Overview of the situation of LGBT in Nepal
Despite historically being a conservative nation, Nepal has supported the cause of LGBT rights since homosexuality was decriminalized in 2007.
Before the time of the Democratic Republic, private, homosexual relations between consenting adults was a crime, with a maximum punishment of two years in prison. Cross-dressing was also illegal under various laws against public immorality.
On 21 December 2007 the Supreme Court ruled that the new democratic government must create laws to protect LGBT rights and change existing laws that are tantamount to discrimination.
The Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) has made several homophobic statements during the civil war. Since 2008 with the end of the civil war and beginning of multi-party democracy, the Maoists have come out as supporters of LGBT rights (iGovernment 2008).
A few months ago, Nepal’s Home Ministry issued directives to recognize the identity of the third-gender community while grant citizenship certificates. Citizenship certificates, which work as national identity papers, are needed in Nepal to open a bank account, own property, secure a job and get a passport among other things. Gay activist and lawmaker Sunil Babu Panta said that the decision will provide the community easy access to health and education facilities as well as employment opportunities. "Now the discriminatory practices in schools, hospitals and workplaces against third-gender people will end", said Panta. Bhumika Shrestha, another young gay activist, pointed out that in the past, many people with different sexual orientation had been deprived from employment opportunity, education and even getting our passports to travel abroad due to the discriminatory practices, which has now ended (IBNLive 2012).
While Nepalese society is fairly tolerant towards sexual minorities compared with neighboring South Asian countries, societal stigma and discrimination against sexual minorities exists. According to the Blue Diamond Society, LGBT sometimes suffer from violence, rape, abuse, blackmailing and murder threats and continue to be discriminated against or even abused in work places (Blue Diamond Society 2012).

Important organization: The Blue Diamond Society

47682_140492069327734_663789_n.jpg

The Blue Diamond Society was founded in 2001 to advocate to change existing laws against homosexuality. It also advocates for the rights of Nepal's marginalized LGBT people politically and provide care, counseling, and services to victims of HIV/AIDS.
It is currently led by Sunil Babu Pant, the first gay legislator in Nepal's history and one of 29 experts at the meeting for Yogyakarta Principles. Sunil Pant and fellow human rights activists filed a case with Nepal's Supreme Court in 2007 that led to a verdict by the Court ordering the government to scrap all laws discriminating against members of the LGBT community. The law also ordered the government to work on legalizing gay marriage. International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission's Felipa de Souza Award.
In 2007, the organization won the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission's Felipa de Souza Award.


Important figure: Sunil Babu Pant

sunil-babu-pant.jpg


an openly gay lawmaker, a strong advocator for LGBT rights
He also runs Blue Diamond Society, a Kathmandu-based LGBT rights group, and Pink Mountain Travels & Tours, which caters to the LGBT community.
Back in 2007, based on Mr Pant’s petition, the Nepal Supreme Court ordered the government to frame equal laws for LGBT citizens.






Related news
Hundreds march in Nepal in support of gay rights

Gays, lesbians, transgender people and their supporters marched in a Nepalese town Friday to demand recognition as a third gender in citizen certificates, to allow same-sex marriage and to criminalize discrimination based on sexual preference.
(Fox News, 2012)

Nepalese LGBT rights group condemn ‘brazen thuggery’ of ‘biased and malicious’ TV programme
Sagarmatha TV’s Khoj Khabar programme – which is described as an “investigative journalism” show – allegedly accused BDS of corruption and fraud, claiming, among other things, that the group’s leaders were corrupt and dishonest about their annual budget.
BDS said they suspected that the Sagarmatha TV journalists responsible for the programme were homophobic: ”the damaging piece they made has the goal of extorting BDS and its affiliated organisations for monetary gain.
(Pink News, 2012)



Reference