Nepal Officially Registered Its 1st Same-Sex Marriage; Becomes 1st South Asian Country To Do So

Nepal became the first South Asian country to officially register a same-sex marriage.

by Tooba Shaikh
Nepal Officially Registered Its 1st Same-Sex Marriage; Becomes 1st South Asian Country To Do So

Some much-needed good news is here! Nepal recently registered its first queer marriage. Maya Gurung, who is 35 years old and is trans, and Surendra Pandey, who is 27 years old, recently had their marriage officially registered on November 29. In registering the marriage, Nepal became the first South Asian country to officially register a “same-sex marriage”. Here are all the important details that you would need to know about this particular wholesome news.

Same-Sex Marriage: Nepal Registers Its First Queer Union

Five months ago, the Supreme Court of Nepal issued an interim order which enabled the registration of same-sex marriage. On November 29, 2023, it granted the legal married status to a queer couple. Maya Gurung, who although is trans, is legally recognised as a male in the country. When she and her now-husband, Surendra Pandey, initially wanted to register their marriage, officials denied their request.

They then filed a case with the High Court and Kathmandu District but their pleas were rejected there as well. After many trials and tribulations, something that queer people often find themselves dealing with when it comes to law, they were finally successful in registering their marriage. This was because earlier this week, the Home Ministry made certain changes.

As per these new changes, local administration offices were enabled to register same-sex marriage. Thus, Surendra Pandey and Maya Gurung got their legal happily ever after. The couple got married in a temple six years ago following Hindu rites and rituals with family and friends. They’ve been living together ever since but didn’t have a legal certificate recognising their union. Now, even that issue is resolved.

Also Read: Survey Reveals 91% Of Indian LGBTQ+ Travellers Feel At Ease With Travel Inclusivity!

Becomes The First South Asian Country To Do So

A landmark movement, it made Nepal the first South Asian country to legally recognise a queer marriage. Though the move is historic and undoubtedly progressive, it is important to note that legally, Maya Gurung is still legally recognised as a male and hence, was registered under the same-sex marriage law. It is clear that though she has won the struggle for her marriage, her struggle for her gender identity is far from over.

Instead of referring to the couple as “same-sex”, terming them as “queer” is far more inclusive. Be that as it may, Nepal has still managed to create history by passing the interim law where countries like India are reluctant in giving due recognition and rights to the queer community. It is hoped that the great country of India, too, will soon take inspiration from our neighbours and follow suit.

Also Read: Once A Refuge Space For The Queer Community, This San Francisco Cafeteria Is Now A Historic Landmark

When do you think India and other South Asian countries would legalise queer unions? Let us know in the comments section below!

Cover Image Credits: Canva Images

For more such snackable content, interesting discoveries and the latest updates on food, travel and experiences in your city, download the Curly Tales App. Download HERE.

Good news! We are on WhatsApp! Subscribe to Curly Tales WhatsApp Channel to stay up-to-date with exclusive content and BTS. Join HERE.