Anju Devi Shresth and Suprita Gurung have made history as the first lesbian couple to legally register their marriage in Nepal. The pair of 33-year-olds were legally married on Sunday at the Bardiya district’s Jamuna Rural Municipality.
LGBTQ+ activist and former Nepal parliamentarian Sunil Babu Pant reports that the certificate of marriage was granted by ward secretary Dipak Nepal. Pant also reports that Anju Devi Shresth and Suprita Gurung’s marriage is the first ever instance of a lesbian couple in all of South Asia getting legally married. Nepal was the first country in South Asia to recognize queer unions. (The Supreme Court of Nepal has ruled in favor of same-sex marriage since 2007 and in 2015, the constitution was updated to forbid discrimination based on sexual orientation. In June of last year, the Supreme Court issued an interim order to officially legalize same-sex marriage in Nepal.)
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“After more than 20 years of battle, the Nepalese LGBT communities have succeeded in getting formally registered same-sex marriage. The campaign was started in 2001 to support identity-based rights of the sexual minority populations,” the non-governmental organization Mayako Pahichan Nepal (Mayako Pahichan translates to Recognition of Love) said in a statement.
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Yesterday, a press conference took place to publicly announce the lesbian marriage, according to Mayako Pahichan Nepal.
Before Anju Devi Shresth and Suprita Gurung made history as the first legally wed lesbian couple in Nepal, Maya Gurung, 35, and Surendra Pandey, 27, were the first same-sex couple to legally marry in Nepal in November of last year. Both Gurung and Pandey were male at their birth.