News24

Nepal: 100s march in support of gay rights

2012-08-04 08:13

Pokhara - Gays, lesbians, transgender people and their supporters marched in a Nepalese town Friday to demand recognition as a third gender in citizen certificates, to allow same-sex marriage and to criminalise discrimination based on sexual preference.

Dressed in colourful clothes, laden with beads and other jewellery, they danced to Bollywood music played over loudspeakers as they marched for about 3km though the center of Pokhara, a resort town 200km west of the capital, Katmandu.

Sunil Babu Pant of the Blue Diamond Society, a group that supports sexual minorities in Nepal, said the rally was an opportunity for people to come out.

"The rally gives us an opportunity to seek the support of the public and be more visible in the society," Pant said. "There are more and more people coming out in the open, and this rally gives them a chance."

Pant, a former parliament member, has been campaigning for rights of sexual minorities to be included in the new constitution, which was being written by the Constitution Assembly before it expired earlier this year. A new assembly is scheduled to be elected in November.

Nepal's Supreme Court ruled in 2008 that the government should issue citizenship certificates with a third gender. The government said it would, but the process is taking time.

Pant said that those seeking the third gender certificates were not able to get jobs or passports, enroll in colleges or own property because of the delay, and that the government was not doing enough to help their community.

Basu Guragai, 26, who recently announced he is gay and joined the rally, said thousands of gays in Nepal are afraid to come out in the open fearing their friends and family.

Personal choice

"The gay community in Nepal wants same-sex marriage laws," Guragai said. "We want to live as a couple with other men, and that should be allowed legally."

As the estimated 2 500 participants marched along the streets of Pokhara, many residents watched and cheered. There was no trouble reported at the rally.

Sunita Gurung, a convenient store clerk, said that it was the first time she had seen such a rally and so many transgender people, but that she did not have any problems with what they were demanding.

"It is their personal choice and if they want that way of life - they should be able to have it," Gurung said.

Nepal is considered a conservative nation. Most of its people are Hindu, and many still follow traditional beliefs. Most marriages are still arranged by parents, and extended families all live together.

It was only after the fall of the monarchy and the election of a Constituent Assembly in 2008 that the sexual minorities began to demand rights. Pant's appointment in the assembly was considered a milestone for the community.

Comments
  • alvin.ntsethe - 2012-08-04 09:02

    a third gender really?

      kim.mann.127 - 2012-08-04 09:39

      There are 5 genders - male, female, herm, merm and sherm. Go do some research. Male = male inside and outside. Female = female inside and outside. Herm = both male and female (hermaphrodite). Merm = male inside and female outside. Sherm = female inside and male outside. Our true gender is determined by what is on the inside and NOT by what is on the outside!!!

      kim.mann.127 - 2012-08-05 17:06

      Here's some info for the ignorant gay bashers: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/001669.htm ; http://www.isna.org/faq/what_is_intersex; http://oiiaustralia.com/; http://www.fathermag.com/206/intersex/

  • Shane Loxton - 2012-08-04 09:13

    only 100's ?

  • Harold Chisimba - 2012-08-04 10:56

    SO IMMORAL AND DISGUSTING!

      irene.buthelezi.1 - 2012-08-04 11:48

      Raping babies and 90-year old women is what is immoral and disgusting.

      kim.mann.127 - 2012-08-04 12:24

      @Harold stupidity is also immoral and disgusting but you are still around!! Just because you are ignorant and do not understand something does not make what you don't understand wrong. What is wrong is the fact that you can judge without knowing what you are talking about. If a man is born without a penis, what gives you the right to force hime to sleep with another man just because you refuse to accept people born with birth defects??

      Harold Chisimba - 2012-08-04 14:34

      @ kim. Next time wipe out f***g mucus on your nose then call me' ignorant and stupid'.Gay thing is not natural but social choice.Idont sympathise with them at all.

      irene.buthelezi.1 - 2012-08-04 14:49

      @Harold ~ Once again you're showing your ignorance boy. Gays don't have a choice! Gays are born that way! Gays don't want your sympathy! What century do you live in Harold and why are you still so primitive?

      nketso.kgwadi - 2012-08-04 18:20

      @kim and irene I know thousands of people who chose to be gay or lesbian bcos of disaapointments in partners when u born u don't know anything about gays and lesbian what u choose later in life its ur chose, what abt nudes must they allow to be naked in public as well bcos that's who they r!primitive or not if something is wrong is wrong we all have private parts so pls use them with the right private they r there for a reason.

      irene.buthelezi.1 - 2012-08-04 21:18

      @nketoso ~ Come on man! Open up your mind! Use your brain for a change! Do you know what genes are? Do you know what DNA is? Can you change your personality? Where is the button for a gay person to change their sexuality? It has stuff all to do with 'disappointments'. How many straight people have 'disappointments'? Who is their right mind would CHOOSE to be gay? IT IS NOT A CHOICE! DO YOU CHOOSE TO BE STRAIGHT OR IS THAT WHO YOU ARE?

      kim.mann.127 - 2012-08-05 17:09

      @Harold, before you run around judging something, do some research first. Gays are more natural than what you are. Here is a bit to get you started. Remember Caster Semenya - exactly. She was BORN different, she didn't wish herself different. And when you are done with this reading, I promise you, there is tons more. Your ignornace is immoral and disgusting. : http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/001669.htm ; http://www.isna.org/faq/what_is_intersex; http://oiiaustralia.com/; http://www.fathermag.com/206/intersex/

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