Nepal Pride took place in Kathmandu on 27 August, turning the capital into a rainbow hub for the 15th edition of the LGBTI march.
Thousands of people gathered to protest for equality during the parade. This year’s theme was Alliance for Solidarity.
Nepal Pride coincides with the Gai Jatra festival
Members of the LGBTI community from more than 50 districts assembled in the capital.
The LGBTI celebration organized by the LGBT rights advocacy group Blue Diamond Society coincided with Gai Jatra. This is the traditional Nepali festival of cows commemorating the people passed away over the past year.
As those participating in Gai Jatra usually wear colorful outfits and crossdress, the Blue Diamond Society chose the festival for holding pride marches.
The LGBTI parade began in the tourist hub of Thamel and then concluded in Hanuman Dhoka, bringing rainbow flags and colorful balloons to the streets.
In an interview with local website pahichan.com, the leader of the Blue Diamond Society Pinky Gurung pointed out that there were only 49 people when they started to celebrate this day. She also highlighted that the number has reached more than one thousand now.
LGBT rights in Nepal
Homosexuality has been legal ever since 2007. Furthermore, there are a few laws which include protections on the basis of sexual orientation.
Despite Nepal is one of the most progressive countries in Asia when it comes to LGBTI rights, there is no recognition of same-sex relationships. Same-sex couples are also not allowed to adopt.
According to the article 18 (Right to Equality), the State will not ‘discriminate against any citizens based on origin, religion, race, caste, tribe, gender, language or ideological conviction or likely any other status’. However, the Chapter 3 of the civil code, part 1, article 67 specifically states marriage is between ‘a man and a woman’ only.
Together with other LGBTI groups, the Blue Diamond Society is urging the government to legalize same-sex marriage in the country.
Take a look at the pictures from Pride:
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