For Nepalese who do not identify as male or female, citizen certificates bearing “third gender” will soon be issued by the state according to Home Minister Bhola Siwakoti. The decision is being hailed by activists who say that it is a major step forward for LGBT rights. According to Siwakoti, the order to issue the new certificates has already gone out to all district administration offices.
In 2007, the Nepalese Supreme Court ruled that the government should issue citizenship certificates covering third gender individuals. It has taken five years to implement the decision. Sunilbabu Pant of the Blue Diamond Society has said that the simple and clear guidelines for issuing the certificates will likely make it easier for sexual minorities given that third gender individuals have difficulty in getting jobs and passports as well as enrolling in school and owning property because of the lack of proper citizenship certificates.