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India's third gender ruling: Transgender individuals celebrate court decision

India's third gender ruling a victory for the transgender community
India's third gender ruling a victory for the transgender communityPhoto by Brent Stirton/Getty Images

India's third gender ruling, which makes being transgender its own designation, is garnering a lot of buzz. MSNBC shared the latest details coming from the Supreme Court's big ruling.

The ruling was made on Tuesday, and India's third gender ruling allows hundreds of thousands of people across the country to officially identify as being transgender rather than male or female. Judge K. S. Radhakrishnan said that in his opinion recognizing transgender as a third gender is a human rights issue, not a medical or social issue.

India's third gender ruling came as a result of a petition brought forth by a group of transgender individuals who said that their non-legal status brought forth discrimination and issues of access to education and jobs. The change means that both state and federal governments in India will need to recognize the transgender designation on passports, birth certificates and drivers licenses. Transgender individuals may also now get a leg up when it comes to some jobs and school opportunities.

Interestingly, while India's third gender ruling helps transgender individuals, those who are gay, lesbian or bisexual still face many issues within the culture. LGBT activists are hopeful that change may come about on that front later in the year.