Nepal has scripted history after it officially registered the marriage of a lesbian couple, Anju Devi Shrestha, nicknamed Dipti, and Suprita Gurung on Sunday, reported news agency PTI.
Resident of Bardiya district in western Nepal, Dipti and Suprita, a resident of Syangja district — both 33 years old — got their marriage registered Jamuna Rural Municipality of Bardiya district on Sunday, as per the PTI report.
The marriage certificate was handed over to the couple by Ward Secretary Dipak Nepal, said the report, quoting Sunil Babu Panta, a gay activist and a former member of Parliament as saying.
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Pant also claimed that Dipti and Suprita marriage registration was perhaps the first such case in South Asia. The Himalayan nation was also the first country in the region to have formally registered same-sex marriage.
Mayako Pahichan Nepal, a non-governmental organisation, meaning “Recognition of Love, expressed its happiness over the official registration of the same-sex marriage.
In a statement, the NGO said: “The Nepalese LGBT communities have launched a campaign for identity-based rights of the sexual minority communities since 2001 and the campaign has become successful in getting officially registered same-sex marriage after more than two decades of struggle.”
In a press conference on Monday, the first lesbian marriage was formally made public and the occassion was celebrated, said the NGO general secretary, Surendra Pandey according to the PTI report.
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Last year on November 29, Maya Gurung, 35, and Surendra Pandey, 27 — both male at birth — had officially registered their marriage in Lamjung district as the first same-sex couple.
Nepal’s Supreme Court had granted permission for same-sex marriage in the year 2007, and the stance was further reinforced by a the 2015 constitution which explicitly prohibited discrimination based on sexual orientation.
Last year on June 27, the country’s top court had issued an interim order on writ petitions filed by individuals including Gurung to officially legalise same-sex marriage in the country.