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LGBT citizenship advances in Nepal

Jan. 22, 2013 at 5:33 PM

KATHMANDU, Nepal, Jan. 23 (UPI) -- Nepal has moved to grant citizenship to sexual and gender minorities, government officials say.

The Ministry of Home Affairs instructed its district administrative offices in a Jan. 1 circular to include sexual and gender minorities under the "others" category, The Kathmandu Post reported Wednesday.

The newspaper said Home Minister Bijaya Kumar Gachhadar's directive is a step toward implementing the Nepal Supreme Court's December 2007 ruling that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals are "natural persons" and that citizenship certificates should be issued indicating the gender identity of the applicant's choice.

So far, only three certificates have been issued under the so-called third gender category, the LGBT rights organization Blue Diamond Society said.

LGBT advocate Mira Dhungana called the directive "a positive step to ensure citizenship for sexual minorities."

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