Nepal pride parade demands LGBTQ rights be written into the new constitution

AP

As the Nepalese government drafts a new constitution, LGBTQ activists held a pride parade on the streets of the Nepali capital on Sunday to call for their rights to be written into the document.

"Our main demand is that the rights of the sexual minorities should be guaranteed in the new constitution," Pinky Gurung, a member of advocacy group the Blue Diamond Society told the BBC.

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Hundreds of Nepalis paraded down the main streets of Kathmandu in the latest of many protests against the draft constitution being considered by the government.

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Nepal does not allow gay marriage or adoption by gay parents. The country legalized homosexuality in 2007, and soon after included a third gender option on official government documents, Pink News reports, for Nepalis who don't identify as male or female. Earlier this year, the government announced that they would begin issuing gender "x" passports. Activists say the constitution needs to explicitly protect their rights.

The new constitution has been delayed since 2006, when a peace agreement between the royal family and maoist leaders established Nepal as a democracy. The king stepped down in 2008. Al Jazeera reports that the process of drafting the new constitution has been long and contentious, especially in the wake of the earthquake last year which caused widespread damage and killed more than 8,700 people.

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