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Iran decriminalizes sex-change operations

Iran decriminalizes sex-change operations

Iran's mullahs have approved sex-change operations despite their conservative Muslim and cultural beliefs, The New York Times reported Monday. Just after Iran's Islamic revolution in 1979, the nation's ruling clerics classified transsexuals and transvestites with gays and lesbians, who were condemned by Islam and, if charged, faced flogging under Iran's penal code. Now Iran's clerics, who dominate the judiciary, have said they will accept sex-change operations in society. To obtain legal permission for a sex change and new birth certificates, applicants must provide medical proof of gender-identity disorder. The process can take years and also involves considerable expense: In Tehran the initial male-to-female surgery runs about $4,000, but expenditures three times that amount are not uncommon.

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