What are LGBTQI Rights and Why are They Important?

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We know all too well that in many countries, cities, and destinations all over the world, the LGBTQI community faces marginalization and persecution in many different forms. Being in a relationship with a person of the same sex is still a crime in almost seventy five countries. As a result, there’s a lot of prejudice against the LGBTQI community and in some cases imprisonment, arrest, and blackmail.
It is vital to note that even if there’s much to be done when it comes to equality for the community, there’s still unquestionable progress. It’s also essential to realize that fighting for LGBTQI rights isn’t a construct of Western countries. Even here in India, there are people within the community and allies as well at the forefront of defending LGBTQI rights.

Rights of the LGBTQI Community
As long as human rights laws are equally upheld for members of the LGBTQI community, there may not be a need to create new standards. Legally, states or nations are required to ensure the LGBTQI community’s human rights are safeguarded. It is a requirement of International Human Rights Law and is founded on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other treaties tethered on International Human rights.
According to international human rights law, states have a legal obligation to respect LGBTQI rights. These obligations include:

  • Protection of the LGBTI community against transphobic and homophobic violence.
  • Prevention of torture and cruel, degrading, and inhuman treatment.
  • Repealing laws that criminalize transgender people and same-sex relations.
  • Prohibition of discrimination in relation to gender identity and sexual orientation.
  • Safeguarding the LGBTQI’s community freedom of association, expression and peaceful assembly.

Why LGBTQI Rights are Important
The true status of human rights in a society can be seen in how the minority groups are treated within said society. In this regard, the status of the LGBTQI community is an apt litmus test for the condition of any given society because it’s a vulnerable minority. When we undermine the rights of the LGBTQI community, we can be sure that the effects will trickle down to other members of critical civil society and other minorities as well.
LGBTQI are at an increased risk of psychological and physical harm due to anti-LGBTQI harassment. According to international human rights there shouldn’t be any doubt or question that every person regardless of their sexual orientation or identity has the right to freedom, safety, and life.
Removing limitations put in place by gender stereotypes can only be done by embracing the LGBTI community and understanding their different identities. These stereotypes are not only damaging against the community, but also limit and define how other people are expected to live across the board. Removing such stereotypes and limitations guarantees that everyone within a society can live to their full potential without any constraints that discriminate against them.
Often, even in India, LGBT and gender-non conforming individuals are at risk of facing and experiencing economic exclusion. Upholding inclusive laws ensures that everyone, regardless of their gender identity and sexual orientation has access to education, employment, housing, and health without discrimination.

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