Kuwait court approves gender switch

A Kuwait court has approved a request by a Kuwaiti man who had sex-change surgery to change his gender officially to female, setting a precedent in the conservative Muslim Gulf Arab state.

    The case has set a precedent in conservative Kuwait

    The Personal Status Court of First Instance ruled that the plaintiff had suffered physiologically and psychologically since childhood due to hormonal imbalances, defence lawyer Adil al-Yahya told Reuters on Sunday. 

    Saturday's ruling has to be referred to a higher court before the decision becomes final, al-Yahya said, adding the process might take up to a month. 

    Al-Yahya said he presented the court with an edict issued by Egypt's al-Azhar, Sunni Islam's top religious institution, that allowed people to change their gender if medical reports showed this was to their benefit. 

    "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," al-Yahya told Reuters. "This is a very rare condition...and the court ruled according to that condition." 

    The 25-year-old plaintiff, who wants a name change to Amal from Ahmad, had a sex-change operation in Bangkok in October 2002, the Arab Times daily reported.

    SOURCE: Reuters


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