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Kerala High Court Asks For ‘Queerphobic’ Text To Be Removed From MBBS Books. This Is Great!

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It was a great step forward for India and a major moment of victory for the LGBTQ+ community when Section 377 was decriminalized . That day love won. But did that love get accepted in society? I think not. There is still a long way to go when it comes to the implementation of laws and rules that protect and respect the rights of the LGBTQ+ community. Moreover, we as a society have still not been very accepting of queer people. And that really needs to change. The beginning of this change is now happening through education. In a recent judgement, the Kerala High Court has asked to cut down any ‘queerphobic’ text from MBBS books and other texts.

On Tuesday, the Kerala High Court directed the medical education board to remove any kind of discriminatory references about against the LGBTQIA community from MBBS books, and check for any other queerphobic content that might be present. This judgment was passed after hearing the petition of two NGOs—Queerythm and Disha, which have been representatives of the queer community. They together filed a petition that highlighted the inhuman and discriminatory content that was made in textbooks. They presented a list of references in front of the Kerala High Court—for example, the words “they consist of a group of people suffering from mental disorder, perversion and flaunting such identity is an offence,” were present in one of the books.

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The Kerala High Court bench consisted of Chief Justice S Manikumar and Justice Shaji P Chaly who heard the NGOs’ petition which claimed, “Many such references are made in textbooks despite the fact that queer community rights are recognized by the Supreme Court and it decriminalized sex between consenting adults of the same sex.”

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According to Hindustan Times, the petitioners further added that they had asked the state authorities for correction in March 2021, but when they did not respond to it, they took the matters to the court. In their petition to Kerala High Court, they even shed light on the fact that not only medical books but other textbooks also contain queerphobic content against the community.

As per the claims by the NGOs, many in the medical field have been scared to reveal their true sexual orientation from fear of being victimized due to the stigma attached to it. They pointed out that even the Madras High Court, last week, had ordered the Tamil Nadu medical board to immediately remove queerphobic content and or references. 

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Honestly, even though many laws, verdicts, and new measures are being taken to ensure the acceptance of the LGBTQ+ community in society, there is still a long way to go. We as a society still are stuck with our stigmas and stereotypes that are not letting us move forward. We need to understand that the LGBTQ+ community doesn’t need our sympathy, they need our acceptance. And one of the ways of accepting them would be removing any sort of queerphobic content/remarks that are made in our educational books. 

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