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September 14, 2013

Nepal’s pioneering gay rights group opens Pink Himalayan Center in Kathmandu to shelter victims and people with HIV/AIDS

‘This center is open to everyone, to all persecuted LGBTs,’ says a proud Sunil Pant, announcing the formal inauguration of the Pink Himalayan Center in Nepalese capital Kathmandu, the first sanctuary in South Asia for persecuted members of the community.

August 25, 2013

Rife corruption in interim government sees WHO funds misused to turn Bangkok meet into junket for officials

Nepal’s interim government ignored the country’s growingly visible LGBT community and instead sent three officials to a crucial meet on HIV in Bangkok in a rampant misuse of World Health Organization (WHO) funds, the LGBT community says.

The three-day regional meeting in Bangkok from 21 August was to be an interaction of experts on men who have sex with men (MSM), transgenders, people working with the community, and MSMs and transgenders living with HIV.

August 3, 2013

Sunil Babu Pant, founder of the gay rights movement in the former Himalayan kingdom, relinquishes leadership of the organization he established 12 years ago after ‘protracted persecution’

Twelve years after he started the gay rights movement in the conservative Himalayan kingdom of Nepal, Sunil Babu Pant, the nation’s only openly gay member of parliament, relinquished charge of the non-profit Blue Diamond Society he had founded under the guise of spreading public awareness about HIV and AIDS.

July 21, 2013

Third-gender activist’s song about the sorrows of marginalization to hit the market ahead of traditional women’s festival

After winning a Supreme Court judgment that allows same-sex marriage and asks the government to make laws to protect their rights, the burgeoning LGBT community in Nepal has another cause to celebrate – getting their own “national anthem”.

June 12, 2013

Work towards LGBTI equality continues in Nepal after a bureaucratic stalemate prompted by 'false and malicious charges'

Authorities in Nepal have finally renewed the charity license for the Blue Diamond Society (BDS) ending a suspension of important LGBT human rights work in the Himalayan nation.

April 15, 2013

Lawyer Oz, who has been active in LGBT rights for 18 years, wins the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission's Felipa de Souza Award

Yasemin Oz, who has campaigned for LGBT-rights in Turkey since the mid-1990s, is being honored with a human rights award.

The Felipa de Souza Award, given by the International Gay & Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC) every year, recognizes courage and activism in LGBT human rights work.

Oz was chosen as this year's recipient of the award because of her dedication to improving LGBT rights in Turkey.

April 4, 2013

Moral running low at Nepal's biggest LGBTI rights organization, Blue Diamond Society, where staff haven't been paid for seven months

Nepal's biggest LGBT rights organization, Blue Diamond Society (BDS), is battling against low morale after wages have not been paid for seven months.

Founded in 2001, BDS successfully lobbied the government for recognition of a third gender and recently got LGBTI issues on the school curriculum.

It has achieved significant gains for LGBTI rights in the country but now their work is being thwarted by a government office.

April 1, 2013

Activists in Nepal warn of a new ‘climate of fear’ with masked men following gay people in cities and police arresting trans individuals

LGBT activists in Nepal are reporting increased public and police harassment in recent months.

According to international rights group Human Rights Watch (HRW), attacks on Nepal’s LGBT activists have escalated from threatening text messages and being followed by people wearing masks to abductions and arrests.

‘The LGBT rights movement in Nepal is a regional and international leader but is under serious threat,’ said Graeme Reid, director of the LGBT Rights Program at HRW.

March 25, 2013

Strategies devised for improving LGBT rights in Asia at UN seminar in Kathmandu, Nepali gay rights activist criticizes government for not renewing group's license

LGBT rights activists from across Asia gathered in Kathmandu, Nepal last week for a UN seminar to discuss strategies in the region.

'I laud the courage you have shown despite the circumstances you live and work in, said Nepal's Minister of Women, Children and Social Welfare, Riddhi Baba Pradham, AFP reports.

'This conference in Kathmandu proves that the common assertion that LGBT rights are incompatible with Asian values is false.'

March 18, 2013

Nepal's government is hosting a UN seminar on LGBTI human rights this week, but has decided not to renew license of the country's only gay rights group

Details have been released for a UN seminar on LGBTI human rights in Nepal this week, demonstrating the progressive attitude of the government. But at the same time it has decided not to renew the license for Nepal's only gay rights group.

February 1, 2013

LGBTI rights activist said hosting the seminar is latest in string of achievements in fight for equality for sexual orientation and gender identity minorities in Nepal

Nepal has received funding from the Norwegian government to host a UN regional seminar into sexual orientation and gender identity human rights.

'It speaks volumes to the success of the LGBTI rights movement in Nepal that the United Nations has identified is as the host country,' said Sunil Pant, chair of Nepal LGBT activists Blue Diamond Society and a former MP.

Pant added that the fact that Nepal's foreign ministry accepted the offer to host the event shows that they value the human rights of sexual orientation and gender identity minorities.

September 7, 2012

Openly gay athlete who won two Olympic gold medals will be guest of honor at Nepal's global LGBT sports tournament

Gay Olympian Greg Louganis will be guest of honor at South East Asia's first ever gay sports tournament.

The US athlete, who won two gold medals in diving in the 1984 and 1988 Olympics, will attend the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender games held at the national stadium in Kathmandu, Nepal, from 12 October to 14 October.

The 52-year-old who spoke publicly for the first time about being HIV positive earlier this month will join other gay athletes and artists, as well as international LGBT activists including Peter Tatchell.

August 16, 2012

Sagarmatha TV slammed for 'malicious' journalism after accusing Blue Diamond Society of corruption and fraud

A gay rights group in Nepal has blasted a TV channel for a 'despicable' news report which accused the LGBT campaigners of fraud and corruption.

Sagarmatha TV’s Khoj Khabar program, which bills itself as 'investigative journalism', claimed the Blue Diamond Society's leadership had been pocketing money meant to be used for activism and community work.

The 30-minute bulletin also accused the group, which spearheaded a successful campaign to have third gender people recognized as 'other' on citizenship identification cards, of neglecting Nepal's LGBT population.

May 24, 2012

LGBT community welcomed a decision by the Nepalese government to recognize third gender as 'other'

The LGBT community in Nepal has welcomed a decision by the government to recognize third gender people as 'other' on citizenship identification cards.

Third gender refers to people who consider themselves neither male nor female and includes people who present or perform as a gender that is different from the one that was assigned to them at birth.

It can also include people who do not feel that the male or female gender roles dictated by their culture match their true social, sexual, or gender identity.

March 28, 2012

Nepal's first openly gay politician Sunil Babu Pant opens 'revolutionary' gender-neutral toilet

Nepal's only openly gay politician has opened the south Asian country's first gender-neutral toilet.

The facility, which is labeled for 'third genders' and 'others', is situated in the southern area of Nepalganj.

It was unveiled by Sunil Babu Pant, Nepal’s first openly gay politician and head of gay rights group Blue Diamond Society and the LGBT travel company Pink Mountain.

March 22, 2012

Nepal MP tells Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg not to ‘sideline’ people who don’t identify as ‘male’ or ‘female’

A Nepalese member of parliament and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex campaigner has appealed to Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg to make the social networking site more inclusive.

In an open letter to the multi-billionaire king of social media, Sunil Babu Pant says Facebook is ‘sidelining’ people who don’t identify as ‘male’ or ‘female’ by only giving those two options at sign-up.

March 20, 2012

LGBT sportspeople will compete in track and field, volleyball, football, martial arts and tennis in Kathmandu in September

The national stadium is booked, top class athletes have been drafted in as coaches and referees and the date is set for Nepal to host Asia’s first gay Olympics this September, the organisers announced yesterday.