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Germany's top court ruled on Wednesday that there must be the option of registering a third gender on birth certificates.
The move, described by activists as a "small revolution", would make Germany the first European country to offer intersex people the choice of identifying as neither male nor female, the BBC reported.
The case was brought by a registered female whose chromosome test confirmed they were neither one sex nor the other. The constitutional court in Karlsruhe has given the government until the end of 2018 to pass a law specifying a category other than male or female.
The court said current regulations on civil status were discriminatory against intersex people. The category could be called "inter" or "various". A German government spokesperson said the government would comply with the ruling.
The activist group Third Option -- which has been campaigning for official recognition -- said on Twitter that it was "completely overwhelmed and speechless".
Intersex people are born with a mixture of male and female sex characteristics. The UN says the condition affects up to 1.7 per cent of the world's population.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)