A comparison of LGBT rights globally and in India


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Publication Date: November 30th, 2013

Prepared by: Bryony Lloyd, Research Intern, CPPR

E-mail: bryony.e.lloyd@hotmail.co.uk

Published in: Spiritual, Technology
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A comparison of LGBT rights globally and in India

  1. 1. A comparison of LGBT rights globally and in India Bryony Lloyd CPPR-Centre for Comparative Studies
  2. 2. Legal rights There is wide variation in the legal treatment of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people around the world Persecution - Death penalty (5 countries) - Imprisonment (71 countries and 5 entities*) Recognition - Marriage Same sex unions - Substitute to marriage (31 countries and 35 entities) - Joint adoption (14 countries and 38 entities) } Protection - Laws prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation (65 countries and 85 entities) Data source: ILGA (2013) Lesbian and Gay Rights in the World * ‘Entities’ means political entities such as the Palestinian territories and the Turkish-controlled northern portion of Cyprus. CPPR-Centre for Comparative Studies
  3. 3. CPPR-Centre for Comparative Studies
  4. 4. Persecution • Death penalty - 5 countries - Mauritania, Sudan, Iran, Yemen and Saudi Arabia • Life sentences – 10 countries sentence between 14 yrs & life • Imprisonment – 55 countries sentence up to 14 years Criminalisation of same-sex activity leaves LGBT vulnerable to violence and exploitation by state and non-state actors. Victims of homophobic violence are not protected & are unable to seek help. • Murder – In many countries, the state turns a blind eye to violence against LGBTI individuals and vigilante murder • Incitement of hatred – Only prohibited in 26 countries Data source: ILGA (2013) State-Sponsored Homophobia report CPPR-Centre for Comparative Studies
  5. 5. Legislation Article 308. “Any adult Muslim man who commits an indecent act or an act against nature with an individual of his sex will face the penalty of death by public stoning." MAURITANIA: Penal Code of 1984 CPPR-Centre for Comparative Studies
  6. 6. Tolerance Percentage of people who say homosexuality should be accepted by society Data source: Pew Research Center (2013) Global Acceptance of Homosexuality Report www.pewglobal.org CPPR-Centre for Comparative Studies
  7. 7. LGBT in India – The Good • Legislation – High Court of Delhi declared section 377 of the Indian Penal Code invalid (although judgement now being challenged) • Pride Parades – Held across major cities • Diversity workshops High profile insitutions, such as Goldman Sachs, Accenture, Google and Godrej are creating inclusive workplaces for LGBT through diversity training. • Helplines – National, state and local helplines for LGBT are being set up by NGOS • Election of LGBT – e.g. transgender on district legal aide authority in Madurai CPPR-Centre for Comparative Studies
  8. 8. LGBT in India – The Bad • Police – Physical & sexual violence of LGBT (Human Rights Watch, US DOS Country Report 2008) – Arrests and media shaming – e.g. 13 men in Hassan Karnataka – Deter reporting of crime (incl. rape) against LGBT – Threat of s.377 and abuse – Mishandling of LGBT arrestees– e.g. Pinki Pramanik put in cell with male inmates • Violence – Murder – Male rape of gay men - Saathi Ramakrishnan “male rape is another way of demonstrating power and aggression.” – Corrective rape of lesbians and transgender (Times of India, Vinodhan case of gang rape) – Coercion, intimidation and violence by families including forced conversion therapy • Discrimination – Work, education, healthcare – e.g. Transgender protest in Tamil Nadu re access to government jobs. Refusal to provide HIV treatment for ‘third gender’ in Bihar • Sensationalised and negative media coverage – stereotypical depictions CPPR-Centre for Comparative Studies
  9. 9. When gay means mad • Gay rights activists and psychiatrists in India report that an increasing number of parents approach psychiatrists to ‘cure’ their children of homosexuality • Conversion therapy involves – aversive conditioning involving electric shock – nausea-inducing drugs “Services that purport to 'cure' people with nonheterosexual sexual orientations lack medical justification and represent a serious threat to the health and well-being of affected people… there is a professional consensus that homosexuality is a normal and natural variation of human sexuality and cannot be regarded as a pathological condition“ (Pan American Health Organization) CPPR-Centre for Comparative Studies
  10. 10. Family pressure The sentiment of a mother in the US equally applicable to India CPPR-Centre for Comparative Studies
  11. 11. The future What is the future of LGBT rights? • Globally, attitudes to LGBT are changing • Homosexuality is slowly becoming more accepted around, particularly among more secular and affluent countries • Young people, under 30, are more tolerant of LGBT than older generations CPPR-Centre for Comparative Studies
  12. 12. The future in India • The profile of LGBT is increasing, with pride parades and protests demanding an end to discrimination • Decriminalisation of homosexual acts was a landmark decision in 2009. It is hoped that this will be upheld in appeal and over time advanced with legislation to end discrimination • As leading companies create inclusive workplaces for LGBT, it is hoped that this will lead to growing acceptance of LGBT in professional sectors What we need more of: High profile gay individuals, from Bollywood, business and government, coming out and showing that it acceptable to be gay in India today Legislation – to confirm decriminalisation and protect LGBT More intelligent media discourse - On LGBT issues and rights, rather than sensationalist reporting that reinforces prejudice CPPR-Centre for Comparative Studies