There were tears of joy within the Nepali LGBT community on Monday when the Supreme Court published its full written decision on a petition demanding both protection and rights for sexual and gender minorities.
“Reading this decision, my eyes were filled with tears and I felt we are the most proud LGBTI citizens in the world,” said Nepal’s only openly gay Member of Parliament Sunil Babu Pant, who heads the country’s Blue Diamond Society.
“It is the most beautiful news,” he added.
The petition was filed by the Blue Diamond Society and three other LGBTI groups in Nepal.
The Nepali Supreme Court is translating its decision into English, but highlights from the published Nepali decision are (unofficial translation):
In relation to this matter, a directive order has been issued to the Government of Nepal to enact new laws and amend all existing discriminatory laws so that all individuals with different sexual orientations and gender identities can exercise equal rights like any other citizens of Nepal.
A seven-member committee to be formed by the government of Nepal to study the different same-sex partnership/marriage bill/act in other countries. Based on the recommendation of this committee, the government must introduce a same-sex partnership/marriage act.
The decision also addressed cross dressing, saying that this should be seen as an individual’s freedom of expression.
All LGBTI people must be defined as “natural persons” and their physical growth as well as sexual orientation, gender identity, expression are all part of a natural growing process. Thus equal rights, identity and expression must be ensured regardless of their sex at birth.