NEW - Vedic/Hindu Calendar for 2013

NEW - Vedic/Hindu Calendar for 2013
Shri Ramapir Mandir/Temple in Islamic Republic of Pakistan

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Nepal, Changing its Laws, Becomes a Destination for Gay Weddings

Tuesday, January 18, 2011
 (Photo : Diya Mahaju (left) and Anil Mahaju kiss at their wedding, Nepal\'s first public gay marriage. Saturday\'s ceremony at the Blue Diamond Society office in Lajimpat is not legally recognised)
KATHMANDU, NEPAL : Two years ago, Nepal became the first country in South Asia to decriminalize homosexuality, a move the government hoped would invite gay tourists to tie the knot and honeymoon in the Himalayas.
Since then, the country's Supreme Court has approved same-sex marriage, asking lawmakers to guarantee gays equal rights under the new constitution. Nepal now issues "third-gender" national ID cards and elected its first openly gay lawmaker to parliament, Sunil Babu Pant, in 2008.
Now, the country is promoting Mount Everest as a destination for gay weddings.
But many Nepalis oppose gay rights and the idea of gay tourism, and the government has had to act cautiously. The majority of Nepalis are Hindus who do not view homosexuality favorably.
During the insurgency, transgender men and women were regularly harassed and beaten by Maoists, and gays faced widespread harassment.
Nepal, which used to be the only Hindu kingdom in the world, became a secular country in 2006. After the war ended, small ethnic and minority rights groups began demanding equality and power - and in the name of a secular and new republic, the country started passing laws against discrimination. But what is legal may not yet be socially acceptable. Some Nepalese homosexuals hesitate to come out in the open. The population might find it easier to accept foreigners who are gay than their own people.

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