Nepal Court Rules for Gay Rights

Landmark decision to scrap laws discriminating against gay, lesbian, transgender Nepalese
By Jane Yager,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 22, 2007 10:23 AM CST
A gay male bride and groom pose before their wedding in Kathmandu, August 26, 2006. Bride, groom, and wedding dancers were all gay men attending Nepal's first gay wedding.   (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – Conservative Nepal must stop its discrimination against homosexuals and make laws to protect their rights, the nation's highest court ruled yesterday. The decision is a major victory for gay rights advocates in the Himalayan country, where gay men and women have long complained of discrimination and attacks, BBC reports. "We all feel we are liberated today," said one activist.

The ruling called for protection of the rights of "lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual, and intersex" people, a radical change to current Nepalese law, under which an "unnatural sex act" carries a prison term of up to year. Transgender people and gay men have suffered arrests and police beatings under the current law, the BBC notes.