Nepal’s LGBTQ community has welcomed a Supreme Court interim decision to allow all citizens to register their marriages, including same-sex and transgender couples.
The Supreme Court issued the interim order this week, directing the government to establish a separate temporary register for marriages of couples belonging to gender and sexual minorities.
While the decision does not need to be ratified by parliament, the government can ask the court questions in its response before a final ruling.
Nepal already has some of South Asia’s most progressive laws on homosexuality and transgender rights, with landmark reforms passed in 2007 prohibiting discrimination based on gender or sexual orientation.
A third gender category for citizenship documents was introduced in 2013 and Nepal began issuing passports with the “others” category two years later.
However, Nepalese law has stayed silent on same-sex or transgender marriages despite a 2015 expert committee recommendation to legalise same-sex marriages following a Supreme Court order to enshrine the rights of sexual minorities.
What's life like for LGBTQ people in Nepal?
What’s life like for LGBTQ people in Nepal? Let’s take a look at some of the key equality indicators.
Is homosexuality legal in Nepal?
Yes. Same-sex sexual activity was decriminalised in 2007.
The age of consent is 16, regardless of sexuality.
Are there anti-discrimination protections in place for LGBTQ people in Nepal?
Yes. Protections were introduced in 2007.
Is there Marriage Equality in Nepal?
No. There are is no legal recognition of same-sex relationships, although there appears to be growing support for the necessary laws to be enacted to move towards Marriage Equality.
What’s life like for LGBTQ people in Nepal?
In terms of LGBTQ equality, Nepal is a progressive part of the world.
Although a socially conservative country, attitudes are changing