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Nepal government may pass laws recriminalising gay sex

Wednesday, 6 August 2014 - 3:10pm IST | Agency: DNA web desk

Nepal may pass laws recriminalising gay sex, making it an offence punishable with three years of imprisonment, LGBT news website Gay Star News has reportedThe report quoted former Nepal parliamentarian Sunil Pant as saying that the current law and justice ministry Narahari Acharya planned to push these laws through. 

The new draft laws will reportedly not just criminalise homosexuality but also sexual acts such as oral sex and anal sex. "The irony is that the UNDP funded the original two committees to draft these codes and said they did not have any clue what was being drafted. At least they should have been more vigilant whether their aid is being abused, misused or used properly," Pant said. An openly gay politician in Nepal as well as a gay rights activist, Pant was nominated this year for the Nobel Peace Prize for his work with the organisation Blue Diamond Society, the largest LGBT rights group in Nepal which he founded.

The new law may also restrict the definition of rape as pertaining only to women. In an article in the Nepal Times, Pant wrote, "The definition of rape is narrowed only to women. The notion that only men can be rapists and only women can be victims comes from a deep-rooted patriarchal mindset. These notions seem to be inspired by conservative reversals in India, some western and African countries."

If the law follows through, it will be a sharp turnaround from Nepal's previous stance on the issue. In 2007, the country's Supreme Court had ruled allowing equal rights to sexual minorities. In 2011, the census had granted the third gender status and provisions were made to give this recognition in government documents as well.

In 2008, the Supreme Court had asked the government to form laws giving equal rights to the LGBT community and also allow for gay marriage. The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) had funded the committees that were to draft these laws.




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