Sikkim’s Rainbow hills association fight for third gender rights.
The idea of human rights rests on the central premise that all humans are equal. It follows that all humans have dignity and all humans should be treated as equal. Anything that undermines that dignity is a violation, for it violates the principle of equality and paves the way for discrimination.
The human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people (LGBTQI) are coming into sharper focus around the world, with important advances in many countries in recent years, including the adoption of new legal protections. The preamble to the Indian Constitution mandates justice -- social, economic, and political equality of status -- for all. The right of equality before law and equal protection under the law is guaranteed in Articles 14 and 21 of the Constitution. In April 2014, the Supreme Court of India ruled in NALSA vs Union of India that the rights and freedoms of transgender people in India were protected under the Constitution; in September 2018, the Supreme Court also decriminalized adult consensual same-sex relationships in the Section 377 judgment review. These judgments are considered a landmark both in terms of their expansive reading of constitutional rights and in empowering LGBT persons. Both judgments mark an important moment for LGBT rights that not only reversed a relic of British imperial rule but also ordered that LGBT Indians be accorded all the protections of their constitution. This was a welcome victory, but it does not necessarily mean that LGBT people in India are fully free or perceived as equal among their fellow citizens. It underscores how much work remains to be done in India and the rest of the world to overturn antiquated and repressive anti-gay laws.
Sikkim like other parts of the world has individuals who belong from the LGBTQI community and still due to social stigmas people who belong form the this particular section of the society experience a lot of problems, due to non- adherences of the heteronormative mattress, masculinity norms femininity norms the third gender section of the society face multiple levels of stigma starting from a very fundamental and basic side that is the family life, when the families of the LGBTQI section hesitate to accept what they truly and in many other parts of their life, further more to encounter such social stigmas a association or a organization was formed and registered in Sikkim known as rainbow hills association, like any other LGBTQI associations the main objective of the association remains to remove the social problems which are faced by the third gender community and sensitize society existence of the third gender in the society.
One of the member from the rainbow hills association said “ rainbow hills works for the welfare of the third gender in the society, as our state is a tourist friendly state and any tourists who belong to LGBTQI community also visits Sikkim and our aim is to create space for tourists too or a queer friendly space, we think our association should not be only within the state but it should also profit people outside of sikkim”.
Sikkim unlike many other palaces around India has more acceptances on LGBTQI community people, it has been seen that more and more people have been coming out of the closet and has been openly accepting third gender as an part of society.
“People are accepting our gender and even when approaching the state government in matter of breaching the third gender in the society, we got a positive reply from the social welfare and justice department government of Sikkim, the department ensured us that they will surely include the allotted funds for the third gender in the next year’s annual fund and also ensured that the department will set up policies in welfare of the third gender community people” she added
“Protecting LGBT people from violence and discrimination does not require the creation of a new set of LGBT -specific rights, nor does it require the establishment of new international human rights standards. The legal obligations of States to safeguard the human rights of LGBT people are well established in international human rights law on the basis of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and subsequently agreed international human rights treaties. All people, irrespective of sex, sexual orientation or gender identity, are entitled to enjoy the protections provided for by international human rights law, including in respect of rights to life, security of person and privacy, the right to be free from torture, arbitrary arrest and detention, the right to be free from discrimination and the right to freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly. The core legal obligations of States with respect to protecting the human rights of LGBT.” Said another member from the association