LANDMARK

India Recognizes ‘Third Gender’

India's Supreme Court ruled Tuesday to create a “third gender” recognition for transgender peope. "Recognition of transgenders as a third gender is not a social or medical issue but a human rights issue," Justice K.S. Radhakrishnan, who headed the two-judge Supreme Court bench, wrote in the ruling. "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 court also ordered the government to provide transgender people with quotas in jobs and education in line with other minorities, as well as offer adequate health care and separate bathroom and other facilities to them. As progressive as this ruling from the Indian courts is, it stands in sharp contrast to the court's December 2013 ruling criminalizing gay sex.