Sunil Babu Pant/ Pahichan – I am thrilled to share a good news that same sex marriage report (with recommendation) is, finally, submitted to Nepal Govt today by the “same-sex marriage study committee” formed in 2010, led by Laxmi Raj Pathak, secretary (then), Ministry of health and population .
The report is very comprehensive according to the committee members and chief secretary, who received the report on behalf of Nepal government. Rough translation of the recommendations from the 150 or so long report :
- Given to the positive international trends (towards homosexuality and same sex marriage) and comparative law, it is recommended to have equal marriage legal provision for same sex couples with equal family protection to the couple and children.
- Based on the decision of the Supreme Court (of Nepal in 2007) and finding of this report, it is recommended to make necessary changes on the Criminal and Civil Code Bills tabled at the Legislative-Parliament (many discriminatory provisions exist in the draft civil and criminal bills against sexual and gender minority people)
- Make the family law inclusive to protect the family members who are sexual and gender minorities as the heterosexual family members.
Despite it has taken a lot of time, this is a wonderful news because the report is based upon justice and equality, without any prejudice.
Indeed, many countries in the world have same sex marriage law or civil union or similar legal provision to honor same sex relationship, but the possibility of Nepal becoming the first country to recognize same sex marriage in Asia is an excitement. Once the law is enacted many sexual and gender minorities will be free from forced marriage into heterosexual marriage, which still alarmingly high in south Asia. We can say that this is another step (and not a small one) forward toward full equality for sexual and gender minorities in Nepal and throughout Asia.
So now, we call Nepal government to implement supreme court decision including same sex marriage law as recommended by this report, without much delay.
We like to thank the same-sex marriage committee for your hard work, dedication and non-partiality to make this report. Also we would like to thank every one including politicians, civil society, media, NGOs, UN, bilateral and multilateral donors and sexual and gender minorities of Nepal for their contribution towards justice and equal rights for every one.
Sunil Babu Pant
Founder of Blue Diamond Society.