Monday, April 26, 2004

Kuwait sex-change case upheld

From BBC News

A Kuwaiti court has said a 25-year-old man who underwent sex-change
surgery can be officially regarded as a woman.

The unprecedented ruling came after the court was told of the
plaintiff's physical and mental torment since childhood due to hormonal

Lawyer Adel al-Yahya told Reuters news agency the judges were guided by
a religious edict allowing gender change if there are medical reasons
for it.

The ruling has to be approved by a higher court before it becomes

Mr Yahya, the plaintiff's lawyer, said he presented the court with an
edict from Sunni Islam's top religious institution, al-Azhar, in Egypt.

This allows people to change their gender if there are proper medical
reasons for doing so.

"We have evidence, a fatwa from al-Azhar, because we have a case of
illness, not a case of switching gender or as they call it in Kuwait a
third-sex case," he told Reuters.

"This is a very rare condition... and the court ruled according to that

Mr Yahya said the process of getting final approval for the ruling may
take up to a month.