Nepal will soon see the first legal same-sex marriages registered after an interim ruling from the country’s top court.
The Nepal Supreme Court issued the interim order last week.
Earlier, a group of nine activists sued over the South Asian country’s marriage laws that limit marriage to between a man and a woman.
The interim court order demands the government establish a “transitional mechanism” allowing same-sex couples to register legal marriages.
Advocates don’t know how long the Supreme Court will take to make a final decision on Nepal’s marriage laws.
But the decision is a big moment for the country’s gay and gender diverse people.
Pinky Gurung is president of the Blue Diamond Society gay rights organisation. Gurung and eight others filed the suit in the Supreme Court, and said they’re all “very happy” by the interim ruling.
Gurung said many same-sex and gender diverse couples in Nepal suffer discrimination, and everyone deserves equal protection under the law.
The activist told Reuters at least 200 couples were now waiting to register their marriages.
Huge victory for same-sex couples in Nepal
Prominent activist Sunil Babu Pant added, “At a personal level, for those who are living together it is a huge victory.
“Practically, they can register their marriage and their rights can be immediately exercised.
“Parliament may take a while to pass the marriage equality law.
“But this order gives a practical solution to members of the sexual and gender minority communities who wish to register their marriage legally.”
The activists have vowed to continue to campaign for equality until Nepal’s laws are changed permanently.
In Asia, Taiwan is the only place that recognises same-sex marriage.
But recently, there’s been more and more pressure building for reform in Japan, Thailand and South Korea.
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