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Nepal LGBT Rights Set to Go Backward

Sunday, August 3rd, 2014

Nepal Gay RightsAfter becoming one of the most progressive Asian countries in the wake of a 2007 Supreme Court ruling, Nepal is preparing to recriminalize gay sex and block same sex marriage.

Gay Star News reports:

Today, the LGBTI community faces fresh opposition as the law ministry under law and justice minister Narahari Acharya of the ruling Nepali Congress is seeking to enact punitive laws to recriminalize gay sex, Sunil Pant, the country’s first openly gay politician and former member of parliament, told Gay Star News in an email. Gay sex was decriminalized in 2007 after Nepal’s parliament voted to abolish the monarchy. Up till then, homosexuality was deemed an ‘unnatural sex act’ that carried a prison term of up to a year. Under the new laws, gay sex acts will be punishable by three years imprisonment. The new laws will also prohibit same-sex unions, oral and anal sex among heterosexuals, and narrow the definition of rape to only apply to women.

It’s extremely sad to see that a country that had made such progress on KGBT rights may be turning its back on its LGBT community. Maybe the ban on oral sex for straights will help stir up some opposition?

It just goes to show that you can never stop being vigilant in the fight for equal rights.

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Nepal: Asian LGBT Activists Meet to Plan Strategy

Sunday, March 24th, 2013

LGBT rights have historically expanded much more slowly in asian countries than in the West. A group of LGBT activists is working to change that. Pink News reports:

LGBT activists from across Asia gathered this weekend to plan a strategy ahead of this summer’s United Nations Human Rights Council meeting. The LGBT activists from over a dozen countries, met in Nepal this weekend to formulate a plan for overcoming problems in the region surrounding religion and culture. The event was also attended by Nepalese government officials.

The UN Secretary General even spoke to the gathering:

In a video speech to kick off the conference, UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon said: “Far too many people and governments still refuse to acknowledge the injustice of discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity and the hardship it causes.”

There have been recent signs of change in Asia – nepal has become surprisingly gay friendly. In Taiwan, a gay couple is pursuing a lawsuit for marriage equality. Even Vietnam is said to be considering marriage equality, although the vote was put off until 2014.

But change is coming to this part of the world, just as it’s sweeping through Europe, the USA, and Latin America.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Asia.

Nepal: Hundreds March for Gay Rights

Saturday, August 4th, 2012

Gays, lesbians, transgender people and their supporters marched in a Nepalese town Friday to demand recognition as a third gender in citizen certificates, to allow same-sex marriage and to criminalize discrimination based on sexual preference.

Dressed in colorful clothes, laden with beads and other jewelry, they danced to Bollywood music played over loudspeakers as they marched for about 3 kilometers (2 miles) though the center of Pokhara, a resort town 200 kilometers (125 miles) west of the capital, Katmandu.

Sunil Babu Pant of the Blue Diamond Society, a group which supports sexual minorities in Nepal, said the rally was an opportunity for people to come out.

Authored By Binaj Gurubacharya – See the Full Story at Edge Boston

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Nepal: Hundreds March for Gay Rights

Monday, August 15th, 2011

Nepal Gay RightsHundreds of gay, lesbian, transgender people marched with supporters in a southern Nepal town Sunday to demand equal rights under a new constitution the country is in the process of writing.

The estimated 500 demonstrators danced, chanted slogans and marched around Narayanghat, a town about 100 miles (160 kilometers) south of the capital of Katmandu on Sunday, which is also Nepal’s traditional festival of Gaijatra honoring the dead.

The gay community has been holding demonstrations on the festival day in the capital, but it was the first time that activists have organized a rally outside the capital.

Full Story from Edge Boston

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Nepal: Hundreds Rally for Gay Rights

Sunday, August 14th, 2011

Nepal Gay RightsHundreds of gay, lesbian, transgender people marched with supporters in a southern Nepal town Sunday to demand equal rights under a new constitution the country is in the process of writing.

The estimated 500 demonstrators danced, chanted slogans and marched around Narayanghat, a town about 100 miles (160 kilometers) south of the capital of Katmandu on Sunday, which is also Nepal’s traditional festival of Gaijatra honoring the dead.

The gay community has been holding demonstrations on the festival day in the capital, but it was the first time that activists have organized a rally outside the capital.

Full Story from NR Today

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Nepal: Gay Wedding Paradise?

Tuesday, July 19th, 2011

Organizing a wedding at a Hindu temple is nothing unusual in Nepal. Most Nepalis, the majority of whom are Hindu, opt for a traditional ceremony in one of the country’s thousands of places of worship, believing that it sanctifies a couple’s bond.

But on a sunny day on June 20, a temple nestled in the hills not far from the capital Kathmandu hosted a new kind of wedding. When Courtney Mitchell, 41, put the vermilion power — the symbol of marriage for Hindu women — on the forehead of her girlfriend, Sarah Welton, 48, the American couple became the first lesbians to tie the knot in a public Hindu marriage ceremony in Nepal.

They exchanged garlands as a young Hindu priest chanted mantras and local artisans played the five traditional musical instruments of the rite. Mitchell, who teaches psychology at the University of Denver, was dressed in the colorful traditional Nepalese attire of the groom, a long double-breasted shirt worn with loose trousers and a wedge-shaped, embroidered cap. Welton, a lawyer, was resplendent in red sari and blouse, adorned with Nepali jewelry.

Full Story from Time

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Nepal: New Constitution Would Include Marriage Equality

Wednesday, July 6th, 2011

Nepal New ConstitutionFollowing centuries of monarchy and a decade-long civil war that ended in 2006, Nepal has emerged as a democratic republic with one of the world’s most progressive stances on LGBT rights, which could be promulgated in a new constitution this year unless the government further delays its implementation.

“The LGBT issues are pretty well formulated in the draft, and there is no opposition, so we don’t need to worry about that,” says Sunil Pant, Nepal’s first openly gay elected official and a member of the interim constituent assembly writing the document. “Our concern is about how long it will take to have the constitution.”

Pant, who is pushing for adoption of the constitution this year, says the draft proposes citizenship rights for “third gender” individuals, who identify as neither male nor female; bans discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity; calls for government affirmative action in support of LGBT people; and proposes gender-neutral language on the rights to work, health, education, and marriage, the latter also being drafted in a separate law directed by a supreme court ruling.

Full Story from The Advocate

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Nepal: American Lesbian Couple Celebrates First Public Gay Wedding Ceremony

Monday, June 20th, 2011

Lesbian Wedding in NepalA lawyer and a college professor from the United States celebrated Nepal’s first public lesbian wedding ceremony Monday in the Himalayan nation that recently began recognizing gay rights and drafting laws to end sexual discrimination.

Courtney Mitchell, 41, and Sarah Welton, 48, from Denver, Colorado, celebrated in a Hindu Nepalese tradition at the Dakshinkali temple south of Katmandu, the capital of the Himalayan nation. Local gay rights activists and supporters cheered the ceremony attended by their close friends.

Nepal Parliament member Sunilbabu Pant, a gay rights activist, said it was the first public wedding of a lesbian couple in the mostly conservative nation.

Full Story from The Sacramento Bee

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Nepal: 70 Gay Activists Arrested

Wednesday, September 15th, 2010

More than 70 gay activists were arrested in Kathmandu as they rallied for government IDs for transgender citizens. It’s an unexpected development for Nepal, which has been expanding LGBT rights, encouraging gay tourism, and recently saw its first large-scale gay pride celebration.

“Nepali men and women who identify as transgender are seeking citizenship certificates with their gender marked as “third sex” instead of male or female. Sunil Babu Pant, lawmaker and founder of the Blue Diamond Society, a gay rights group, says more than 70 people were detained near the prime minister’s office and parliament.

“We are running out of patience and are demanding our rights,” Pant said from a detention centre. “Without the citizenship papers, the sexual minorities are unable to get a job, enrol in schools or colleges, seek treatment in hospitals and travel,” he said. “They cannot even inherit parental property.””

Full Story from Joe.My.God

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Nepal: Country Hosts Gay Wedding for Indian Couple

Tuesday, August 17th, 2010

Love knows no boundaries. Legal restrictions and threats from family members made an Indian gay couple cross over to Nepal to get married. The ceremony held near a Hindu temple in the heart of Kathmandu on Tuesday is the first Indian gay wedding in Nepal where same sex marriages will get legal sanction soon.

Asif Khan, 30, a Muslim from Ahmedabad exchanged rings with longtime Hindu partner Sanjiv Sha, 42, a UK citizen of Indian origin (names changed). The couple was blessed by a Hindu priest.

A function was attended by gays, lesbians, transgendered and transvestites from Kathmandu who contributed to organize a small feast and party for the newlyweds.

Full Story from

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