Nepal gay marriage ‘victory’ hits legal roadblock

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08/23/2023

Maya Gurung and Surendra Pandey were poised to create history. Maya is a transgender woman but has not changed her gender on official documents. Her partner Surendra is a gay man. They were to be Nepal’s first same-sex couple to legally get married, following an interim order from the country’s Supreme Court that directed the government to register such unions until it prepared legislation to change the law. The couple had a temple wedding ceremony in 2017 but wanted their union to be legally recognised. The order was hailed by progressives as a historic one that would bring relief to same-sex couples in the Himalayan nation. But the couple’s dreams were not to be. On 13 July, the district court in Nepal’s capital Kathmandu, refused to register their marriage, arguing that lower courts were not bound to follow the interim order as it was only directed at the government.

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