MADRAS HIGH COURT- LICENSES OF PRACTITIONERS WHO CLAIM TO ‘CURE HOMOSEXUALITY’, MUST BE CANCELLED.
Madras High Court, in one of its judgments, ordered the cancellation of the license of any medical practitioner who provides ‘cure therapy’ to the LGBTQIA+ community. Such cure therapies are provided all over India at various medical and religious institutions. With this judgment of the Madras HC, Tamil Nadu becomes the first state to ban conversion therapy that claims to change the orientation of homosexual people.
Justice Anand Venkatesh passed the revolutionary order. In the same order, he asked the State Government and central officials to set up a board for the elimination of discrimination against the LGTB community. They ordered the responsible institutions to report back after the developments in the matter.
To reach this ruling, the judge himself had sought help on same-sex relationships from psychologists. He did not restrain himself from saying that he is among most people in India who are "yet to comprehend homosexuality completely.".
However, the ruling went far beyond the actual matters of the case. A lesbian couple who claimed to have been harassed by the police has originally filed the plea. Their families opposed their relationship. They fled from their homes in Madurai to Chennai and hence their families had filed a missing person’s complaint. The complaint eventually led to the interrogation of the couple. Thus the petitioners moved their plea to seek protection against any threat or danger to their safety and security.
Expressing his concern on the matter, Justice Venkatesh said that government departments should implement the guidelines not just for the sake of complying with a judicial decree. It is expected of them they will ensure the involvement of homosexuality in society. The LGBTQIA+ community can not be pushed out of the mainstream of society. He classified himself as someone who is not “fully woke” in these matters but said that ignorance, under no circumstances, should normalize discrimination.
This judgment, coming during the pride month especially, was hailed and appreciated. The LGBTQ activists are of the opinion that it is a significant step toward equality for marginalized groups.