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Nepal registers first same-sex marriage; 'big day' for all sexual minorities, say couple Nepal
Representational image on Unsplash/Stavrialena Gontzou

Nepal registers first same-sex marriage; 'big day' for all sexual minorities, say couple

India Blooms News Service | @indiablooms | 01 Dec 2023, 12:20 am

Lumjung district registered Nepal's first same-sex marriage on Wednesday, reported BBC.

District officials legally registered the marriage of Maya Gurung, 35, and Surendra Pandey, 27.

It happened five months after an interim order permitting same-sex marriage registration was given by the Supreme Court.

Gurung told the BBC that their registration was a "big day," not just for the couple but for all sexual minorities.

"The fight for rights is not easy. We have done it. And it will be easier for future generations," she told the BBC. "Registration has opened doors to a lot of things for us."

The pair had stated that they intended to share ownership of the land they purchased and create a joint bank account. However, once their finances are more stable, their greatest ambition is to adopt a child.

They've been in a relationship for nearly ten years. The pair applied for formal recognition of their union this year after getting married in a temple ceremony in 2017.

Gurung is a transgender woman whose gender has not been altered on record. Born to be a man, Pandey identifies as such.

In July, a district court in Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal, declined to register their marriage, even though the Supreme Court had ordered the government to do so until it had produced legislation to amend the law.

On Wednesday, Hem Raj Kafle, chief administrative officer of the Dordi rural municipality, told Reuters: "We have issued the marriage registration certificate to the couple in consideration of the Supreme Court order and instructions from relevant government authorities."

Leading LGBT rights activist Sunil Babu Pant called the "historic" moment a victory for sexual and gender minorities.

"Now we can register our marriage as do regular couples. But we still have to do more to get other rights," he told the BBC.

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