LGBT rights in Nepal
|LGBT rights in Nepal|
|Same-sex sexual activity legal?||Legal since 2007|
|Same-sex marriage ordered by Supreme Court; yet to take effect.|
The Nepalese government, following the monarchy that ended in 2007, legalised homosexuality in 2007 along with the introduction of several new law sets. Based on the ruling of the Supreme Court of Nepal in late 2008, the government is looking into legalising same-sex marriage. According to several sources, the new Nepalese constitution, which is currently being drafted, will include same-sex marriage and protection for sexual minorities.
Before the time of the Democratic Republic, private, homosexual relations between consenting adults was a crime, with a maximum punishment of two years in prison. Cross-dressing was also illegal under various laws against public immorality.
2007 Court Decision
Despite their participation in the demonstrations that brought down the monarchy, gay-rights groups found themselves ignored by the political establishment, and turned to the judiciary as a more effective way to secure their rights. The media and public have also become more sympathetic to LGBT rights since an incident in which a police officer slit the throat of a transgendered girl.
Recognition of Same-Sex Relationships
On November 18, 2008 the Supreme Court directed the government to enact laws enabling equal rights to LGBT citizens. While not explicitly legalising same-sex marriage, the ruling instructed the government to form a committee to look into same-sex marriage.. According to Indian media, a bill for this is currently being drafted and will be introduced by 2010. In the drafting of the new Nepalese constitution, same-sex marriage and protection for sexual minorities will be established.
The Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist has made several homophobic statements. Party members have described homosexuality as "a production of capitalism" that "doesn't exist under socialism", and LGBT people as "social pollutants."
The human rights organization Blue Diamond Society, established in 2001, seeks to represent LGBT people in Nepal politically and provide assistance with sexual health in the community. A drop-in centre exists in Kathmandu.
However, according to the Blue Diamond Society, gays, lesbians, bisexuals and Metis (cross-dressing males) sometimes suffer from violence, rape, abuse, blackmailing and murder threats and continue to be discriminated against or even abused in work places.
The country's most prolific LGBT acitivist, politician and Blue Diamond Society president Sunil Babu Pant has announced plans of the Nepal Tourism Board to promote Nepal as a gay-friendly tourist destination.. An LGBT Tourism conference is planned for February 2010. Sensitivity training was said to have been conducted in selected catering and hospitality venues.
- Parashar, Uptal. "Nepal charter to grant gay rights", Hindustan Times, January 19, 2010.
- Nelson, Dean. "Nepal 'to stage gay weddings on Everest'", Daily Telegraph, January 19, 2010.
- 365gay.com, "Nepal High Court Issues Landmark Gay Ruling," December 21, 2007
- Nepal court rules on gay rights BBC News, December 21, 2007
- Gay activist in Nepal campaigns against discrimination, by Henry Chu, The Christian Science Monitor, June 30, 3008
- Court Decision, Blue Diamond Society
- Prince's marriage stokes gay issue, India Today (accessed November 1, 2009)
- Human Rights Watch: "Nepal: Maoists Should End Anti-Gay Violence", April 16, 2007
- About Us, Blue Diamond Society (accessed November 01, 2009)
- Nepal wants a lot of gay people to come visit, Change.org (accessed November 01. 2009)
- 23/10/2009: Nepal to Lure Gay Tourists, The Advocate (accessed November 01, 2009)
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