Sexual minorties win identity battle in Nepal

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Kathmandu, Dec 22 (UNI) In a landmark judgement, the Nepali Supreme Court ruled that sexual minorities should be allowed to enjoy all fundamental rights in the country.

The court said yesterday, ''Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual and inter-sex [LGBTI] are also natural persons, though they are not masculine or feminine from the perspective of gender. And they should be allowed to enjoy all the rights defined by national and international human rights law and instruments.'' It said, ''As they are natural persons, every LGBTI should be allowed to live in Nepali society enjoying all freedoms (defined by the Constitution).'' Justices Bal Ram KC and Pawan Kumar Ojha, who handed the verdict, ordered the government to either create a conducive environment for the enjoyment of all rights by LGBTI or amend existing discriminatory laws, Kantipuronline reported.

The court said, ''It is the duty of the state to create an environment for the enjoyment of rights [by sexual minorities].

It should not be assumed that they cannot enjoy the rights because of their sexual orientation.'' Nepali sexual minorities had been fighting an identity battle for a long time. The verdict came in response to a public interest litigation filed by Pant, Mina Nepali of Mitini Nepal, Sanjov Gurung of Cruise Aids Nepal and Manoranjan Kumar Baidhya of Parichaya Nepal.

UNI

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