Close on the heels of an international furore over the state of California’s decision to ban same-sex marriages, the apex court of nascent Himalayan republic Nepal has given its nod to such unions.
“My eyes were filled with tears when I read the Supreme Court decision,” said Sunil Babu Pant, Nepal’s first publicly gay lawmaker and a gay rights icon in South Asia.
Pant’s exultation came after the Supreme Court on Monday delivered full judgement regarding a ground-breaking verdict it had announced last year, recognising sexual minorities, who were among the most oppressed in conservative, patriarchal Nepali society, as being born such and entitled to all the rights and remedies all other Nepali citizens enjoyed.
Now, following up on the judgement, the top court has asked the Maoist government to form a seven-member committee to study same sex partnership/marriage acts in other countries and recommend a similar act to the Nepal government.
The court has also asked the government — that is scheduled to promulgate a new constitution by 2010 — to ensure that the language of the new statute does not discriminate against the sexual minorities.