New laws silent about sexual and gender minority

Madhav Dulal/Kathmandu – The civil and criminal code which came into effect from August 17, has replaced 165-year long Muluki Ain.

Government has claimed that with the promulgation laws, all citizens will get equal rights. Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli said the new laws have adjusted norms and values of society in changing times.

However, sexual and gender minority is yet to receive full-fledged rights. Except that there should not be discrimination to this community, new laws have not spoken about the rights of this community. PM is of the view that there are any flaws that could be corrected in coming days.

PM is of the view that it could be corrected if there are any flaws in the implementation. PM underlined the need of self-regulation instead of imposing any laws. The new laws state that there should be male and female for the marriage.

This provision has dismayed members of sexual and gender minority to marry. Spokesperson at Ministry of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Ramesh Dhakal said as state has adopted a policy that marriage means male and female, code has not accommodated this community. The same-sex marriage report marriage has not been implemented yet.

The law has not defined the sexual intercourse between women-women and male-male. According to Dhakal, laws have not taken the relation as unnatural and it has not taken it as a crime.

He said sexual relationship without a consensus is taken a crime but it is not properly defined. Members of this community are living together and some of them are adopting children.  Sujan Panta, a lawyer who is advocating for the rights of sexual and gender minority, said civil and criminal code has been introduced without taking into account the verdict taken by Supreme Court on same-sex marriage.

He said though constitution has ensured the rights of equality, the code has discriminatory provisions as it has defined marriage as male and female.

“Nepal is a first country in Asia to mention the rights of sexual and gender minority so that are not any obstacles to legalize same-sex marriage,” said Pant. He suggested that it would have been better if marriage has been defined as a relation between two people.