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Quixplained: Tamil Nadu’s new rule to protect LGBTQ+ community from police harassment

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Quixplained: Tamil Nadu’s new rule to protect LGBTQ+ community from police harassment

Quixplained: Tamil Nadu’s new rule to protect LGBTQ+ community from police harassment

The Tamil Nadu govt has amended its police officers’ conduct rules to prevent harassment of the LGBTQ+ community by the police.

What is the amendment?

The order issued on February 15 says ‘no police officer shall indulge in any act of harassment of any person belonging to the LGBTQIA+ or Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, Asexual Community and the people working for the welfare of the community.’

The order also states that ‘for the purpose of this rule, harassment doesn’t include the right of police to make an inquiry as per the procedure established by the law.’

What led to the amendment?

The amendment came after a direction from the Madras High Court in August 2021 on a protection plea filed by a lesbian couple. The court had asked the Tamil Nadu govt to add a specific clause in the Police Conduct Rules that any harassment by the police of the persons belonging to the LGBTQIA+ community and the activists and NGO workers, will be treated as misconduct and will entail a punishment.

Earlier protection measures

In June last year the Madras High Court had banned a therapy that claims to change the sexual orientation of LGBTQIA+ community.

The order made Tamil Nadu the first state to ban conversion therapy which is widely available in hospitals and religious institutions.

Also watch: No single 'gene' determines homosexuality in a person: Study

The Madras High Court also suggested changes in school and college curricula to sensitise students.

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