The Pioneering Lesbian Couple in Nepal : A Historic Government Recognition

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The Pioneering Lesbian Couple in Nepal

The Expansion of LGBTQ+ Rights and Marriage Recognition

Amidst the global advancement of LGBTQ+ rights, numerous countries have acknowledged the right to marriage for gay and lesbian couples. While marriage equality has established itself as a norm in Europe and across the Americas, progress has been more gradual in Africa and Asia.

A Major Leap for Nepal

Against this backdrop, Nepal stands out by achieving a significant milestone: the government recognition of the first married lesbian couple. In Kathmandu, the capital, Anju Devi Shrestha and Suprita Gurung have made history by registering their union with the authorities.

Following the acquisition of their official marriage certificate, the activist group Mayako Pahichan Nepal stated, “The Nepalese LGBT communities have been campaigning for the identity-based rights of the sexual minority communities since 2001, and this campaign has finally succeeded in achieving the official registration of a same-sex marriage after more than two decades of struggle.”

The group’s name translates to “Recognition of Love” in English.

Further Progress in Nepal

The previous year, another queer couple made history in Nepal. Maya Gurung, a transgender woman, and Surendra Pandey, a gay man, were married in 1997 in a traditional Hindu ceremony but could not have their marriage recognized by the Nepalese government.

Under the country’s laws, transgender women are unable to change their gender. However, in November 2023, the federal government officially recognized their union.

Read also : Nepal registers first same-sex marriage

Towards Broader Acceptance in Asia

While Taiwan and Nepal have made strides in recognizing same-sex marriages, polls indicate that five other Asian nations (plus Hong Kong) are prepared to allow queer couples to marry. Thailand’s cabinet recently passed a bill that would legalize same-sex weddings.

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