Transgenders will not include homosexual or bisexual persons: Supreme Court
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Transgenders will not include homosexual or bisexual persons: Supreme Court

Murali Krishnan

Gay, lesbian and bisexual persons will not be covered by the Supreme Court judgment of 2014, by which the Court had recognised trangenders as third gender.

A Division Bench comprising Justice AK Sikri and NV Ramana disposed of an application filed by the Centre seeking clarification on this issue. The Bench said that the 2014 judgment of the court is already clear on this matter. It proceeded to dispose the application after recording the same in its order.

Besides the clarification regarding gay and bisexual persons, the Centre had also raised the following in its application:

  • Transgenders cannot be considered as backward class until the same is decided by the backward class commission.
  • The term “eunuch” is derogatory and should not be used.

It did not, however, press these issues today.

In 2014, the Supreme Court had recognised transgenders as a third gender in a PIL filed by the National Legal Services Authority (NALSA). In that judgment, the Court held that Articles 14, 15, 16, 19 and 21 do not exclude transgender persons from its ambit and take into account rights of “hijras” as well and hence, discrimination against them on the basis of their gender would be a violation of Constitutional mandate.

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