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Panel Calls for Same-Sex Marriage in Nepal
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Nepali-National

Summary: The government of Nepal has been given a recommendation by an expert panel to approve same-sex marriage in the country. 

Bhakti Shah is a transgender citizen of Nepal. Shah married almost 10 years ago and dreamt of walking hand-in-hand with his wife through the streets of Kathmandu, according to Reuters.

  
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The couple was criticized by their families and community due to Shah’s sexual orientation and still endure discrimination to this day.

The couple married in a Hindu temple with a small group of well-wishers on-hand and very little fanfare.

Shah and his wife have renewed hope that Nepal will accepted into society after a report recommended that the country allow same-sex marriage.

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“We are happy and excited,” Shah said. Shah was born female, but realized he was male at the age of 13.

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“My family does not recognize my sexual orientation or accept my partner. We live in fear and terror. We hope the government feels our pain and fulfils our dreams of openly living together and walking as husband and wife.”

The recommendation was submitted by a government-appointed panel last week, but officials from both parties have not said if they will back them or not.

Should the recommendation be accepted, the changes will be built into the new constitution. The possible changes would permit same-sex couples to get married and will legalize gay sex.

“They (same-sex couples) will be entitled to pension or any other benefits, inheritance, can register their marriage with government agencies, can receive parental property,” human rights lawyer Hari Phuyal, a panel member, told Thomson Reuters.

The government was ordered to end discrimination against gays in 2007 by the Supreme Court and create measures that guarantee their equal rights as citizens.

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Shah says that the government should be compelled to adopt the recommendation made by the panel, making same-sex marriage and gay sex legal.

Right now, gay sex can be punishable by up to one year in prison.

“When we go out at social gatherings and introduce ourselves as husband and wife, people do not believe us and make a joke out of us and tease us,” Shah said.

“At my home, my family does not consider my wife as their daughter-in-law and I face the same treatment when I go to the family of my wife. In the absence of legal proof of marriage, we cannot even get the property if something happens to one of us.”

Will the government of Nepal approve same-sex marriage? Cast your vote using our poll.

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Image credit: facemeu.com

Source: Reuters



 

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