The party manifesto includes an entirely separate section on LGBTQIA+ aspects. The manifesto reads that Congress will make sure for the effective implementation of the judgement in the Navtej Singh Johar case. The party will ensure that the landmark judgement of the Supreme Court of India in 2018, on the case that decriminalised all consensual sex among adults in private, including homosexual sex- is implemented across India.
The party Manifesto promises to protect the rights of the LGBTQIA+ community. The manifesto reads, “Congress promises to ensure the effective implementation of the judgment in the Navtej Singh Johar case. We will protect the rights of the LGBTQIA+ community”.
The party manifesto also promises to withdraw the infamous Transgender Bill of 2018. The bill was passed by Lok Sabha in 2018 and it claimed to “provide for the protection of rights of transgender persons and their welfare’. However, activists claim that instead of addressing the daily oppression and indignities faced by the transgender community, this Bill seeks to further institutionalise these very same violations. The bill will rather become a tool to oppress the LGBT community.
The manifesto read that the bill will be withdrawn and a consensual Bill will be passed that will take into consideration the rights of the community. The party manifesto reads, “We will immediately withdraw the Transgender Bill, 2018, pending in Parliament. Instead, Congress will introduce a Bill that will be consistent with the judgment in the NALSA case. The new Bill will be drafted in consultation with the LGBTQIA+ community”.
The party also talks about the need to sensitize people on the matter. Congress promises that there it will ensure gender sensitivity training, especially for the rights of the LGBTQIA+ community. And that such training is made mandatory in all government departments and organisations including the Armed Forces and the Police Forces.
The address of LGBTQIA matters in the manifesto is certainly commendable. That these promises will be kept or not, but the Congress manifesto has definitely raised some serious issues that need urgent attention.