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Nepal drafts new laws to recriminalize gay sex, stall same-sex marriage recognition

The UNDP, which is known to be a supporter of LGBT rights worldwide, had provided funding for the original two committees that drafted the codes but did not monitor their outcome, Sunil Pant, Nepal's first openly gay politician, tells Gay Star News
Sunil Pant
Photo: Facebook

It’s a dramatic reversal for a country whose Supreme Court ruled in 2007 to ensure broad protections for LGBTI people and whose government was looking into legalizing same-sex marriage after a Supreme Court decision in 2008.

Today, the LGBTI community faces fresh opposition as the law ministry under law and justice minister Narahari Acharya of the ruling Nepali Congress is seeking to enact punitive laws to recriminalize gay sex, Sunil Pant, the country's first openly gay politician and former member of parliament, told Gay Star News in an email.

Gay sex was decriminalized in 2007 after Nepal's parliament voted to abolish the monarchy. Up till then, homosexuality was deemed an 'unnatural sex act' that carried a prison term of up to a year.

Under the new laws, gay sex acts will be punishable by three years imprisonment.

The new laws will also prohibit same-sex unions, oral and anal sex among heterosexuals, and narrow the definition of rape to only apply to women.

'The notion that only men can be rapists and only women can be victims comes from a deep-rooted patriarchal mindset. These notions seem to be inspired by conservative reversals in India, some western and African countries,' Pant wrote in a column in The Nepal Times this week.

The law ministry is currently preparing to push the 'regressive' civil and criminal codes through parliament after an earlier attempt in 2011 failed, Pant, founder of Nepal’s first gay rights group the Blue Diamond Society, told GSN.

The former MP added that there aren't any LGBTI rights advocates in the current government while anti-homosexuality forces have been on the rise in the last three years in Nepal.

'We are really concerned about this attempt of taking Nepal back to draconian era after so much progress we made. Unbelievable that the government is going all against the Supreme Court decisions on LGBTI rights and other minority and marginalized people's rights in Nepal,' he said.

Pant also demands to know why the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), which is known to be a supporter of LGBT rights worldwide, had provided funding for the original two committees that drafted the codes but did not monitor their outcome.

'Irony is that UNDP funded the original two committees to draft these codes and they said they did not have the clue what was being drafted. At least they should have been more vigilant whether their aid is being abused, misused or used properly,' he told GSN.

The UNDP could not be reached by press time.

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sunil babu pant, it's shameful that you are spreading such wrong accusations on the law minister for the gay laws amendments that are being planned to the old existing laws that have not been in favor for the gays. however the new amendments are very much progressive and in favor of gay rights as never before in the history of nepal. the credit of which goes to the current law minister of the country, narahari acharya. and you sunil babu pant are a complete disgrace to society spreading such wrong information in the international platform. clearly it is because, you want to divert attention away from the Big Corruption Charge that has put your image at stake in nepal. also coz if you spread such rumors, it's obvious that when the law comes out all progressive in favor of gay and third gender people, you would want to take undue credit for it, while all the hard work would be just the sincere effort of the current law minister of the country. shameful act by you. pls try to revive your tarnished corrupt image, in some other responsible way if you can, and not by such disgraceful act of blaming a good man.

this news channel gaystarnews is utterly irresponsible to be publishing such false news, provided by a person (sunil babu pant), already deep in huge corruption charges in nepal.

Sunil Babu Pant is a corrupt gay man. Here are a few links to prove that statement.

here are a few links that give you an idea of what kind of person Sunil Babu Pant is and his real motive behind publishing and "socially" marketing this article.... all of a sudden ...

http://www.telegraphnepal.com/views/2013-03-13/nepal:-corruption-inside-...

http://krishnamaharjan.wordpress.com/2013/02/13/violation-and-abuse-of-l...

Mr Sunil Pant, that's utterly false and grave accusations you are making on our Law Minister. Nepali gay laws have been regressive forever and the effort now, is to make them progressive in every which way like never before in Nepal's history!!

Do not even try to gather undue credit for it coz the law that will come out will be progressive. Is the only way to divert attention from the huge corruption charges you yourself are facing, to blame the law minister???

And everybody in their right minds, know that Narahari Acharya, is a progressive man and a very honest one, unlike petty liars like you.

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