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LGBTI community in Nepal brings issues to lawmakers

LGBTI community in Nepal brings issues to lawmakers

LGBTI NGO Mitini Nepal organized a meeting with lawmakers to discuss the community's rights (Photo: Twitter)

Despite government guarantees to protect rights in Nepal, the LGBTI community has not seen significant change, an NGO told lawmakers this week.

Nepal is known as one of the most progressive countries for LGBTI rights in Asia.

The mountainous South Asian country legalized gay sex in 2007, and theoretically has laws to protect LGBTI equality. It also recognizes a third or ‘other’ gender marker in citizenship documents.

But, ‘these provisions are yet to be put into practice’, said Kritika Thapa of Mitini Nepal, according to local media.

Furthermore, many LGBTI Nepalis have rejected the third gender on citizenship documents as accompanying rights are not guaranteed.

For example, Nepalis are unable to get driving licenses with a third gender ID.

Attendees also discussed same-sex marriage and adoption, according to My Republica. Nepal recognizes the right of LGBTI couples to live together, but not same-sex marriage.

Guaranteeing rights

Parliamentarians in attendance reportedly promised to protect LGBTI rights during the current government.

‘In our five-year tenure as parliamentarians, we will make sure to guarantee the rights of the communities who are marginalized’, said lawmaker Man Kumari GC.

Another lawmaker, Prakash Rasaili, also said parliament would continue to discuss and advocate for LGBTI issues.

These included citizenship issues, same-sex marriage, domestic violence, adoption, and access to health and education.

Last month, a United Nations report warned that LGBTI individuals across South Asia faced sexual harassment, blackmail and extortion, violence and sexual assault in public places, and harassment in the workplace.

This violence and discrimination led to increased mental health problems and the risk of contracting HIV, according to the report.