Nepal is the First South Asian Country to Register a Same-Sex Marriage

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12/27/2023

A battle six years in the making was finally won as Maya Gurung and Surendra Pandley’s marriage was officially registered with the government of Nepal in late 2023. Maya, a transgender woman, and Surendra have been living as a married couple since 2017. The ceremony, however, was never recognized by the government. While Nepal became the first country in the world to allow residents to change their gender identity from M or F to a third option, O (for “other”), on a federal census in 2011, the country still did not have the legal framework to register same-sex marriages. The couple’s traditional Hindu ceremony in 2017 occurred during a new wave of sweeping legalizations across the globe for same-sex marriages.

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