Nepal has become the first South Asian country to officially register LGBTQIA marriage with the union of Maya Gurung and Surendra Pandey five months after the country’s Supreme Court issued an interim order allowing all LGBTQIA couples to register their marriages, and then directing the government to establish a separate temporary register until laws are formulated.
Gurung, 41, was assigned male at birth and identifies as female, and Pandey, 27, is male; the couple had a Hindu marriage ceremony in 2017, and live together with their dog and cat. For their legal union, they obtained a marriage certificate from a local ward in Nepal’s Lamjung district.
Nepal’s Home Ministry already made changes in the marriage registration process to enable all local administration offices to register LGBTQIA marriages.
Nepal is one of the more pro-LGBTQIA countries in Asia – e.g. in 2007, reforms were passed to prohibit based on gender or sexual orientation; in 2013, it introduced a third gender category for citizenship documents; and in 2015, it started issuing passports with the “others” category.