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India validates the recognition of a third gender
(Blogmensgo, gay blog of 30 April 2014) In a judgment of 15 April 2014, the Indian Supreme Court requires the formal recognition of a "third gender" in twenty-eight states and seven Indian territories. The National Legal Services Authority ( NALSA ) and Laxmi Narayan Tripathi - trans personality well known in India - seized the highest court on this issue in September 2012.
Below long interview-portrait Laxmi Narayan Tripathi:
KS Radhakrishnan and Justices AK Sikri consider that "the recognition of trans people as a third gender ignores the social or medical, but of human rights." This kind, neither masculine nor feminine, should enjoy the same rights and benefits as other, particularly in the areas of education, employment and social welfare, said the judges. Non-recognition of this third gender identity would be contrary to Article 15 of the Constitution, they said.
“Transgenders are also citizens of India. The spirit of the Constitution is to provide equal opportunity to every citizen to grow and attain their potential, irrespective of caste, religion or gender.”
The judgment of the Federal Supreme Court shall apply to any person who does not consider themselves as male or female. This may be the case for many trans or intersex, but also people hijras (eunuchs) - Laxmi Narayan Tripathi is defined as hijra . Often these categories of people forced into prostitution or begging to survive.
The precise terms and timing of application remain to be defined. It seems that the Supreme Court includes all official documents such as passport, birth certificate or driver's license, but also admission quotas in public education and recruitment institutions within government.
India could become like Germany and Nepal, one of the few countries whose passports mention of a third kind. The Indian state of Tamil Nadu, the southern tip of the country, already formally recognized the existence of a third kind.
KS Radhakrishnan and Justices AK Sikri also stated that membership of this third kind was to be subject to any sex reassignment surgery or a medical intervention.
Comment. A real double victory, but not a victory on the line.
The Supreme Court is an undeniable step forward for trans people and recognition of their status. However, the two judges said in a conspicuous and explicit that their decision was applicable only to those of the third kind and not gays, lesbians and bisexuals.
This article has been translated from our French blog, to view the original, click here.