Draft constitution fails to address the demands of gender and sexual minorities

Kathmandu (Pahichan) September 7 – Due to the lack of proper understanding about its actual meaning, the ‘sexual orientation’ has been removed from the modified draft constitution. According to a leader, members of Constitution Drafting Committee (CDC) did not understand the meaning of sexual orientation which led to scrap the provision.

According to a CA member, the word was removed after some members made it a subject of mockery in the meeting. Some lawmakers asked CDC Chairman Krishna Prasad Sitaula about its meaning but Sitaula said, “Do not you understand it?” After this there is a long laughing in the meeting.  Even in the amendment proposal, parties did not mention this word.

NC lawmaker Jagadish Narasingh KC got surprised to know that sexual orientation has been removed in modified draft. According to him, the word was incorporated till the eleventh hour.

He did not believe that sexual orientation has been removed. CDC members pass the blame to others like this and do not take the responsibility. The joint amendment proposal registered by Nepali Congress, CPN-UML and UCPN (Maoist) also failed to accommodate this prominent issue.

Party leaders said incorporation of gender and sexual orientation is sufficient and other issues will be in explanatory part of constitution. In the joint amendment bill, parties have said that for the empowerment of gender and sexual minorities, there will be special legal provisions as per the article 18 of proposed constitution.

In the modified draft, body status was incorporated instead of sexual orientation but in the amendment proposal both has been deleted. There are also amendments seeking inclusive and proportional representation of marginalized groups, women, Dalit, Adhibasi, Madhesi, gender and sexual minorities among others. However, parties did not listen the demands of ensuring separate rights of gender and sexual minorities.