A judge of the Madras High Court in India (There are only 3 high courts) has ruled in favor of a lesbian couple that were illegally harassed by police. But the judge, Anand Venkatesh went further beyond. He issued a very broad ruling that aims to eliminate illegal discrimination against LGBTQ+ people, and that state and federal governments respond and comply. This is the first major order that acknowledges much of the challenges faced by the LGBTQ+ community, while providing specific instructions.
They include: 1) Awareness training for police and government officials so that they can respect LGBTQ+ rights. 2) Revoking the licenses of medical practitioners that try to cure homosexuality. 3) Gender neutral restrooms should be available in educational institutions, 4) Better protections for LGBTQ prisoners (specifically for gender-nonconforming or trans people). The judge finally suggested that educators should reach out to parents to help sensitize parents on LGBTQ+ issues and students to foster a supportive family.
Ignorance is no justification for normalizing any form of discriminationJudge Venkatesh in his ruling.
Although the court alone cannot impose such drastic change with a single ruling, government entities cannot ignore the order to respond back with steps to take to comply. This ruling may also serve as precedent in cases in the fight for LGBTQ+ rights. It comes as a surprise that Venkatesh considers himself in the majority of India, who have yet to fully comprehend homosexuality (the judge stated he sought information on same-sex relationships from a psychologist).