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Treat us like others, says LGBTQIA community

Saket Tiwari

Pride March calls in all communities to celebrate equality

 Since the day I identified myself as a homosexual, I’ve been looked down upon, even by my family,” says a despondent Siddharth Verma, a member of the LGBTQIA community.

Announcing the 10th anniversary of Namma Pride March, at a news conference in Bengaluru on Friday, the community demanded that IPC’s Section 377, which criminalizes homosexual activities, be reconsidered.

It has also sought an end to discrimination on the basis of gender and sexual orientation.

They also asked for a repeal of Section 36-A of the Karnataka Police Act, along with rolling back of the ‘Beggar-free Karnataka’ drive as it affects the transgender community.

“The amendments proposed to the transgender community (Protection of Rights) Bill, 2016, should be accepted as well,” Rohini Malur, another member of the community, told The Observer on Friday.

This would give them the right to self-identification, decriminalize begging and sex work, make compulsory inclusion of transgenders in education, employment, access to housing and separate sanitation facilities. Apart from this, it will also give them an opportunity to have surgeries in proper conditions.

The community asked for a law that recognizes rape against anyone from the community as rape.

“I am educated and have access to the Internet, which keeps me updated, but what about ignorant people in remote areas?” Rohini said.
The community also suggested sensitizing police and government authorities on the rights of the third gender. It has also urged the people and the government to treat marital rape as rape.

“We also demand legal recognition of marriage, adoption, inheritance and other civilization rights of same-sex couples and members of gender and sexuality minorities’ communities," said Kristine, another member of the community.

They community has been organizing Pride Marches for the past 10 years. “We take pride in our gender and sexuality, and don’t think of it as a taboo. It is our choice and no one should ideally interfere in what we do in the bedroom,” Verma said.