Nepal’s Supreme Court Issues Order To Register Same-Sex Marriages

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Nepal’s Supreme Court on Wednesday issued an interim order to the government to temporarily register same-sex marriages, a notice by the court said.
A single bench of Justice Til Prasad Shrestha issued the order to the government to make necessary arrangements for registering the marriage of sexual and gender minority couples if they demand so, the directive said.

Seven people, including activist Pinky Gurung on behalf of Blue Diamond Society (BDS), an LGBTI rights organisation, filed a writ to the Prime Minister and the Office of the Council of Ministers to legalise same-sex marriage.

In the order, the top court has also asked the opponents to furnish a written reply on the issue within 15 days.

The petitioners said that they filed the writ as the Nepalese law has obstructed same-sex marriage despite a Supreme Court decision, which allowed such marriages 15 years ago.

Citing that Clause 69 (1) of the National Civil Code 2017 mentions that each individual citizen has the freedom to marry and as per Clause 18 (1) of the Nepalese Constitution 2015 all citizens are equal in the eyes of the law, the petitioners have demanded the legalisation of the same-sex marriage.

Now with this SC order, same-sex marriage can be registered until and unless specific laws are formulated to give recognition to the sexual and gender minority couples, said Pinky Gurung of BDS talking to media following the court’s order.

Though the Supreme Court had allowed same-sex marriage through an order one and a half decades ago, in the absence of a specific law, the provision could not be implemented, which forced the third-gender people to go to court.

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