Nepalese Constitution guarantees equal rights and welfare of the LGBT community but they are still facing social discrimination.
Hundreds of gay right activists paraded in Kathmandu on Friday demanding implementation of their rights protected in Nepal’s new Constitution.
Nepal has long been considered one of the most progressive countries in South Asia in regards to rights for LGBT individuals and the only country in the region in which homosexuality is not illegal.
Those taking part in the parade said they still do not have equal rights despite a constitutional guarantee against discrimination on the basis of their sexual orientation. “Implement our rights guaranteed by the constitution and do not deprive us from our rights,” were the slogans on the banners carried by the activists.
For several years the parade has been held annually on Gaijatra, a Hindu festival to remember the dead, when people are traditionally allowed to cross dress.
U.S. Ambassador to Nepal Alaina B Teplitz also came to show their support.
This year, Nepal also issued passports with “other” as the choice for those who do not wish to be identified as male or female. However, activists say they face many difficulties in obtaining these passports.
In Nepal, third-gender people are those who don’t see themselves as having a fixed gender or sexual orientation. The category third-gender can also be used by people who feel they don’t fit into the male or female gender roles of their culture.