Monika, Ramesh shared their happiness after registering marriage

Kathmandu (Pahichan) August 6 – Transgender women Monika Shahi and a man Ramesh Nath Yogi registered their marriage which is a first in Nepal. This is progressive step in Nepal. However, there is not same-sex marriage law in Nepal.

Stakeholders are pressing government to legalize same-sex marriage as soon as possible to respect the constitutional provisions which has provided rights to this community.

Organizing a press conference they said that they were able to register it in their home district Dadeldhura,  far-western region.

“I have successfully registered my marriage with my husband,” Shahi  said at a press conference, where she showed her marriage certificate.

“This is also my attempt to awaken our government to make legal changes. Others like me should also have the right to marry the person they love,” she added.

Nepal’s law is 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.

Pinky Gurung, president of the Blue Diamond Society which works on behalf of sexual minorities in Nepal, said that the wedding was an achievement for their movement.

“This is a beginning. But we need to see the government take action to legalise marriages for our community and enact the necessary laws,” said Gurung.  Nepal already has some of the most progressive policies on homosexuality in South Asia.

In 2013 Nepal introduced citizenships with a third gender option and began issuing passports reflecting the same in 2015. Speaking in the press conference Yogi said there is a need of people like Monika in the society to bring social changes in the society. “We are homosexual couple and we have already received the citizenship,” Yogi said. Speaking in the program, Samipa Shah said the marriage is an example in the society which is still rigid even in inter-caste marriage.