In Nepal, members of the lGBTQIA community may soon legally register their marriages following a Supreme Court ruling on June 28 that cleared the way for marriage equality in the country.
To date, Nepal’s civil code still describes marriage as being between a man and a woman. But Justice Til Pradad Shrestha ordered the government to begin registering same-sex marriages while it prepares legislation to amend this discriminatory law.
This is not the first time Nepal’s Supreme Court upheld LGBTQIA rights. In 2007, the court actually ordered the government to form a committee to prepare a law legalizing marriage equality; ad in 2015, this committee recommended the government “grant legal recognition to same-sex marriage on the basis of the principle of equality.” With successive governments failing to legislate, the court again had to make rulings – e.g. last March, it ordered the government to recognize the marriage of a same-sex couple who had married in another country where marriage equality is legal.
With the latest ruling, the court is no longer waiting for the government to legislate; instead, it is ordering the government to now start registrations even as it still plans how to go about its legislating on this.
Nepal’s 2015 constitution prohibits gender discrimination and upholds the rights of sexual minorities.
Taiwan is the first country in Asia to legalize same-sex marriage nationwide on May 24, 2019.