The Constitution of Nepal, adopted in 2015, took a bold step by explicitly prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation. Nepal became the first South Asian country to formally register a case of same-sex marriage. This event occurred in the Dordi Rural Municipality of Lamjung district in Western Nepal, where the union of trans-woman Maya Gurung, 35, and gay man Surendra Pandey, 27, was legally recognized.
Legal Progression for Same-Sex Marriage in Nepal
In 2007, Nepal’s Supreme Court had already set the stage by allowing same-sex marriage, laying the foundation for the recent groundbreaking development. Fast forward to June 27, 2023, when the Supreme Court issued an interim order in response to a writ petition, temporarily legalizing same-sex marriage. This interim order marked a significant leap toward the official recognition of the rights of the LGBTQ+ community in Nepal.
A Brief Setback
Despite the Supreme Court’s interim order, the path to same-sex marriage faced a hurdle when, four months ago, the Kathmandu District Court rejected the marriage application of Surendra Pandey and Maya Gurung. The rejection was based on the absence of specific laws addressing same-sex marriage, underscoring the need for legislative support.
Maya and Surendra’s Resilience
Surendra Pandey, a 27-year-old gay man from Nawalparasi district, and Maya Gurung, a 35-year-old trans-woman from Lamjung district, demonstrated resilience and commitment to their relationship. The couple, living together as husband and wife for the past six years, navigated societal challenges and sought approval from their families, marrying in the traditional manner.
Historic Significance for the Third Gender Community
Sanjib Gurung (Pinky), president of the Blue Diamond Society, an organization advocating for the rights and welfare of sexual minorities in Nepal, expressed great pleasure at the historic development. Pinky emphasized that this achievement is not only a milestone for Nepal but for the entire South Asian region. The event sets a precedent for the recognition and validation of the third-gender community, providing hope and encouragement for others who have lived without their identities and rights.
Opening Doors for Legal Recognition
The broader impact of this first same-sex marriage registration marks the beginning of a positive change for the third-gender community. Necessary laws will be formulated to grant automatic permanent recognition. This empowerment will encourage more individuals within the LGBTQ+ community to seek legal recognition for their unions.
Important Questions Related to Exams
1. Which South Asian nation becomes the first to formally register a same-sex marriage?
2. In what year was the Constitution of Nepal adopted?
3. Who is the current Prime Minister of Nepal?
Answer: Pushpa Kamal Dahal.