The Supreme Court of Nepal issued a decision on Nov 17 that affirms equal rights for LGBT people. According to pinknews.co.uk, the court declared that an LGBT individual is defined as a “natural person,” and thus entitled to protection of sexual orientation, gender identity and expression.
The decision follows a directive from the court last year ordering the government to provide equal rights to LGBT people and amend all discriminatory laws.
“A legal note of point has been raised for the new constitution of Nepal while ensuring the equal rights to individuals, like the bill of rights from South Africa, and non-discrimination provisions on the grounds of sexual orientations and gender identities must be introduced,” said Sunit Pant, Nepal’s only openly gay member of the Constituent Assembly.
The Court also issued a directive for the formation of a seven-member committee to study other countries’ same-sex marriage practices.
LGBT people in Nepal had been persecuted under the monarchy of King Gyanendra and insurgent Maoists who challenged him. But in spring 2008, a new democratic republic was declared and the king abdicated the throne. Maoists, who dominate the new Constituent Assembly, now recognize the rights of LGBT people.