Nepal Holds First Wedding Ceremony for Foreign Gay Couple

Nepal this week held its first wedding ceremony for a foreign gay couple, though same-sex marriage is not legal in that country…yet:

Pant  "The ceremony was held Tuesday night in Kathmandu for Sanjay Shah, 42, a Briton from Leicester, and an Indian man who did not want to be identified, said Sunil Pant, a member of Nepal's parliament and the nation's most prominent gay activist.
Pant's gay rights group, Blue Diamond Society, organized the ceremony and issued the pair a certificate for a $200 fee.
The two men were not legally married because Nepal has no laws legalizing same-sex marriage and does not marry foreigners. However, marriages performed by priests are generally accepted by society and most people who live in rural areas do not register their marriages with authorities…

…Gay rights have improved dramatically in a country where just five years ago police were beating gays and transsexuals in the streets.
Now, in addition to having an openly gay parliamentarian, Nepal is issuing 'third gender' identity cards and appears set to enshrine gay rights — and possibly even same-sex marriage — in a new constitution.
The charter, however, has been delayed because of bickering among political parties that have been unable to choose a new leader since Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal resigned in June.
Tuesday's private ceremony was attended by a small number of gay rights activists and members of Pant's group. Pant said there have been a few same-sex wedding ceremonies among Nepalese people, but it was the first for a foreign gay couple."

The ceremony was conducted by Mukti Neupane, a 58-year old Hindu priest in Nepal’s capital: “He was apprehensive at first. But later agreed to conduct a proper ceremony that lasted over 30 minutes."

Recently, Pant announced that the country would hold its first-ever Gay Pride parade on August 25 in Kathmandu.


  1. E says

    Looks like Nepal is moving in the right direction on issues regarding equality for LGBTQ ! That is Brilliant and Awesome. Good luck to them on getting everythiing worked out.

  2. Tarun says

    I’m surprised this hasn’t received more interest here.

    Great news for Nepalis and a great offer of hope for people living in South Asia. It really shows that if you don’t have the radical religious right as powerful as they are here, there really is no barrier to equality.

    It is interesting to note that Nepal is (or has it recently changed?) the only official Hindu nation in the world.

  3. Thomas says

    Last time Towleroad published an article on the progress of queer liberation in Nepal it (wrongly) blamed the revolutionary Maoist party there for some delay. I hope that it’s noted that it is in fact the Maoists who are upholding the expansion of lgbtq rights in their country, who have begun political education among the people there about queer liberation and the role of sexual oppression in the oppressive nature of society generally, and have (to respond to the poster before me) abolished official state religion in service of those ends–and the end of class society there broadly.

    These great leaps forward in rights are all in the context of an actual revolution which deserves and needs our support. I hope Towleroad will continue to cover these developments, and do so in context.

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