“Political manifestos need an LGBT touch”

The community’s demands for better acceptance in society are now transmitted to political parties; efforts are made to meet their leaders

Having found their voice after consensual homosexuality was decriminalized by the Supreme Court in September, the LGBT community is now pushing the envelope, seeking political parties to sit down and take note of them as the electorate and espouse their demands in political manifestos in preparation for the next election. Letters have been sent to the various political parties and meetings with elected officials from each constituency are planned to move this file forward. While this decision has thrilled community members, political parties are more cautious in their response, promising to heed the demands.

Recognizing that it is not enough to be armed with legal status in a largely homophobic society, the community has raised several issues that still require attention and need to be addressed. Among these, the recognition of the legal status of same-sex partnerships, the establishment of a comprehensive anti-discrimination law for the community, filling the gaps of the transgender bill of 2018 and a similar intervention in the Surrogate mother (Regulation) Bill of 2016.

These requests were uploaded to the manifesto sites of various political parties and also emailed to their leaders. “As a first step, we send these suggestions to the parties. We will personally call on the parties to make a decision later on. We have tried to include the main requests from the community. For example, a basic demand is to enjoy the same recognition and benefits as heterosexual couples, regularizing same-sex partnerships. As we urge people in the community to speak up on this, we also try to appeal to outsiders as supporters of this cause, to put pressure on the parties, ”said Bindumadhav Khire, founder of Samapathik. Trust.

There are other organizations in the community that are looking for a more direct interface. “We strongly believe that the decriminalization of same-sex partnerships must be complemented by an anti-discrimination policy for the community. It is important to lobby politicians about this. They don’t see us as a vote bank. But we have to make our presence felt. In addition to posting these requests online, we will meet candidates from different parties in each constituency, ”said Tinesh Chopde, an LGBT activist, currently stationed in Mumbai.

The political parties, questioned on this subject, have not yet committed themselves to their position. “We had already taken action for the good of the community during our tenure in government. We will also consider their current demands when we have them, ”promised Prithviraj Chavan, head of Congress and former chief minister of Maharashtra. “The manifesto is still in the preliminary stages. We have not yet received the requests, but we will take them into consideration, ”said the head of the manifesto committee for Nationalist Congress Party, Dilip Walse Patil. “I cannot comment on the merits or the disadvantages of the requests. But the chairman of our party has made it clear that every suggestion is taken into account, ”said Vijay Shasrabuddhe, member of Feast of Bharatiya Janatathe literature of.

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