The Constituent Assembly of Nepal has overwhelmingly approved a groundbreaking new constitution that explicitly mentions the human rights of LGBT people. It is the first constitution in Asia to do so.
Under the new constitution:
- Citizens will be allowed to choose their preferred gender identity on citizenship documents
- Gender and sexual minorities (GSM) will not be discriminated against by the state.
- GSM have a right to participate in state mechanisms and public services to promote inclusion.
HRC notes there is “no direct mention of same-sex marriage in the new constitution, but all issues related to marriage in general will be handled in the civil code, which will be revised in the future.”
“It feels that we, the GSM, are proud citizen of Nepal, we also have dignity and we are also the right holder,” said Sunil Babu Pant, the country’s first openly gay lawmaker. “But we are not in an illusion to the fact that this is just the beginning of the long road ahead towards full equality, dignity, rights and mainstreaming of GSM communities in Nepal.”
Pant continued, “We will be working together with the rest of the Nepalese to build our nation, the ‘new, inclusive and prosperous Nepal’”