTQ+ community.

Advocate S.Manuraj represented the petitioners, while Advocate Ami V Kataria appeared for the respondents.

The Court expressed that the policy's attention to specific sub-groups within the LGBTQ+ community reflected a nuanced approach to services, inclusion, and sensitization. The acknowledgement of diverse perspectives from the drafting committee and community consultations during the policy development process added credibility to the comprehensive nature of the policy.

The Court remarked, “The ambitious objectives of the policy reflect a conscientious effort to create an enabling environment, encourage voluntary action, and expand outreach activities. The emphasis on combating discrimination and violence against sexual and gender minorities, alongside the push for sensitization across various groups, signals a commendable endeavour to eradicate societal biases.

The Court stated that there was a collaborative effort in the formulation of the policy whihc reflected an inclusive policy making process.

The Court granted three months of time to the State Givernemnt to undertake a larger consultation by adding persons belonging to the trans community so that their interest could be taken into consideration.

Cause Title: S.Sushma & Anr. v. Director General of Police & Ors.

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