Verbal war over the delay to formulate same-sex marriage law

Kathmandu (Pahichan) July 29 – Government officials have themselves said that government is not keen to make a law on same-sex marriage. Bharat Sharma, Under Secretary at Ministry of Women, Children and Senior Citizen, said that though ministry is making preparations to make a draft of law, government has not shown any interest.  “Government is not serious about it. We are making preparations since two years but it has not been completed yet,” he said, adding that two years period was more than sufficient to make laws.

The Ministry has named him as a focal person to meet sexual and gender minority, to hear their issues and provide them assistances.

No support from government obviously means there is no interest at prime ministerial or upper political level.

Sharma level a clear message that Nepal’s bureaucracy is clearly guided from political level. Speaking at Samakon Program broadcasted from Kantipur Television; Under Secretary Sharma revealed the reasons behind the slow progress in drafting laws. He also indicated that it is a responsibility of government to look after the issues of this community.

In his own words, there is no coordination between political leadership and bureaucracy. He said Ministry of Home Affairs is more accessible than Office of the Prime Minister and Council of Ministers for the members of this community to exert pressures.

The lawmakers do not have the proper knowledge about the rights mentioned about this community in article 18 of the constitution. Lawmaker Nawaraj Silwal said he would raise the concerns of this community in Parliament focusing on article 42 of the constitution. He said there would not a feeling that there is no representation of this community in Parliament. He represents CPN (CPN).

 Former Attorney General who is also a member of government committee formed to suggest ways for legalizing same-sex marriage Hari Phuyal said though constitution has guaranteed the rights of this community there is a lack of sufficient legal framework.  He said several Supreme Court orders have empowered this community but there has not been progress in formulating laws.