Target: Justice KS Radhakrishnan
Goal: Applaud establishment of legal third gender category for people who do not fit the existing gender binary
People in India who identify as transgender, transsexual, transvestite, eunuch, or other nontraditional genders are commonly called “hijra,” and they have been relegated to the margins of society, forced to make a living through begging, prostitution, or singing and dancing at events. One estimate claims there are now around two million transgender people living in India, who are subject to discrimination and harassment by the public and the police, and are even refused treatment at hospitals. India’s Supreme Court just ruled that the government must recognize the third gender and promote their empowerment by instituting quotas in education and job sectors, which are used for other Indian minorities to raise them out of poverty and end discrimination. The court said 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.”
An analyst at BBC News in Delhi notes that historically people of this third gender were celebrated in Hindu culture and royal courts, but in the nineteenth century British colonial rulers passed a law labeling them criminals; since then the transgender community has been excluded from society, despite the law being repealed after India’s independence in the mid-twentieth century. Some legal professionals have cautioned that gay sex remains a crime in India thanks to a previous Supreme Court ruling, so the recognition of transgender people may not protect them from being jailed for homosexual acts. Nonetheless, this ruling represents a step in the right direction, and transgender activists have much cause for celebration.
By signing this petition, you are commending the Indian Supreme Court for its recent protection and empowerment of transgender citizens. You are encouraging them to continue fighting for human rights and social justice.
Dear Justice KS Radhakrishnan and the Indian Supreme Court,
I am ecstatic about your recent ruling to recognize transgender people as a third gender and to protect the transgender community from discrimination by ordering the institution of quotas in education and jobs. This is such an important step in ending discrimination against LGBT Indians, who have suffered for far too long around the world as a result of ignorance. I hope you will continue to advocate for the legal protection of people who do not subscribe to the traditional gender binary by striking down the criminalization of consensual homosexual acts, which perpetuates the misconception that homosexuality and transgender people are unnatural or morally wrong.
Thank you for protecting and empowering transgender Indians. I urge you to continue to fight for human rights and social justice for all Indians, beginning with decriminalizing homosexual behaviors.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: ParaDox via Wikimedia Commons