In a groundbreaking development, Nepal is set to witness a significant milestone as same-sex couples prepare to register their marriages following a historic decision by the Supreme Court.
The Supreme Court had been reviewing a petition filed by advocates for gay rights, and on Wednesday, it issued an interim order allowing same-sex couples to register their marriages while awaiting a final verdict.
Pinky Gurung, the chairperson of the Blue Diamond Society, a prominent organization advocating for LGBTQ+ rights, hailed the decision as a major step forward. Gurung revealed that approximately 200 same-sex couples are expected to openly register their marriages.
Nepal, a predominantly Hindu nation, has been undergoing progressive changes since the end of a decade-long Maoist insurgency in 2006. In 2008, political parties voted to abolish the 239-year-old Hindu monarchy, fulfilling a crucial demand of the Maoists.
While Taiwan remains the only Asian country that recognizes same-sex marriage, there is growing momentum for reform in countries like Japan, Thailand, and South Korea.
In 2007, Nepal’s Supreme Court directed the government to eliminate discrimination against the LGBTQ+ community and ensure equal rights. Since then, some same-sex couples have celebrated unofficial weddings, and the capital city of Kathmandu has witnessed vibrant gay pride parades.
However, activists emphasize that there is still a need for clear legislation as individuals continue to face challenges such as familial and societal prejudices, along with discrimination in education, government institutions, and healthcare.
Maya Gurung, a member of the LGBTQ+ community, expressed optimism about the official registration of marriages, highlighting the positive impact it would have in overcoming various difficulties.
Gurung and their partner of nearly a decade, Surendra Pandey, plan to approach the authorities to formalize their marriage, understanding that the process may require some time to complete.
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A few days back, Pakistan also passed the bill of Transgenders Act against the persons who wanted to change their genders or have duality in their genders. As it would be never a reasonable demand in a Muslim State and human oriented society.