Nepal, Asia

The Himalaya mountain range runs across Nepal's northern and western parts, and eight of the world's ten highest mountains, including the highest, Mount Everest, lie within its borders. On December 28, 2007, a bill was passed in parliament to amend the constitution declaring Nepal a federal republic, and thereby abolishing the monarchy. The bill came into force on May 28, 2008 as a constituent assembly meeting in the capital, Kathmandu, overwhelmingly voted to abolish royal rule. As of 2008 homosexuality and cross-dressing are criminal offenses but gay rights in Nepal are in a state of change in light of recent Supreme Court rulings to ensure the right to life according to their own identities and assuring equal rights to LGBTIs and amend all discriminatory laws.


News & Reports:


Nepal Registers First Same-Sex Marriage

In a groundbreaking move, a couple in Nepal becomes the first to have their marriage legally recognized. In a landmark event in Nepal, a couple made history on Wednesday by becoming the first to officially register a same-sex marriage, a significant step for LGBTQ+ rights in the region. Maya Gurung and Surendra Pandey’s marriage registration… Read more »

Marriage Equality Hits a Challenge in Nepal

A move by lower courts threatens the country’s promising record on marriage equality. Two lower courts in the Himalayan country of Nepal have defied the country’s Supreme Court and refused to issue a marriage license to a couple. The couple, a transgender woman and a cisgender man, is considering appealing the decision to the Supreme… Read more »

Nepal gay marriage ‘victory’ hits legal roadblock

Maya Gurung and Surendra Pandey were poised to create history. Maya is a transgender woman but has not changed her gender on official documents. Her partner Surendra is a gay man. They were to be Nepal’s first same-sex couple to legally get married, following an interim order from the country’s Supreme Court that directed the… Read more »

Nepal ordered to recognise same-sex marriage by Supreme Court

The Supreme Court in Nepal has issued an interim order enabling the registration of same-sex marriages, a move which has been described as a “significant step towards marriage equality” in the country. The interim order was issued by the Supreme Court on Wednesday (28 June), asking the government to establish a separate register of marriages… Read more »

Nepal ordered to recognise same-sex marriage by Supreme Court

The Supreme Court in Nepal has issued an interim order enabling the registration of same-sex marriages, a move which has been described as a “significant step towards marriage equality” in the country. The interim order was issued by the Supreme Court on Wednesday (28 June), asking the government to establish a separate register of marriages… Read more »

Bhutan parliament decriminalizes homosexuality, to delight of activists

Kathmandu, Nepal – A joint sitting of both houses of Bhutan’s parliament approved a bill on Thursday to legalize gay sex, making the tiny Himalayan kingdom the latest Asian nation to take steps towards easing restrictions on same-sex relationships. Sections 213 and 214 of the penal code had criminalized “unnatural sex,” widely interpreted as homosexuality.Lawmaker… Read more »

In Nepal, 1,500 citizens have changed official gender

In 2007, Nepal implemented some of the world’s most progressive gender policies At least 1,500 members of the LGBT community in Nepal have changed their gender on official documents. Following a historic court ruling in 2007, Nepal implemented one of the world’s most progressive gender identity policies in the world. Nepal prohibited discrimination and allowed… Read more »

LGBTI community in Nepal brings issues to lawmakers

Nepal is often considered one of the best places in Asia in recognizing LGBTI rights Despite government guarantees to protect rights in Nepal, the LGBTI community has not seen significant change, an NGO told lawmakers this week. Nepal is known as one of the most progressive countries for LGBTI rights in Asia. The mountainous South… Read more »

Nepalese man fears for his life after being outed in UK court

A gay man from Nepal fears he may be at risk of murder if he returns to his home country, after his sexuality was disclosed during a court hearing. The unnamed man, who was granted an anonymity order to protect his identity while applying to stay in the UK, says he has effectively been outed… Read more »

How Did Nepal Become a Global LGBT Rights Beacon?

Members of Nepal’s LGBT community were once openly derided as “social pollutants,” but now enjoy social and political rights—including legal recognition of a third gender—that put the country leagues ahead of much of the rest of the world. The past decade has proved critical in that evolution, as LGBT activists won significant victories in Nepal’s… Read more »

It is a Cosmic Dance, Not Cross-Dressing! Understanding the Culture and Festivals of Nepal

I grew up in a remote village of Gorkha district, north west from Kathmandu, in Nepal. Fortunately or unfortunately, from where the famous term, the Gurkhas (as brave warriors), originated, after they fought WWI and WWII along with the British Empire. As I have no interest in wars or weaponry, I will talk about the… Read more »

Nepal’s Civil Service Increasingly Transgender-Inclusive

Third Gender Column on Job Application Form Makes a Difference More than 600 transgender people applied for civil service jobs in Nepal last year, according to a government report released last week. LGBT rights activists hail the announcement as practical progress toward implementing Nepal’s identity-based legal third gender category. A reveller gets ready to take… Read more »

Wanted: Male or Female – Transgender People In Nepal Suffer Hiring Bias, Despite Law

Kathmandu, Nepal – Shila Singh Thakuri loved her job as a dancer, performing both traditional and modern routines in this city’s nightlife district. But she endured abuse and humiliation from her coworkers because she is transgender, she says, so she quit. That was almost a year ago, and she still can’t find what she’d consider… Read more »

Hundreds of LGBT and supporters rally in Kathmandu

The marchers, who supported the rights of sexual minorities, carried banners saying, “We should not be deprived of our rights. We demand implementation of the rights guaranteed by the new constitution.” About a thousand members of sexual minorities and their supporters paraded in Nepal’s capital on Friday, to demand equality and implementation of their rights… Read more »

This Is What It’s Like To Be Queer In Nepal

And other big LGBT stories from the past week. Each week HuffPost Gay Voices and HuffPost Live takes a look back at some of the biggest queer news stories from the past week. Check back every Friday for your queer news round-up in this regular feature titled “QueerView.” This Is What It’s Like To Be… Read more »

Nepal gay parade to enshrine LGBT rights in constitution

Hundreds turned up for the colourful rally – dancing in the streets. They are demanding same-sex marriage be guaranteed in the new constitution, gay couples’ rights to adopt, buy joint property or inherit from one another. Nepal decriminalised homosexuality in 2007. It remains illegal in many South Asian countries. “Our main demand is that the… Read more »

Nepal issues first transgender passport

Nepal on Monday issued passport with ‘other’ category for gender as opposed to ‘male’ or ‘female’ 37-year-old LGBT rights activist has become the first person in Nepal to be issued a passport with the gender category ‘O’ for ‘other.’ Monica Shahi received her passport from Rewati Poudel, director at the Department of Passports, on Monday.… Read more »

Nepal introduces transgender passport

Authorities in Kathmandu have issued the country’s first passport to a person of a third gender. Despite progressive gender laws, transgendered individuals still face discrimination Nepal issued its first passport to a transgendered person, officials said on Monday, in what human rights group hailed as a breakthrough for gender rights. The travel documents now show… Read more »

Committee urges Nepal to legalise equal marriage

A committee in Nepal has urged the country to extend marriage rights to same-sex couples. The recommendation was made in the wake of a 2007 ruling by the Nepalese Supreme Court, stating that the government must provide legal protections to LGBT Nepalese citizens and amend laws that discriminated against them. As part of the ruling,… Read more »

Ending AIDS

Far West, with the greatest proportions of seasonal migrants, needs special focus Fourteen-year-old Kali Bogati was born in Doti’s Kadamadu VDC with HIV, passed down by her infected mother. The virus claimed her within a year of Kali’s birth and within the next three years, her father had succumbed too, leaving her without any loving… Read more »

Nepal to allow third gender on passports

The Nepalese government is to issue passports with a third gender option for citizens who do not identify as male or female. The country join neighbour India as one of the few countries that allow for a gender other than male or female to be listed in identity documents. Australia and New Zealand also allow… Read more »

Government probe refutes corruption charges against Nepal gay group

‘It has for sure provided us extra energy to continue our campaign for rights’ An investigation by a Nepalese government agency has refuted allegations of corruption at the country’s largest LGBTI group. The Social Welfare Council (SWC) has released a report that rebutted charges of corruption and irregularities leveled against the Blue Diamond Society (BDS)… Read more »

Being LGBT in Asia: Nepal Country Report

Summary Being LGBT in Asia: Nepal Country Report provides an overview of LGBT rights in Nepal including the current challenges facing and opportunities available for LGBT organizations and individuals in the country. The report encompasses the major discussions, findings, and recommendations from the Nepal National LGBTI Community Dialogue held in Kathmandu in April 2014. The… Read more »

Govt registers bill of Civil Code at Parliament ignoring the recognition of ‘third gender’

Madhav Dulal/Kathmandu (Pahichan) The government has registered a draft of Civil Code at the Parliament with provisions that discriminates the Sexual minorities living in the country. The Code registered at the Parliament Secretariat is contrary to the spirit of the Supreme Court’s decision in 2007, which had issued a verdict that LGBTI persons (Lesbian, Gay,… Read more »

Progress made in ensuring LGBT human rights issues addressed in Nepal’s new Criminal and Civil Code

Blue Diamond Society (BDS) has made significant progress in ensuring that human rights issues of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people are adequately addressed in the proposed Criminal and Civil Code of Nepal’s new Constitution. Important sexual and gender minority issues have been included in the Nepal Bar Association’s Report of the General Secretary,… Read more »

Nepal Gay Community Parades for Same-Sex Marriage

Katmandu, Nepal — Tooting horns and ringing chimes, hundreds of lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transvestites paraded through Nepal’s capital Monday for a colorful celebration of Gaijatra, a Hindu festival to remember the dead that is gleefully overtaken each year by the country’s gay community. In this socially conservative Hindu-majority nation, the festival was traditionally the… Read more »

Nothing about us, without us

The right to equality of gender and other minorities is under threat from a regressive state In a true democracy the main mantra to ensure inclusion is ‘nothing about us without us’. But, too often in Nepal, for the marginalised it is always ‘there is nothing for us and it’s always without us’. From 2009-2012,… Read more »

Nepal to enact new laws to recriminalize same-sex relations

Nepal is all set to enact new anti-gay laws to recriminalize same-sex relations, media have reported. Nepal Justice Minister Narahari Acharya is to introduce those laws soon, says Nepal Times, the local English language daily. Nepal in 2007 decriminalized same-sex relation and chose equality and protections for its LGBT citizens. However, the law ministry is… Read more »

Nepal drafts new laws to recriminalize gay sex, stall same-sex marriage recognition

It’s a dramatic reversal for a country whose Supreme Court ruled in 2007 to ensure broad protections for LGBTI people and whose government was looking into legalizing same-sex marriage after a Supreme Court decision in 2008. Today, the LGBTI community faces fresh opposition as the law ministry under law and justice minister Narahari Acharya of… Read more »

LGBTI rights, Nepal’s international Image, the reality on the ground, and UPR

Sunil Pant/Kathmandu (Pahichan) 7 July -Every year delegates gather in Geneva to shake their fingers at governments and make not of where improvements in human rights are needed. Every fourth year, it’s Nepal’s turn. It’s an important mechanism, a cyclical reminder of progress and setbacks as we lurch as a country toward stability, cohesiveness, and… Read more »

Nepal: Increased Pressure from China Threatens Tibetans

Authorities Increase Surveillance and Abuses Against Refugees (Kathmandu) – Nepal has imposed increasing restrictions on Tibetans living in the country as a result of strong pressure from China, Human Rights Watch said in a new report published today. The new Nepali government should make it clear to China that it will accept Tibetans who flee… Read more »

The Spark

How Sunil Pant ignited a queer rights movement in Nepal |One| On A Monsoon Night In 2005, Sunil Babu Pant was at home in Kathmandu, in the flat he shared with his parents. For the past two days, his phone had been ringing incessantly; doctors at a government hospital across town were calling about an… Read more »

Himalayas offer asylum for persecuted LGBTs

Nepal’s pioneering gay rights group opens Pink Himalayan Center in Kathmandu to shelter victims and people with HIV/AIDS ‘This center is open to everyone, to all persecuted LGBTs,’ says a proud Sunil Pant, announcing the formal inauguration of the Pink Himalayan Center in Nepalese capital Kathmandu, the first sanctuary in South Asia for persecuted members… Read more »

New LGBT Center for Nepal

Kathmandu, Nepal – The new community centre built for the LGBTI community of Nepal and South, called the Pink Himalayan Centre, was inaugurated today in a grand function. The Centre located at Dhumabarahi is a whitewashed five-story structure. Blue Diamond Society, Nepal’s leading LGBTI rights organization will be relocating its offices from Lazimpat – where… Read more »

Nepal: Government excludes gay community from HIV meeting

Nepal’s interim government has been criticised for ignoring the country’s gay community and misusing funds after it sent only three officials to a HIV conference in Bangkok. The three-day regional meeting in Bangkok from 21 August was set to be include a host of experts on ‘men who have sex with men,’ (MSM) and transgender… Read more »

4th Kathmandu Gaijatra LGBT Pride Festival draws hundreds

The organizers of the 2013 Gaijatra Pride Festival in Nepal have declared the event a ‘grand success’ after around a thousand people took part Around a thousand LGBTs marched through the streets of Kathmandu on Thursday for the 4th annual Kathmandu Gaijatra Pride march to demand equality. This year’s event’s theme was ‘Our vote counts,… Read more »

LGBTs get their ‘national anthem’ in Nepal

Third-gender activist’s music video on the sorrows of marginalization to hit the market ahead of traditional women’s festival After winning a Supreme Court judgment that allows same-sex marriage and asks the government to make laws to protect their rights, the burgeoning LGBT community in Nepal has another cause to celebrate – getting their own “national… Read more »

Supreme Orders Government to Issue Third Gender Passports

Kathmandu, Nepal – The Supreme Court on Monday ordered the government to issue passports to the third gender by ammending the Passport Regulations. A division bench of Justices Sushila Karki and Baidaynath Upadhyay ruled this responding to a petition filed by Dilu Buduja on July 25, 2011. Buduja, a third gender and an original resident… Read more »

Chief District Office of Kathmandu renews annual operating license for Blue Diamond Society after false allegations are cleared.

After a drawn out and painful struggle with the Nepali bureaucracy, the Blue Diamond Society (BDS) finally succeeded today in getting the current Chief District Officer (CDO) of Kathmandu to renew its annual operating license that had been suspended since last 9 months. This long awaited and much welcomed move was the product of a… Read more »

Nepal gov hosts LGBTI rights seminar, but decides not to renew only gay rights group’s license

Nepal’s government is hosting a UN seminar on LGBTI human rights this week, but has decided not to renew license of the country’s only gay rights group Details have been released for a UN seminar on LGBTI human rights in Nepal this week, demonstrating the progressive attitude of the government. But at the same time… Read more »