New constitution to ensure the rights of LGBTI
Madhav Dulal/Kathmandu (Pahichan) September 15 – For the first time in Nepal, rights of gender and sexual minorities have been ensured in the constitution .Now LGBTI Community can receive citizenship according to their identity with any hurdles. The constitutional provision states that a law will make a special arrangement for the protection, empowerment and development of this community.
Similarly, they will also get rights in state mechanism on the basis of inclusive principles. Former lawmaker Sunil Babu Pant played a vital role to ensure the rights of this community in the constitution. In the previous CA, Panta was a member of a committee of fundamental rights and state directives. All the parties were agreed to enshrine the rights of this community.
There was not dispute regarding the mentioning of sexual minorities but it has not been incorporated in the new constitution.South Africa, Boliviya, Ecuador and Portugal in their constitution have written that there will not be on the basis of sexual orientation. President Ram Baran Yadav will promulgate the constitution on Sunday.
There is a constitutional provision that LGBTI community will get citizenship according to their gender identity. The article 12 which states the rights of this community has been endorsed through a voice vote. In the article, it is stated that any people can get the citizenship according to their identity by the name of father or mother. Blue Diamond Society is demanding that citizenship should be issued under O category. Following the Supreme Court decisions, Ministry of Home Affairs has already issued notice to District Administration to issue citizenship mentioning O category but it has not been fully implemented. Now, according to new constitution, it would be mandatory to issue citizenship under O category.
Fundamental rights and duties
The word sexual orientation has bee deleted from article 18. This was deleted while amending the constitution hill. It has been mentioned that laws will be formulated for the protection, empowerment and development of gender and sexual minorities. Parties have agreed to incorporate workers, youths, senior citizens, gender and sexual minorities, people with disabilities among others.
Right of Social Justice
In a clause under social justice, it has been mentioned that gender and sexual minority shall enjoy the right to participate in state mechanism on the basis of inclusive principles. The community such as women, Dalit, Adbhibasi, Janajati, Madhesi, Tharu, marginalized community, people with disability, Muslimm, gender and sexual minority, youths, workers, Khas Arya will get the right of inclusive and proportional participation.
Why new constitution is gender and sexual minority friendly ?
Sunil Babu Pant
As article-wise voting is underway on new constitution, I am happy to report that two particular articles are already passed by the CA which remains significant to ensure gender and sexual minority rights. This is an unofficial translation of parts of article 12 and 18:
Article 12: Right to have chieftainship ID according to one’s own gender identity (this article defies the binary genders system permanently)
Article 18: Rights to Equality: Sub article 18.3 State won’t discriminate any citizens based on origin, religion, race, caste, tribe, gender, language or ideological conviction or likely any other status.
Provided that nothing shall be deemed to prevent the making of special provisions by law for the protection, empowerment or advancement of the interests of socially and culturally disadvantaged women, Dalits, indigenous peoples, tribes, Madhesi, Tharu, Muslim, ethnic minorities, backward classes, minorities, marginalized, farmers, workers, youth, children, senior citizens, gender and sexual minorities, handicapped persons, Pregnant person, disabled or helpless, people of backward regions and economically disadvantaged citizens.
18.4: Equal Pay: No discrimination based on gender (instead of male and female like in the previous constitution)
18.5: Parental property: children will have equal rights to parental property (instead of son and daughter)