Why govt is shillyshally to implement same-sex marriage report?

Madhav Dulal/Pahichan- The report submitted to the government by a committee formed to suggest ways for same-sex marriage has clearly defined the marriage of transgender and relations of marriage. Committee Chair and members are claiming that they have clearly suggested the marriages of transgender and inter-sex people though the name of committee is same-sex marriage. The Committee has clearly defined the various concept of same-sex marriage incorporating all sections of LGBTI and their sexual and health realities.

Following the Supreme Court verdict on 2064 Poush 6, the cabinet formed a committee on same-sex marriage on Bhaishak 21, 2066.  In 2071 BS, the Committee submitted a report to the then Chief Secretary Lila Mani Poudel suggesting to legalize same-sex marriage.

Chairman of Committee Laxmi Raj Pathak has said that they have suggested for same-sex marriage. Pathak is now Chairman of Department of Pharmaceutical. The cabinet meeting states for the implementation of SC verdict mainly point no.3 a committee has been formed to suggest ways for gender identity and sexual orientations.

The structure of committee:

  1. An expert appointed by Ministry of Health : Coordinator
  2. A representatives appointed by National Human Rights Commission- Member
  3. Sociologist : Member
  4. Representatives from Nepal Police: Member
  5. Representatives of Ministry of Population, Environment: Member
  6. Representatives of Ministry of Justice and Parliamentary Affairs: Member
  7. Advocate Hari Phuyal: Member

After taking retirement from Ministry of Health, Pathak is Chair of Department of Pharmaceutical since seven years. Hari Phuyal was the attorney general in the previous tenure of incumbent Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli.

The government received report on same-sex marriage even before the Phuyal was appointed as attorney general. At a time when transgender are also urging government to formulate same-sex marriage, government remains mum without making the report public. This is not only the report of Phuyal and Pathak as government has already taken the ownership of this report. Now, only Pathak and Phuyal are facing public concerns regarding the implementation of the report. Government has not made the report public by not making the report public.

As government remains silent on the report, debate on marriage equality is gradually gaining traction in the name of same-sex marriage.  What is the definition of marriage equality? Does it mean the marriage of transgender A with another transgender B who changed her gender identity? What is the number of those people who want to marry with transgender women changing their gender identity?  Or, does it mean that inter-sex people do not want same-sex marriage?

There have not been such demands yet. There are proofs that change their sexual organ but people who have not changed are themselves proofs. What the reasons are behind’s government’s meaningful silence though demands for such rights are so vocal. There could a mentality that voices of that community should not be addressed.

There are doubts over the government’s intention. Only the constitutional guarantee does not mean that this community has received their rights. If laws are not formulated as per the constitutional provisions, it would be difficult to implement constitutional provisions.

It is government’s duty to implement the laws on same-sex marriage. It would be appropriate not to delay in the implementation of government report on same-sex marriage. Biologically, inter-sex people are rarely born and who are born also does not receive sufficient care from their family member. Transvestite persons fall under the different sections. However, there is an increasing similarly between two groups. In some cases transvestite could be the preliminary stage of transgender but there are vast differences between two groups.

It could be estimated by mainly in India and Nepal and in other South Asian countries; number of transgender people are very high. During this study, it was found that the number if transgender is high. There are three reasons behind the high number of transgender: the birth rate is high, in the South Asian countries transgender are socially constructed and high number of transgender are gay or lesbians.

There are not sufficient reasons to back the first reasons. The weight of second or third reason is very high. The gender identity is a key measure of knowing everything of the world. Without gender identity, we cannot know the society and individuals around us. It would be relevant to consider the construction of our society to know about LGBTI community. All family members are known by their gender identity.

This clearly shows that it is necessary to understand gender identity first to know this world. This is a basic template of our society which we cannot give up or change. Our social structure, culture and template have taught us the same. In the majority or probably in al transgender couple, there is the presence of male and female transgender. There is a deep and wider social perception that without male and female, there cannot be a couple. In homosexual couple, one member is compelled to accept separate gender identity than his real biological gender identity because they have seen and experienced the same.

In the South Asian countries, the number of transgender is high because there is gender pluralisms in the Hindu script and texts, there is social structure of accepting it within a certain boundary.  There is a greater level of social acceptance of this community in South Asian societies. If we analyze all these facts, we can conclude that the marriage or sexual intercourse of a couple of transgender is a sexual intercourse or marriage of gay or lesbians.  From this perspective, we can conclude that the legal status of marriage of both communities is same though there are some differences triggered other factors.

Therefore there are two identities of transgender in the society in the marriage, sexual intercourse and their presence in the society.  First– biological aspect and second- social animal. Both identities are vital. It would be better to put the primary identity in forefront and second identity in the second row. However, both identities are vital and it is appropriate to make a system which clearly demonstrates both identities.