Nepal’s gay rights revolution

Nepal’s gay rights revolution

The AP reports that Nepal is actively looking to become a destination for gay tourists in South Asia — including a publicity stunt to hold the world’s highest-ever gay wedding at the Mt. Everest base camp — a sign of just how quickly things have changed in this conservative Hindu country:

Just five years ago, police were beating gays and transsexuals in the streets.

Now, the issue of gay rights is almost passe here.

Nepal has an openly gay parliamentarian, it is issuing "third gender" identity cards and it appears set to enshrine gay rights — and possibly even same-sex marriage — in a new constitution.

"(It) is not an issue anymore, for anybody," said Vishnu Adhikari, a 21-year-old lesbian. "Society has basically accepted us."

Peter Williams recently looked at four other emerging gay-rights battlegrounds for FP.