Lately, there have been a lot of negative news related to Nepal's first federal constitution surfacing in the media. However, in an outstanding move, the country has added strict anti-discrimination laws for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transsexual (LGBT) community, and has granted them equal rights.
With this, Nepal has become the first ever Asian country and third country in the world after South Africa and Ecuador to have explicit laws benefiting the LGBT community.
A Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Global report has highlighted the articles added to the constitution:
Article 12 states that citizens will be allowed to choose their preferred gender identity on their citizenship document. The choices available are male, female or other.
Article 18 states that gender and sexual minorities will not be discriminated against by the State and by the judiciary in the application of laws. It further adds that the government may make special provisions through laws to protect, empower and advance the rights of gender and sexual minorities and other marginalized and minority groups.
Article 42 lists gender and sexual minorities among the groups that have a right to participate in state mechanisms and public services to promote inclusion.
As per the report, the first step towards granting equal rights to LGBT community was taken in December 2007. The Supreme Court of Nepal had ordered the government of Nepal to give equal rights to 'sexual and gender minorities' and also ponder upon possibilities of legalising same-sex marriage.
Around the world, people belonging to the LGBT community are fighting for their rights after having to suffer discrimination and oppression for a long time. In April 2015, the Supreme Court of India made a landmark decision and granted the 'third gender' status to the transgenders. It also called for treating the community as socially and economically backward.