Vote Now
Mitini Initiative

Maya and Surendra

In a historic milestone for Sudurpaschim Province, Prakash Chaudhary and Manila Neupane, a pioneering third-gender couple, achieved a significant triumph by successfully registering their marriage at the local registrar’s office…

The Supreme Court directed Nepal government to allow LGBTQ couples to register their marriages temporarily and this decision played a key role in making this historic moment possible. The order was issued by a single judge bench of Justice Til Prasad Shrestha who asked for a temporary arrangement of marriage registration of LGBTQ couples until the existing law is amended. This decision was made by filing a PIL (Public Interest Litigation) at the Supreme Court seeking equal recognition and rights for couples of the gender and sexual minorities community. For the first time ever in Nepal has followed an interim order by the country’s Supreme Court to register same-sex marriages. Maya Gurung, a transgender woman who is legally recognized as male and Surendra Pandey, a cisgender man, held a Hindu wedding ceremony in 2017. They first attempted to legally register their marriage at the Kathmandu District Court. When their registration was denied by the court, stating that it was not necessary to acknowledge a couple that did not consist of one legally recognized male and one legally recognized female, they decided to appeal the decision to the Patan High Court. However, the judges at the high court dismissed the appeal, asserting that it was the duty of the federal government to amend the law before lower authorities could proceed to register marriages of such nature. The two lower courts then reversed the logic claiming that the national law must be changed first. However, following the Supreme court’s decision on issuing interim order allowing LGBTQ couples to register their marriages, the couple succeeded to temporarily register their marriage at Dordi Rural Municipality, Lamjung on November 2023.

Nepal Registers Same-Sex Marriage – A First | Human Rights Watch (hrw.org)

How court laid the ground for same-sex marriage in Nepal (kathmandupost.com)

Source: Maya and Surendra