HomeSouth Asian AmericanNepal Becomes First South Asian Country to Legalize Same-Sex Marriage

Nepal Becomes First South Asian Country to Legalize Same-Sex Marriage

“Second Asian Country to Register Same-Sex Marriage” WION.

A recent landmark Supreme Court ruling in Nepal allows same-sex couples to legally register their marriage, marking a huge win in LGBTQ+ rights in Asia, reported Human Rights Watch.

Nepal is now the second country in Asia to register same-sex marriage. The first to do so is Taiwan in May of 2019. Four years later, in May of 2023, Taiwan also granted full adoption rights to same-sex couples, according to NPR.

As of now, Nepal’s civil code “describes marriage as being between a man and a woman.” However, following the Supreme Court ruling, Justice Til Pradad Shrestha issued an interim order to the Nepali government to immediately ensure marriage registration “of same-sex couples and other non-traditional heterosexual couples.” This ruling recognizes the right to marriage based on a Nepali citizen’s sexual orientation and gender identity.

Until the law is revised, provisional measures have been put in place to protect gender and sexual minorities in Nepal. “This is a very significant development as same-sex as well as third genders and their partners can register their marriages,The Himalayan Times noted.

The road to LGBTQ+ equality in Nepal has been a long one. In fact, in 2007, the Supreme Court in Nepal ordered the government to stop the discrimination of LGBTQ+ people.

Since that time, many LGBTQ+ couples have held unofficial wedding ceremonies. Now, after the ruling, around 200 same-sex couples are expected “‘to come out openly and register their marriages,’” said Pinky Gurung, the current president of a Nepali LGBTQ+ rights organization called Blue Diamond Society to Reuters.

People are already celebrating. They are rushing back to their villages to collect documents for their marriages,” said Sunil Pant, the first openly gay member of Nepal’s parliament.

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