The Foundation for Integrative AIDS Research

A note from Blue Diamond Society Director, Sunil Pant
Dear All

With such joy I was loosing my senses and its very natural to forget to theose who are closest to the heart. I must recognized all the LGBTI and AIDS activists around the world including Nepalese, especially those at ILGA, ITPC, GNP+, ICW+, UNAIDS, UNDP, NCASC, NHRC, USAID, SIDA, CREA, Sangini, ILGA-ASIA. FIAR (Foundation for Integrative Aids Research) George M Carter and Michael Daube are the name I must not forget who donated condom/lube to me to start outreach program in year 2000, when I hardly knew this day will come. Sangya and INSN, British Embassy, French Embassy, Norwaigen Embassy, US Embassy, Global Rights, Worec, Human Rights Home, Tewa,VSO,Peace Core and many more there. Ap rainbow, LGBT India, Adis Asia, SOGI and many more are there...

Thank for joining us, the LGBTI nepales yesterday, today and tomorrow.

Also salute to my family (BDS and my own), partner, and freinds who are very close my heart.

My big salute to all the volunteers (who say they enjoy wokring with BDS and Nepalese LGBTI) for their valuable support.....And there are more Thank you, thank you, thank you.

In solidarity
Sunil Pant

--- sunil pant wrote:
Great victory of Nepalese LGBTI !

Supreme Court of Nepal issued directive orders to the Government of Nepal to end discrimination against LGBTI and ensure equal rights as heterosexual men and women in Nepal.

Four LGBTI organizations including Blue Diamond Society had filed a writ petition in last April 2007(05/01/2064) demanding to defend and protect equal rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersexed (LGBTI) people of Nepal. After having heard 3 times over the last few months, Supreme Court of Nepal has recognized LGBTIs today as natural persons.

It is believed that LGBTI will enjoy, today onward, all the rights according their sexual and gender identities as other genders enshrined by the Constitution of Nepal and human rights conventions in which Nepal is a State Party. The Court issued directive orders to Nepal government to ensure rights to life according to their own identities and introduce laws providing equal rights to LGBTIs and amend all the discriminatory laws against LGBTI's rights as well.

On the issue of same sex marriage, The Court has also issued directive order to form a 7 member committee

(Doctor appointed by Health Ministry, one representative from National Human rights commission, law Ministry, socialist appointed by government of Nepal, representative from Nepal police, representative from Ministry of population and environment and one advocate as a representative from the LGBTI community) to conduct study about the other countries'/international practice on the same sex marriage. Based on the 7 member committee recommendation government will make appropriate law.

We, all LGBTI Nepalese, are extremely happy and proud on Supreme Court whose decision is extremely progressive on such a difficult issue for our society, especially on the matter of gender identity to the possible extinct. This is the first time ever any Supreme Court has spoken such a positive manner on gender identity issues ever on the world. We salute our honorable judges Balaram KC and Pawan Kumar Ojha.

We would like to express our sincere gratitude to all friends, leaders, media, civil society, international support, political parties, OHCHR, ICJ, National Human Rights commission, Human Rights Watch, FWLD, Front Line Defenders, ILGHRC, Lawyers Collective, Alternative law forum, NFI, Outrageous, ARC international and our lawyers (Hari Phunyal- ICJ, Rup Narayan Shrestha- FWLD, Hari Upreti, Bhuvan Niraula, Sarmila Dhakal, Prem Rai-ICJ, Chandra Kanta Gaywanli). I also salute our LGBTI communities who have fought for years and stood for these rights even in difficult times and situation, without whose collective struggle it would have never been possible.

We would like to express our hearty thanks to our donors, LLH/Norad, HIVOS, Dutch Embassy, Astraea Foundation, Sigrid Rausing Trust, CCOs, Sidaction, Elton John Aids Foundation, FHI, PSI, DFID, Global Fund for Women, Mama Cash, Urgent Action Fund, and Butlars County and many more.

In solidarity
Sunil B Pant
Blue Diamond Society


**
http://www.nepalnews.com/archive/2007/dec/dec22/news02.php
Landmark judgment in favour of sexual minorities

The Supreme Court, on Friday, passed a landmark judgment in favour of the sexual minorities including trans-sexuals, bisexuals, gays and lesbians.

The apex court asked the government to give recognition to the people of third sex when giving citizenship certificates or other state benefits. They can now use their own sexual identities when receiving such certificates.

The Court asked the government to protect the rights and recognition of the people of sexual minorities.

A division bench comprising two judges Balaram KC and Pawan Kumar Ojha delivered the verdict in response to a Public Interest Litigation filed seven months ago by Sunil Babu Panta, president of Blue Diamond Society.

The bench has ordered the government to bring out necessary legal changes to ensure the rights of sexual minorities. It said that their rights must be protected as guaranteed by the constitution and international conventions.

On the issue of allowing same sex marriages, the SC has asked the government to carry out studies and has also asked to form a committee to carry out the study.

Meanwhile, Panta said that SCs judgment has given the freedom and recognition to sexual minorities. He hoped that the judgment will be fully implemented by the government.

Panta claimed that various studies show 8 to 10 percent of the people belong to the sexual minority group. nepalnews.com sd Dec 22 07

**
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/7156577.stm
BBC NEWS
Nepal court rules on gay rights

Nepal's Supreme Court has ordered the government to scrap laws that discriminate against homosexuals.

The court ordered that sexual minorities should be guaranteed the same rights as other citizens.

Campaigners said the ruling was a "huge victory". Homosexuality is frowned upon in conservative South Asia.

Nepalese laws do not explicitly criminalise homosexuality, but an "unnatural sex act" currently carries a prison term of up to a year.

Human rights campaigners say the provision has been used to justify arrests of men who have sex with men and transgender people.

'Encouraging'
Gay men and women and members of other sexual minorities have long complained of discrimination in Nepal.

In their ruling, two Supreme Court judges said: "The government of Nepal should formulate new laws and amend existing laws in order to safeguard the rights of these people.

"Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual and intersex are natural persons irrespective of their masculine and feminine gender and they have the right to exercise their rights and live an independent life in society."

Activists said it was a landmark ruling.

"It's a very encouraging and progressive decision. We all feel we are liberated today," Sunil Babu Pant, the president of the Blue Diamond Society which campaigns for Nepal's sexual minorities, told the AFP news agency.

"There were no specific laws to protect the rights of sexual minorities but the Supreme Court's decision has opened the doors to enjoy our rights."

Mr Pant said "education, citizenship papers and jobs could now be given to people without them having to identify themselves as male or female, or giving their gender as "third sex"."

There was no immediate response from the government to Friday's ruling.

Story from BBC NEWS:http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/hi/south_asia/7156577.stm
Published: 2007/12/21 18:03:00 GMT
BBC MMVII

** http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/world/AP-Nepal-Gay-Rights.html?ex=1198990800&en=00ba99bd02592d7c&ei=5070&emc=eta1
December 21, 2007
Nepal Court Rules for Gay Rights
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Filed at 7:19 p.m. ET

KATMANDU, Nepal (AP) -- Nepal's top court ruled Friday that the government must create new laws to protect gay rights and change current ones that might be tantamount to discrimination, an official said.

The Supreme Court issued the order in this conservative Himalayan kingdom after hearing a petition filed by four gay activist groups seeking greater rights for homosexuals, said court spokesman Til Prasad Shrestha.

Shrestha indicated it is up to the government to determine how the ruling should be implemented. It was not immediately clear whether the ruling overturns current laws banning homosexuality or whether the government would be compelled to recognize same-sex marriages.

Homosexual acts are punishable in Hindu-majority Nepal by up to two years in prison.

A government representative could not immediately be contacted.

Sunil Pant of the Blue Diamond Society, the country's main gay rights group, said it was a bold decision by the highest court in Nepal, where homosexuals frequently face harassment, including by police.

''It was an extremely positive decision and a pleasant surprise for us. It would set a precedent for other conservative countries like Nepal,'' Pant told The Associated Press.

**
http://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2007/12/21/asia/AS-GEN-Nepal-Gay-Rights.php
International Herald Tribune
Nepal's top court orders government to ensure that laws protect gay rights
The Associated Press
Friday, December 21, 2007

KATMANDU, Nepal: In a landmark verdict aimed at legitimizing homosexuality, Nepal's top court ruled Friday that the government must create new laws to protect gay rights and change current ones that might be tantamount to discrimination, an official said.

The Supreme Court issued the order in this conservative Himalayan kingdom after hearing a petition filed by four gay activist groups seeking greater rights for homosexuals, said court spokesman Til Prasad Shrestha.

Shrestha indicated it is up to the government to determine how the ruling should be implemented. It was not immediately clear whether the ruling overturns current laws banning homosexuality or whether the government would be compelled to recognize same-sex marriages.

Homosexual acts are punishable in Hindu-majority Nepal by up to two years in prison.

A government representative could not immediately be contacted.

Sunil Pant of the Blue Diamond Society, the country's main gay rights group, said it was a bold decision by the highest court in Nepal, where homosexuals frequently face harassment, including by police.

"It was an extremely positive decision and a pleasant surprise for us. It would set a precedent for other conservative countries like Nepal," Pant told The Associated Press.


















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