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Originally published Tuesday, January 22, 2013 at 12:26 AM

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Nepal to issue 3rd gender IDs

An official says Nepal's government has ordered issuance of citizenship certificates with the label third gender for people who do not wish to be identified as male or female.

The Associated Press

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KATMANDU, Nepal —

An official says Nepal's government has ordered issuance of citizenship certificates with the label third gender for people who do not wish to be identified as male or female.

Activists hailed the decision, saying it was an achievement for gay and transgender rights.

Home Ministry Bhola Siwakot the order has been issued to all the district administration offices.

Nepal's Supreme Court ruled in 2007 that the government should issue citizenship certificates with a third gender but took five years to implement the decision.

Sunilbabu Pant of the Blue Diamond Society said the new simple and clear guidelines should make life easier for the sexual minorities.

Activists say third gender people have not been able to get jobs or passports, enroll in colleges or own property without the citizenship certificates.

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