[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Sunday, 25 April, 2004, 15:03 GMT 16:03 UK
Kuwait sex-change case upheld
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 imbalances.

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 final.

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 condition."

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

Country profile: Kuwait
11 Sep 03  |  Country profiles
Timeline: Kuwait
14 Jul 03  |  Country profiles


News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia
UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health
Have Your Say | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific