Nepal gay community demands equal rights in new Constitution

Nearly one thousand transgenders today paraded on streets of Kathmandu demanding equal rights and opportunities in the new Constitution for more than 800,000 gays and lesbians in Nepal.

PTI| Last Updated: Aug 11, 2014, 20:50 PM IST

Kathmandu: Nearly one thousand transgenders today paraded on streets of Kathmandu demanding equal rights and opportunities in the new Constitution for more than 800,000 gays and lesbians in Nepal.

They marched in colourful modern and traditional outfits starting from Thamel, the tourist hub of Kathmandu to Basantapur Durbarsquare.

The parade was held on the same day as the Gaijatra or Cow Festival. People of Nepal pay homage to those who had passed over the period of last one year on this day.

A corner meeting was also organised at Basantapur Durbarsquare where candles were lit to pay homage to the soul of deceased gays and lesbians.

"My constitution my right, my identity my pride" was the banner being carried by the third gender community under the banner of the Blue Diamond Society (BDS), that works for the cause of the sexual minorities.

"We want our rights to be guaranteed when the new constitution will be written in the near future," said Pinky Gurung, president of BDS addressing the rally on conclusion of the parade at Basantapur Durbarsquare in the heart of the Kathmandu.

A committee is recommending same-sex marriage be allowed in the new constitution. This move would give the gay community the right to adopt, buy joint property, open joint bank accounts and inherit from one another.

"We also want amendment in the civil and criminal code whose provisions may contradict the provisions of the Interim Constitution and term third gender people as criminals," he pointed out.

Though the country has made amendments in the Interim Constitution in 2007 there still exists a number of regulations and civil code, which are yet to be amended to make them friendly to the gay community, said Gurung.

It is estimated that there are more than 800,000 gays and lesbians in Nepal at present.