LGBTQ issues before UP elections
The Election Commission of India has stated that at Uttar Pradesh they would be conducting elections in seven stages in February. The Uttar Pradesh election is the most important place for the parliamentary elections as it has 80 parliamentary seats. The LGBTQ community in Uttar Pradesh has been watching this election closely since it has the potential to influence legislative changes for the group in India.
Uttar Pradesh is ruled by a right-wing nationalist party. The party is also in power in the nation under Modi, although it has been opposed to same-sex marriage.
“We are no longer a minority. “The group is booming in the state,” said Lovpreet, a transgender from Lucknow. “If the existing administration refuses to provide us the right to same-sex marriage, we should vote to depose the government in this election.”
The governing party has yet to produce its electoral platform, but it does not intend to include LGBTQ+ topics in it.
Last year, a newly married same-sex couple from New York applied for an OCI (overseas citizen of India) Card. Which would have granted them multiple entries and a multi-purpose life-long visa to visit India, but the country refused to issue it to them because it did not recognize them as legally married.
Despite the fact that India overturned a colonial-era statute that criminalized homosexuality in 2018, there is currently no legislation prohibiting same-sex marriage. For years, the LGBTQ+ movement has demanded that political parties legalize same-sex marriage; nevertheless, the subject has yet to feature in any party’s platform.
The Indian National Congress is also running a candidate in the state election. However, the party does not prioritize LGBTQ+ concerns. Dr. Shashi Tharoor an MP, and head of the All India Professionals Congress declined to remark on the legalization of same-sex marriage on many occasions. The INC presented its platform for the Uttar Pradesh election last week, but no promises were made to the LGBTQ+ community.
Former Defense Minister Jitendra Singh, who would establish the party’s platform ahead of the Uttar Pradesh election, has likewise declined to talk on same-sex marriage legalization and other LGBTQ+ problems in the state and country.
While speaking with the media in 2013, Ram Gopal Yadav, said that homosexuality is “unethical and immoral.” However, the Samajwadi Party’s stance on the community has lately shifted.
The Bahujan Samaj Party contesting in the Uttar Pradesh election has emerged as an LGBTQ+ ally. However, the party has yet to produce its electoral platform, and it is unclear if it will address LGBTQ+ problems. There is no major LGBTQ+ presence in Uttar Pradesh or the nation as a whole.
In a statement to the Washington Blade, Tiwari said that the Samajwadi Party has no plans to run candidates from the community in the forthcoming election, but the party may consider it in the future parliamentary election.
The Aam Admi Party is the country’s national party. The party had run candidates in previous Uttar Pradesh elections but had not fared well.
In the last parliamentary election, the Aam Aadmi Party fielded a Trans candidate from Uttar Pradesh. The party has declared a desire to run community candidates in the state election. The BJP now rules both the nation and Uttar Pradesh, with no intention of supporting or addressing LGBTQ+ problems.
Sudhir Mungantiwar, a senior BJP lawmaker from Maharashtra, made repeated homophobic remarks in Parliament last year. The party did not penalize him, and other political parties did not denounce his remarks.
It remains to be seen how this election affects the plans of various political parties for the LGBTQ+ population in the country’s future legislative election.
Although progress has been achieved in terms of LGBTQ rights, and views about LGBTQ+ persons have shifted in recent decades, the consequences of anti-LGBTQ prejudice and discrimination remain substantial. It is vital that attempts to alter these beliefs continue, as well as that LGBTQ-affirmative social scientists, educators, and practitioners continue to build a strong knowledge basis to guide these efforts. In addition, there is a body of literature that shows the LGBTQ community’s strength and perseverance in the face of hardship.
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