Nepal’s first legally recognized gay couple vow to continue fighting for rights

Nepal’s first legally recognized gay couple have vowed to continue fighting for the rights of men and women who are just like them, citing that their groundbreaking marriage is just the first of many fights they have to undertake. 

Maya Gurung and Surendra Pandey — a trans woman and a cis man — only had their union recognized as legal on Friday, after they took their redress to the country’s Supreme Court. 

Gurung is legally recognized as a male in Nepal — unlike the US and the UK, where trans people are declared as the gender they chose.

While Nepal’s laws have been changed to legally recognize same-sex marriages, other laws — such as those that involve child custody, property, and inheritance rights — have not been changed to reflect this update.  

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And it is the couple’s hope that their activism will continue to inspire their country to change those laws. 

“We will continue our campaign for same-sex marriage and fight to bring equality to sexual monitories in country so that generations of people will not have to suffer like we all did,” Gurung told reporters Friday in Kathmandu.

As of this writing, Nepal is one of the first countries in Southeas Asia to recognize same-sex unions. 

Despite Nepal’s Supreme Court’s ruling, many of the local villages still refused to recognize the couple’s marriage. 

However, that changed earlier this week, when Gurung’s village finally recognized the union as legal.

“Finally we have gotten legal recognition. Not just us, but all the sexual minority people who had been waiting anxiously for so long for this day are happy,” Pandey said at the time.

Nepalese citizens can also choose to register themselves as “third gender” if they do not wish to declare themselves as male or female.

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