The Union Cabinet cleared the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill, 2019, last week and has been the source of some major contention from the LGBTQ+ community and allies. This is because of the provisions in the bill that are believed to be harming the transgender community instead of empowering them.

Firstly, the Bill had a provision that criminalised begging. The Section 19 under chapter VIII (Offenses and Penalties) of the Bill earlier read as, “Whoever compels or entices a transgender person to indulge in the act of begging or other similar forms of forced or bonded labour other than any compulsory service for public purposes imposed by government” would be punished with imprisonment that could extend up to two years and a fine.

Following an outcry, the word begging was removed from the provision, a senior official from the Social Justice and Empowerment Ministry told PTI.

Again, the Bill had earlier mandated a ‘screening committee’ to prove transgender identity. People from the community stated that this would create a system where those who had undergone a sex reassignment surgery would be able to identify as male or female while the others wouldn’t be able to do the same.

Pinknews reports that this provision has also been struck out.

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