Feb 24, 2022

The equal right of the LGBTQ+ community to display affection in public

The Allahabad High Court has said that members of the LGBTQ+ community can engage in public display of affection towards their partners, as long as it is not indecent or likely to disturb public order. 


In the Navtej Singh judgement, the Supreme Court held that the law does not criminalize consensual sexual relationships between two adults (above eighteen years). It does not matter if the adult relationship involves a gay couple (man and a man), lesbian couple (woman and a woman) or transgender persons.


In this context, let us look at the authorities  you can reach out to if you face discrimination based on gender identity, sexual orientation or caste:



You can file a criminal complaint with the police. Based on the complaint, the police will file an FIR. If you are a woman or trans woman, then for certain crimes, a woman police officer has to fill out the FIR.


If a police officer refuses to file the FIR, then you can: 

  • Write down the complaint and send it to the Superintendent of Police. If the Superintendent feels there is merit in the case, they can appoint a police officer to start an investigation.
  • Take the help of a lawyer while going to the police station. Lawyers can advocate on your  behalf and reduce the possibility of harassment from police officers.
  • Go to another police station nearby to file the FIR. An FIR can be filed at any police station and file a Zero FIR. 
  • Request someone else to file the FIR and give this person details of the offence.
  • Approach the District/Judicial Magistrate directly to file a ‘private complaint’. 
  • Approach other complaint forums, like the National/State Human Rights Commission.

Human Rights Commission

You can approach the National Human Rights Commission or concerned State Human Rights Commission. These Commissions address violations  of rights relating to life, liberty, equality and dignity of the individual guaranteed by the Constitution.


Commission for Women

In case of discrimination targeted against women or trans women, you can approach the National Commission for Women, or concerned State Commission for Women.


Commission for Scheduled Castes

In case you are also facing caste-based discrimination, you can approach the National Commission for Scheduled Castes, or concerned State Commission

To know more about LGBTQ+ rights, read our LGBTQ+-specific explainers on healthcare, getting ID proof, and taking action against violence.