Nepal: Did Nepal Really Just Recognize Its First “Same-Sex Marriage”?

Recently a headline appeared in the Nepali media translated as “Same-sex-marriage is registered with the help of a wife.” But the truth is a little more complicated than that.

Even though the terminology “same-sex marriage” is used, it is not actually understood as same-sex marriage by the individuals involved — or the bureaucrats. However activists, reporters, and others are just copying ‘western’ terminologies without giving a serious thought while using it for Nepali context.

First: Is it really a same-sex marriage? Before we talk about what it is or what it should be called let’s get the facts clear: A married person, Ramesh Nath from Dadeldhura district, who identifies himself as a man and married to a woman, has fallen in love with a person, Monica Shahi from Kailali, who was assigned male at birth and identifies a third gender (a category Nepal legally recognizes — and Shahi has obtained legal documents as such). Last week (on 25–07–2017), Nath and Shahi decided to get married with the consent of Nath’s wife and went all three of them to Parashurama municipality of Dadeldhura district to register their marriage.

The marriage was registered under the marriage registration act 2028 which allows for the “marriage” between a man and a woman. Nath is not divorced from his wife but his wife gave written consent to marry Shahi. According to one local news portal the bureaucrats easily registered the marriage saying: “First, the wife has given written consent and was presented here during the registration; second, Monica is a third gender so this new marriage won’t produce any child; and third, Ramesh is a man and Monica is third gender woman”. Read more via Sunil Babu Pant on Medium