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Business News/ News / World/  Nepal makes history as first South Asian nation to formally register same-sex marriage
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Nepal makes history as first South Asian nation to formally register same-sex marriage

Nepal records its first same-sex marriage, with a trans-woman and a gay man legally marrying in the Lamjung district.

In this handout photo provided by Sunil Babu Pant, same-sex couple Surendra Pandey, second left, and Maya Gurung, who got married six years ago, pose for a photograph with their marriage registration certificate at Dorje village council office, located in the mountains west of the capital Kathmandu, Nepal, Wednesday, Nov. 29, 2023. The couple became the first in the nation to receive official same-sex marriage status. The Himalayan nation is one of the first in Asia to allow it. (Sunil Babu Pant via AP) (AP)Premium
In this handout photo provided by Sunil Babu Pant, same-sex couple Surendra Pandey, second left, and Maya Gurung, who got married six years ago, pose for a photograph with their marriage registration certificate at Dorje village council office, located in the mountains west of the capital Kathmandu, Nepal, Wednesday, Nov. 29, 2023. The couple became the first in the nation to receive official same-sex marriage status. The Himalayan nation is one of the first in Asia to allow it. (Sunil Babu Pant via AP) (AP)

Nepal officially records its inaugural same-sex marriage five months after it was legalized by the Supreme Court.

As reported by PTI, 35-year-old trans-woman Maya Gurung and 27-year-old gay man Surendra Pandey legally married at Dordi Rural Municipality in the Lamjung district of Western Nepal, as confirmed by Sanjib Gurung (Pinky), the president of Blue Diamond Society—an organization dedicated to the rights and well-being of sexual minorities in Nepal.

Also Read: Same-Sex Marriage Verdict: ‘Gender of a person is not same as their sexuality,’ says CJI. Top 10 points

This makes Nepal, the first in South Asia to formally recognize and register a same-sex marriage following the Supreme Court's decision.

In 2007, Nepal's Supreme Court had already granted permission for same-sex marriage, a stance further reinforced by the 2015 constitution, explicitly prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation.

Also Read: Same-Sex Marriage Verdict: SC refuses to give marriage equality rights to LGBTQIA+ community in India

However, on June 27, 2023, the Supreme Court issued an interim order, prompted by a writ petition led by individuals, including Gurung, to officially legalize same-sex marriage in Nepal. Despite this groundbreaking decision, the Kathmandu District Court rejected the move four months ago, citing the absence of requisite legal frameworks.

PTI reported that Surendra Pandey and Maya’s marriage application was rejected at that time. “It’s a great pleasure to learn about this, it is a great achievement for us, the third gender community of Nepal," Pinky told PTI. “This is the first case not only in Nepal but also in the whole of South Asia, and we welcome the decision."

Surendra, hailing from Nawalparasi district, and Maya, originally from Lamjung district, entered into a traditional marriage with the consent of their families. They have been cohabiting as a married couple for the past six years.

Also Read: Same same-sex marriage: SC refuses to grant legal recognition. Netizens disappointed says ‘fake language of empathy’

“There are many third-gender couples living without their identities and rights and this is going to help them a lot," Pinky said, adding that the door has now opened for other people of this community to get their marriage legalised.

“Now their marriage has been temporarily registered and after the formulation of necessary laws, it will get permanent recognition automatically."

Speaking to PTI after the marriage ceremony, Maya said, “We both, Surendra and I are here at Dordi in Lamjung to celebrate the occasion together. Aama Samuha or the local Mother's Group is also joining together with us. We felt greatly honoured by the decision to register our marriage."

(With inputs from PTI)

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Published: 30 Nov 2023, 10:09 AM IST
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