Main | Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Nepal Arrests Gays Activists

More than 70 gay activists were arrested in Kathmandu as they rallied for government IDs for transgender citizens. It's an unexpected development for Nepal, which has been expanding LGBT rights, encouraging gay tourism, and recently saw its first large-scale gay pride celebration.
Nepali men and women who identify as transgender are seeking citizenship certificates with their gender marked as "third sex" instead of male or female. Sunil Babu Pant, lawmaker and founder of the Blue Diamond Society, a gay rights group, says more than 70 people were detained near the prime minister's office and parliament. "We are running out of patience and are demanding our rights," Pant said from a detention centre. "Without the citizenship papers, the sexual minorities are unable to get a job, enrol in schools or colleges, seek treatment in hospitals and travel," he said. "They cannot even inherit parental property." In 2007, the Supreme Court ordered the government to amend laws to end discrimination against homosexuals, and give them the same rights as other citizens.
Kathmandu police says the arrests were made for "violating the norm" by demonstrating in a unapproved area.

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