LGBTI issues receive  national solidarity

Kaski (Pahichan) September 7 – The issue of gender and sexual minority has received a national solidarity. At a national consultative meeting organized by Blue Diamond Society at Pokhara, lawmakers, secretary at National Human Rights Commission, high-level government officials, Nepal Bar Association and human rights activists expressed the solidarity in favor of establishing the rights of LGBTI.

The national consultative meeting was organized on the implementation of constitution and formulation of gender friendly laws. Speaking at the program, lawmakers from Nepali Congress and CPN-UML said that they also have concerns over the rights of gender and sexual minority.

Central Working Committee member of Nepali Congress Jiwan Pariwar said there is widespread discrimination in the society and homosexual and transgender are facing additional difficulties.  He said movement against the discrimination is underway in the society.

He expressed the optimisms that though the number of this community is very low in the society, the movement will get a new height. He underlined the need of raising the issues stating that only the constitutional guarantee is not sufficient. He assured that NC and himself will raise the issue of this community.

UML lawmaker Tuka Bhadra Hamal said society itself has built up a psychology of dividing society as civilized and uncivilized. Hamal said like male and female, members of this community should get the rights.

Stating that people who can build their organizations could ensure the rights like the LBTI. “You are organized so that you rights are mentioned in the constitution,” Hamal said.

She said that like transgender, women are also facing the difficulties. She also proposed to move ahead simultaneously stating that the issues raised LGBTI are similar. “We are with you. We are committed to fulfill your demands as lawmaker as well as personally,” Hamal said.  Khamba Bahadur Khati of Nepal Bar Association said the issues of LGBTI are human rights issues so it is also the issue of Nepal Bar. He said Nepal Bar is ready to cooperate to implement the rights of sexual and gender minority.

Chairman of Informal Sector Service Center Subodh Pyakuurel said even if the rights are not mentioned in the constitution, no one can deny the basic human right issue. “These are the basic human rights issues, states should address them. Now the rights are mentioned in the constitution. If laws are not formulated as per the constitutional provisions we can challenge at Supreme Court,” he said. He said that INSEC is ready to help this community to formulate the laws.

Secretary of National Human Rights Commission Bed Prasad Bhattarai said human rights are necessary for the all the people.  Bhattarai said human rights means human, dignity which is necessary for homosexual and transgender.

He said practical implementation of constitutional provisions remains unimplemented. Bhattarai said NHRC is taking steps for the LGBTI and asks to provide suggestions if additional steps are necessary. Regional Administrator Gopi Nath Mainali said all the people in the society are equal.

“Till 13th planning, we used to accommodate only gender issue. From 14th planning, we have started to accommodate transgender as well. I took initiation to incorporate this issue in the periodic planning,” Mainali said. Mainali said there is need awareness about government officials. Mainali said he has informed government officials about the rights of this community.

Under Secretary at Ministry of Social Welfare said though there are confusions over who is responsible to look after the rights of this community, Ministry of Home Affairs had looked this issue. However, in the last few years, the issue is being dealt by Ministry of Social Welfare and Children.

He said Ministry is launching awareness program to ensure the rights of this community. He said the report on same-sex marriage could not be implemented immediately as several laws should be amended. Sharma said without amending the laws it is very difficult to implement the report on same-sex marriage.

Executive Director of Blue Diamond Society Manisha Dhakal said she feels pride for being transgender and Nepali citizen. “I am feeling proud for being citizen and a member of transgender because constitution has ensured the rights of this community,” Dhakal said. She said that a government report on same-sex marriage is gathering a dust at Ministry of Women and Children.

Dhakal said civil and criminal codes are not friendly to ensure the rights of gender and sexual minority. She underlined the need of reservation for LGBTI like other sections of society.