Lesbians, gays and bisexuals are not third gender, says SC

Lesbians, gays and bisexuals are not third gender, says SC

New Delhi, June 30 (IANS) The Supreme Court on Thursday said that lesbians, gays and bisexuals are not third gender and refused to modify its May 15, 2014, order recognising transgender as the third gender.

Taking exception to the Centre approaching the apex court for modification of its May 15, 2014, order, the bench of Justice A.K. Sikri and Justice N.V. Ramana said that it was abundantly clear from its 2014 verdict that lesbians, gays and bisexuals were not transgender.

The bench said this as Additional Solicitor General Maninder Singh told the court that it was not clear from 2014 verdict whether lesbian, gays and bisexuals were transgender or not. Singh urged the court to clarify the position on the point.

Disposing of the Centre’s application for clarification, the bench said “No clarification is required” and asked Singh, “Why should we not dismiss the application with costs.”

Appearing for the transgender activists, senior counsel Anand Grover said that for two years the government has not implemented the order of the top court, saying that it (Centre) needed clarification whether lesbian, gays and bisexual were clubbed with transgender.

The apex court had by its May 15, 2014, verdict recognised transgender as the third gender, extending them reservation under backward classes in jobs, education and health care.

The court had held that transgender enjoyed all the rights under the Constitution which are enjoyed by the citizens’ identifiable gender.

The court by its 2014 verdict had said, “At the outset, it may be clarified that the term transgender is used in a wider sense, in the present age.”

“Even gay, lesbian, bisexual are included by the descriptor transgender. This has come to be known as umbrella term which includes gay men, lesbians, bisexuals, and cross-dressers within its scope.”

Justice Sikri in his separate reasoning in 2014 had categorically said that transgender in the instant case would not encompass its wider usage to include gays, lesbians and bisexuals.

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