Nepal charter to grant gay rights
Utpal Parashar, Hindustan Times
Kathmandu, January 19, 2010
First Published: 01:11 IST(19/1/2010)
Last Updated: 01:13 IST(19/1/2010)
Like most people in love Tripti Shah and Darshana Thapa (names changed) want to get married and start a family. But unlike most they will have to wait some more time to get legal recognition for their union.
In less than five months Nepal will have a new constitution that will be the first in Asia to guarantee equal rights to sexual minorities. And once that happens, Tripti and Darshana, a lesbian couple, can formally wed.
The couple in their 20s was thrown out of Nepal Army nearly three years ago due to their sexual orientation—albeit ‘disciplinary ground’ was cited as the reason for their removal.
It is such kind of discrimination against lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgendered and inter-sexed (LGBTI) that the Himalayan nation’s new constitution seeks to prevent.
“Rights for LGBTIs have been well drafted in the new constitution. They will ensure non-discrimination and separate citizenship IDs for third-gendered people,” says Sunil Babu Pant, Nepal’s first openly gay lawmaker.
I wish our constitution were this progressive. Other nations should follow Nepal's example.