CHENNAI: In a bid to add dignity to the lives of members of the LGBTQIA+ community, Madras high court has come up with a style sheet — a standardised glossary — to be followed by media in their news articles about the community.
Justice N Anand Venkatesh has also requested the media, particularly Tamil media, to adopt the style sheet till the state government comes up with a glossary to be followed by media.
“This court wants to make an earnest request to the media to take into consideration the words and expressions mentioned in the glossary, to be used while addressing persons belonging to the LGBTQIA+ community,” the judge said.
If these words and expressions are used regularly, it will become a common practice and that will pave the way for a dignified identity for persons belonging to this community, the court added. “This court reposes confidence in the media that they will seriously consider the request made by this court and start implementing the same henceforth,” the judge said. The issue pertains to a plea moved by a same-sex couple who faced harassment at the hands of police and their parents.
Initially, when the plea came up for hearing, Justice Anand Venkatesh chose to undergo a counselling session, as he felt that lacked understanding of the issues faced by the community. The judge then passed a series of orders touching upon the need to sensitise people, particularly judiciary and police, on the issue.
The court also highlighted the need to revamp the medical education curriculum to sensitise medical practitioners.
On December 23, when the plea came up for hearing, advocate S Manuraj, who initially represented the petitioners and now assisting the court, circulated a short note focusing on the standardised guide/prescriptive glossary containing the words and expressions to be used by the press and media while addressing persons belonging to the LGBTQIA+ community. Taking the note on record, the court passed the order.