India enjoyed a brief period of breakthrough in lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) inclusion since the historic judgement of Delhi High Court in 2009 reading down section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, effectively decriminalising homosexual acts. In December 2013, India, as well as the rest of the world, was shocked to see the Supreme Court reversing the decision. The lives of millions of LGBT individuals in India have been deeply affected. For corporate India, questions were raised as to what impact the ruling has on efforts around creating inclusive workplaces, and what can companies do to support their LGBT employees in this turbulent time.
Community Business has been working with businesses in Asia to create inclusive workplaces for LGBT individuals since 2009. With the publication of the LGBT Resource Guide for Employers in India in 2012, Community Business has played a leading role in impacting change and supporting companies to address the sensitive topic of LGBT in the workplace. In this challenging time for the LGBT community in India, the need for leadership, and platforms for mutual learning and support is stronger than ever. Since the Supreme Court ruling in December 2013, Community Business has engaged with a large number of companies, local LGBT organisations and experts to understand the implications of the ruling on companies and the lives of LGBT employees in India. Through these conversations, we know that continued commitment and leadership to LGBT workplace inclusion is critical.
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