Queer Infocus | December I ’19


Queer InFocus is a bimonthly roundup of queer news in India.

Despite massive protests, Trans bill gets assent, becomes law

December 7, 2019

Despite nation-wide protests against the highly problematic Trans bill, it was signed by the President, Ram Nath Kovind on the 5th of December and was made into a law. Protests have been taking place across the country demanding the Bill to be sent back to the Parliament to be looked at by a select committee and modified taking into consideration the concerns of the transgender communities.

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TCS to be the first Tata company to include LGBT staff for health cover

December 7, 2019

Tata Consultancy Services tweaks its health insurance policy to involve employees in same-sex relationship. The new policy redefines ‘spouse’ as ‘partner’, thereby broadening the scope to include same-sex partners of the employees. The policy will cover up to 50% of the cost of sex/gender reassignment surgery (up to a maximum of Rs 2 lakh).

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Painting It Queer: Dear Delhi, Welcome Rainbow Literature Festival

December 10, 2019

The first edition of the Rainbow Literature Festival was held in Delhi. Panels ranged from the now read-down Section 377, queer protagonists in cinema and culture, sex workers, wages, ways to combat hetero-normative patriarchy amongst others.

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Netflix Christmas special showing gay Jesus evokes ban demands

December 13, 2019

Netflix releases a Christmas special titled ‘The First Temptation of Christ’ which portrays Jesus Christ in a gay relationship and Mary as a weed smoker, angering millions all over the world resulting in a petition demanding its withdrawal. Abraham Mathai, the president of Indian Christian Voice said, “As a member of the Christian community and follower of Christ, I join the rest of hundreds of thousands who have registered their protests calling for the Netflix Christmas Special depicting Jesus in a gay relationship to be axed immediately. Even though freedom of expression is a fundamental and a constitutional right, using the same liberty to offend the sentiments of the members of a particular faith persuasion is highly abhorrent and totally unacceptable”.

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Nagpur LGBT Activist Claims He was Assaulted by 7-8 Men after Refusing Demand for Sexual Favours

December 14, 2019

An LGBTQ rights activist from Nagpur claimed that he was assaulted by 7-8 men for denying sexual advances made by them and the police arrested just 4 of them only to be let out on bail later.

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Comments: Passing of the Trans Bill comes as a big defeat for the community, making room for more discrimination. The new policy implemented by Tata Consultancy Services gives the community a new found hope. 

Haima Simoes is Outreach Officer at the Queer Resource Centre at One Future Collective.

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