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Australian court OKs third-sex choice on birth documents

SYDNEY, Australia -- An Australian court has cleared the way for people to identify as neither male nor female on government documents, after protests by a genderless activist went global.

Friday's landmark decision by the New South Wales Court of Appeal overturned a previous ruling that only legally recognized citizens as a man or a woman on their birth, death and marriage certificates.

A third option — "non-specific" — can now be listed as a valid gender status.

The decision was a victory for Sydney-based sexual equality crusader Norrie, who sought in 2010 to reflect a non-sex status in the NSW Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages.

The 52-year-old, who identifies as a gender-neutral neuter, was the first Australian to be given the designation "sex not specified," but that classification was later withdrawn after just four months as Norrie's story became more widely reported.

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