'A Win For LGBT Community': 1st Same-Sex Couple Who Registered Marriage in Nepal

Surendra and Maya registered their marriage five years after their wedding at a temple.

2 min read

Video Editor: Abhishek Sharma

Nepal scripted history on 29 November, by registering the country’s first same-sex marriage in Lamjung district in western Nepal, after a historic interim verdict by the country's apex court. The couple – Surendra Pandey and Maya Gurung – speak to The Quint about love, life, and marriage.

According to Dordi Rural Municipality Chairman Yuvaraj Adhikari, the marriage was registered at the ward 2 office of the rural municipality between 27-year-old Surendra Pandey and 37-year-old Ram Bahadur Gurung, who goes by the name Maya.

Maya identifies as a transgender woman and is yet to change her name in the official documents.

This comes five months after the Supreme Court of Nepal ordered the government to register marriages involving same-sex and non-heterosexual couples.

Surendra and Maya registered their marriage five years after getting married at a temple.

Surendra and Maya registered their marriage five years after their wedding at a temple.

First Southasian Nation to Regsiter Same-Sex Marriage

On 27 June, the Supreme Court issued an interim order to legalise same-sex marriage in Nepal in a writ petition filed by multiple people, including Gurung. But despite the historic order to temporarily register same-sex marriage, the Kathmandu District Court four months ago rejected the move citing a lack of necessary laws.

Surendra and Maya’s marriage application was rejected at that time.

“It’s a great pleasure to learn about this, it is a great achievement for us, the third gender community of Nepal,” Pinky, president of Blue Diamond Society, an organisation working for the rights and welfare of the sexual minorities in Nepal, told news agency PTI.

“This is the first case not only in Nepal but also in the whole of South Asia, and we welcome the decision.”

Nepal is the second Asian country to do recognise same-sex marriages. In 2019, Taiwan became first in Asia to legalise same-sex marriage.

According to the Kathmandu Post, the couple met about nine years ago.

“We met in a restaurant and immediately liked each other. After a couple of weeks of courtship, we moved in together. But our family and society did not accept us. We then moved to Kathmandu. Although we got married in a temple five years ago, our marriage was not legally recognised, " Maya told the newspaper.

'Historic Day For Nepal'

Sunil Babu Pant, a gender rights activist who has been advocating for the rights of the LGBTQIA+ community, said that the marriage between Surendra and Maya is the first same-sex marriage to be registered in Nepal.

“This event is a milestone and will be marked as a historic day for LGBTQIA+ rights in the country. This is a result of 23 years of battle for the community’s rights and the recognition of same-sex marriage in Nepal. We had submitted an application seven days ago for the marriage registration Maya and Surendra. I thank the local unit supporting same-sex marriages," Pant told The Quint.

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Topics:  Nepal   Same-sex marriage 

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