India’s Supreme Court Recognizes Trans People as Third Gender

India's Supreme Court has recognized transgender people as a third gender in an historic ruling, the BBC reports. Said the court: "Transgenders are also citizens of India" and they must be "provided equal opportunity to grow. 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."

India"It is the right of every human being to choose their gender," it said in granting rights to those who identify themselves as neither male nor female. It ordered the government to provide transgender people with quotas in jobs and education in line with other minorities, as well as key amenities….

The judges asked the government to treat them in line with other minorities officially categorised as "socially and economically backward", to enable them to get quotas in jobs and education.

"We are quite thrilled by the judgement," Anita Shenoy, lawyer for the petitioner National Legal Services Authority (Nalsa), told the BBC. "The court order gives legal sanctity to the third gender. The judges said the government must make sure that they have access to medical care and other facilities like separate wards in hospitals and separate toilets," she said.

Approximately two million people are said to be transgender, or hijira, in India.

Homosexuality is still criminalized in India after a stunning Supreme Court ruling last year. The court earlier this month offered hope that it would reconsider that ruling after a campaign by activists.


  1. litper says

    Another proof that trans movement is anti-gay, we see trans “victories” in countries where homosexuality is a death sentence, like Iran and Bangladesh. That’s the real dream of pro-hetero trans activists!

  2. Vikraminmumbai says

    I don’t know where you are speaking from Litper or what personal prejudices you are coming from, but based in India and involved with the legal cases here I can say you’re speaking complete nonsense about the trans movement in India being anti-gay. On the contrary, the lgbt community as a whole has always received considerable support from the trans community – and if anything, its gays, lesbians and bisexuals who have not always reciprocated.

  3. litper says

    You can read about the trans activists praising the judges, the same judges who made gay people criminals just a few months ago.

  4. Vikraminmumbai says

    These are not the same judges. The Indian Supreme Court is not like the US Supreme Court where all the judges hear the same cases. Here different benches of two or more judges hear different cases.

    We were unlucky with the broader lgbt rights case and landed up with unprogressive and unsympathetic judges. The transgender rights case got two much more enlightened and progressive judges. And at least one of them may have put some veiled criticism of the earlier case in this one.

  5. Tyler says

    Litper (Rick) is truly a crazy person with no life. He routinely posts first and his transphobic comments are increasingly hostile. I think his trolling has finally evolved into psychosis.

  6. Jack says

    I think Litper makes a fair point. We are constantly told that gay people are actually something called “LGBT” and that “unless all of us are free, none of us are free.” That is why gay people are no longer allowed to pursue gay civil rights unless each and every bill includes transgenders. We don’t have ENDA today for that reason. If gays ever suggest that we try to make some progress without including Ts, that is “throwing them under the bus.”

    But it only works one way. The transgenders are delighted to pursue their own selfish interests and have no obligation to LGBs. Right now, they are praising the Indian Supreme Court, which only weeks ago criminalized gay people. LGBT is the biggest scam and fraud in political history and LGBs are the marks.

  7. says

    Congrats to the Indian trans people, hopefully there is enough momentum to overturn the anti-gay ruling there. “3rd gender” is really an interesting take. I will have for read up on why that term is being used.

  8. JD510 says

    While this is progress in some ways, it lumps all folks deemed as transgender into the same category of being a third gender when, in fact, these folks are not a monolithic group. Some identify as male, female, trans, neither, etc. Close, but I think this will cause some problems for some folks.

  9. Randy says

    Do all transgender people want to be a third gender?

    For example, don’t most transsexual people want to be recognized as the gender their brain tells them they are?

  10. JMC says

    lmao @ Lipter trolling himself into a corner here

    and Randy I believe, based on the posted summary, that the third gender classification is only for individuals who do not identify as male or female

  11. Geo says

    Why were gay groups in the US forced to actively oppose ENDA if it didn’t include trans language? It isn’t enough that they prefer to have trans language, but they are bullied into actively opposing gay civil rights if it doesn’t come bundled up with transgender issues?

    But when Ts get something just for them, it’s no problem. Indian Supreme Court gives them a win and sends LGBs to prison? The transgenders say, hey, let’s party.

    Oh, also, being called a “third gender” is an insult to many transgenders. So enjoy your “victory” you exploitative, manipulative thugs.

  12. TKinSC says

    To be fair, it was not homosexuality that was re-outlawed in India, but sodomy. So the analogy with trans is really apples and oranges.