Sexual minorities to protest against ‘discriminative’ Civil Code

Kathmandu (Pahichan), October 17 – Sexual minorities have expressed their strong objection to the draft of civil code recently registered at Parliament and warned of protest if the ‘discriminative’ law is endorsed. The code registered by the government at the Parliament Secretariat is contrary to the spirit of the Supreme Court’s decision in 2007, they said.

In its landmark decision, the apex court in 2007 had issued a verdict that  LGBTI persons (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex), or “third gender” persons, are “natural person[s]” and have the right to enjoy the fundamental human rights guaranteed to all Nepali citizens.

 But, the newly registered code has ignored the existence of the third genders in the country while making provisions related to marriage, property inheritance and adoption, said LGBTI rights activist.

 “The provision has recognized only male and female which has made an injustice for thousands of LGBTI persons living in the country,” the Blue Diamond Society, an organization working for LGBTI rights, said issuing a press statement.Savasad

“The attempt to bring such a discriminative law even in the 21st society shows that persons in the government still have outmoded thinking,” reads the statement issued by Sanjib Gurung Pinky, chair of LGBTI. “The government’s policy to discriminate the citizen on the basis of gender is condemnable.”

Provisions in the code are also at odds with international human rights treaties that Nepal has signed, say the sexual minorities. They have also asked the lawmakers, political parties, human rights organizations, civil society, and journalists among others to support for revising the provisions of the proposed code. The BDS has also urged lawmakers to pass the code only after the needful revisions.

BDS chair Gurung, assistant programme director Sanjaya Sharma, LGBTI rights activist Anik Rana, Bhakti Shah and advocate Prem Bahadur Thapa met the Lawmakers Rajib Bikram Shah of Nepali Congress and Parashuram Tamang of Rastriya Prajatantra Party (RPP) and asked them to revise the code.

 In reply, the lawmakers pledged to table an amendment proposal to remove ‘discriminative’ provisions in proposed civil code.