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Indian top court recognizes transgenders in landmark ruling

NEW DELHI, April 15 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - India's top court on Tuesday recognized the country's long marginalized transgender community as a third gender and, in a landmark judgment lauded by human rights groups, called on the government to ensure their equal treatment. There are hundreds of thousands of transgenders in India, say activists, but because they are not legally recognized, they are ostracized, discriminated against, abused and often forced into prostitution.

India top court recognises transgenders as 'third gender'

India's highest court ruled Tuesday that a person can be legally recognised as gender-neutral, a landmark judgement that raises hopes of an end to discrimination against several million transgenders and eunuchs. The Supreme Court also said transgenders should be included in government welfare schemes offered to other minority groups in a bid to pull them out of the impoverished margins of Indian society. "Transgenders are citizens of this country and are entitled to education and all other rights," Justice K.S. Radhakrishnan told the court while handing down the ruling.

Alberta reviewing rules to make sure schools ensure rights of teachers, gays

EDMONTON - Alberta's education minister is reviewing all of its agreements with alternative schools in light of anti-gay pronouncements by one faith-based school. Jeff Johnson said the province is also reviewing school employment contracts to make sure they don't infringe on human or charter rights. "I'm very concerned," Johnson told reporters Monday. "With all of our schools we expect that they'll be adhering to all provincial legislation, the Education Act, (and) the Alberta Human Rights Act.

Alberta politicians vote against gay-straight alliance bill for schools

EDMONTON - A private member's bill that would make it mandatory for Alberta schools to allow for the creation of gay-straight alliances has been voted down in the legislature. Kent Hehr, Liberal member for Calgary-Buffalo, said on Twitter he was disappointed the bill didn't pass but said he would continue fighting for the cause. The final vote was 31-19 with the Liberals and the NDP supporting the motion, along with some members of the Conservative government, but the majority of Tories and the Wildrose opposing it.

Taiwan court rejects appeal to register gay marriage

A Taiwanese court has rejected a gay couple's appeal against a government agency for refusing to register their marriage in the latest setback for the recognition of same-sex unions on the island, activists said Friday. Gay rights activist Chi Chia-wei and his partner filed a complaint with the Taipei High Administrative Court last year against a government agency that turned them away when they tried to register their marriage.

Gay couples to tie the knot in first same-sex marriages in Britain

By Julia Fioretti LONDON (Reuters) - Peter McGraith and David Cabreza will marry in London a stroke after midnight on Friday, marking the culmination of a campaign to end a distinction many British gay couples say made them feel like second class citizens. Saturday will be the first day gay couples will be allowed to tie the knot in England and Wales after the government legalised same-sex marriage last July.

Beer makers drop out of St. Patrick's parades that ban openly gay marchers

By Anna Hiatt NEW YORK (Reuters) - Two major beer manufacturers on Friday dropped sponsorship of St. Patrick's Day parades in New York City and Boston to protest bans on gays marching openly. Sam Adams pulled out of Boston's parade, which takes place on Sunday, and Heineken yanked its support of the New York City parade, slated for Monday. Both parades are allowing gay groups to march but are banning signage about sexual orientation.

Same-sex marriages expected to boost travel, hospitality industries

By Patricia Reaney NEW YORK (Reuters) - Growing acceptance and legalization of same-sex marriages in the United States and around the globe will fuel the travel and hospitality industries and boost spending by lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender consumers, experts say.7

Transgender Italian held for second time in Sochi

By Catherine Koppel SOCHI, Russia (Reuters) - A transgender former member of Italy's parliament was detained by Russian police for the second time in 24 hours on Monday for trying to stage a gay rights protest at the Winter Olympics. Vladimir Luxuria said she was led away by two men in plain clothes on Sunday when she held up a sign saying "Gay is OK" in Russian in the Sochi Olympic Park and was held for about three hours.

Canadian actress Ellen Page comes out as gay at Las Vegas conference

LAS VEGAS, Nev. - Oscar nominated Canadian actress Ellen Page has come out as gay, declaring that hiding her sexuality has caused her years of suffering. Page went public Friday night in Las Vegas during an emotional speech to the Time to Thrive conference — an LGBT (lesbian, gay, transgender, bisexual) youth event sponsored by the gay advocacy group Human Rights Campaign. The 26 year old Halifax native said she was "tired of lying by omission," and that her fear of coming out had caused her spirit, her mental health and her relationships all to suffer.
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