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Mitini Initiative

Interaction with stakeholders on marriage equality accomplished

Mitini Nepal, an organization for the rights and dignity of lesbian, bisexual and transgender person has successfully organized “Interaction with stakeholders on marriage equality” on January 31, 2024 at Bagmati Province, Kathmandu.

Mitini Nepal, an organization for the rights and dignity of lesbian, bisexual and transgender person has successfully organized “Interaction with stakeholders on marriage equality” on January 31, 2024 at Bagmati Province, Kathmandu. The event aimed to engage diverse stakeholders in a meaningful dialogue concerning marriage equality for individuals belonging to gender and sexual minorities community drawing together key figures and influencers passionate about fostering inclusivity within the societal framework. Sharing the welcome remarks and objective of the program, Mitini Nepal’s program officer Nilam Dhungana shared that the primary goal of the interaction program was to shed light on the pressing issue of marriage equality faced by gender and sexual minorities. Addressing the gathering, she underscored the necessity for a more extensive discourse on the challenges and barriers obstructing equal marital rights for these marginalized communities. Moreover, she expressed the program's strategic purpose stating that it was a platform meticulously organized to foster relationships among stakeholders. The aim was to cultivate collaborative efforts for joint advocacy, pooling resources and expertise to advance the cause of marriage equality. Mitini Nepal's Executive Director, Sarita KC played a significant role during the event, delivering a comprehensive power-point presentation on the status of marriage equality for gender and sexual minorities. She covered essential aspects including the current legal landscape, the challenges faced by couples within the community, ongoing efforts for marital equality and outlined crucial steps to be undertaken in the future. Her insightful presentation provided a holistic view of the complexities surrounding the issue and underscored the organization's commitment to addressing the challenges and advancing the cause for equal marriage rights for gender and sexual minorities. Executive Director KC says, “In the absence of marriage equality, the stability of relationships within gender and sexual minority communities is compromised, denying couples essential rights over property and leaving them vulnerable to intimate partner violence." She highlighted that societal norms and prejudices continue to hinder the right of individuals from gender and sexual minorities to freely choose their life partners.

The program also featured an impactful infographic video on marriage equality, titled "Anagarik," which illuminated the significance of this issue. The creation of the video was a meticulous process that seamlessly blended storytelling, visuals, and powerful messaging. The narrative focused on the compelling journey of Jyoti and Prabha, skillfully combining animated infographics, interviews, and heartfelt testimonials. Their love story unfolded amidst societal challenges, showcasing workplace discrimination, citizenship issues, and healthcare barriers faced by the unmarried same-sex couple. The video documented Jyoti's job loss due to citizenship complications, exacerbated by her father's conditional citizenship offer, contingent upon her separation from Prabha. Despite these challenges, the couple's unwavering love remained a steadfast force. The video poignantly portrayed Jyoti and Prabha's struggle for recognition and rights, shedding light on their hardships in hospitals without legal proof of partnership due to the absence of a marriage certificate. It also depicted their arduous journey in obtaining a birth certificate for their adopted child, highlighting the significant obstacles the LGBTI community faces in child adoption. Marriage Equality Video (

During the event, a significant milestone was achieved with the inauguration of a groundbreaking website titled "Marriage Equality for LGBTQ Community," dedicated to promoting marriage equality. Stakeholders actively participated in this historic moment, symbolizing a collective commitment to fostering inclusivity. Additionally, a meaningful discussion unfolded regarding the endorsement of a letter of approval from various stakeholders, showcasing unified solidarity in support of marriage equality. This dual initiative represents a crucial step forward in amplifying awareness, advocacy and support for the LGBTQ community's right to the principle of equality and non-discrimination relating to marriage equality.

During the event, Mitini Nepal President Laxmi Ghalan highlighted the influence of factors such as gender, caste, environment, religion, and geography on marriage. Ghalan noted that the LGBTQ couples had resorted to suicide due to societal and familial rejection, as well as the lack of legal recognition and acceptance from the state particularly in the context of same-sex relationships.

Ghalan shares, “Marriage equality for gender and sexual minorities is not just a matter of natural rights; it is intricately linked to the broader issue of human rights. The ongoing legal battle for marriage equality underscores the unfortunate reality that the human rights of our community have been persistently violated."

Emphasizing that marriage itself is not a monumental issue, Ghalan stressed the importance of the state providing a legal foundation for establishing relationships. Pointing out the community's historical struggles related to inheritance and lineage, it has been highlighted the ongoing campaign for marital equality. Ghalan underscored the need for continuous efforts to convey the message that society must be educated about the significance of this cause.

During the event, Advocate Binu Lama of the Women, Law, and Development Forum presented a writ petition jointly filed by Mitini Nepal and the Women, Law, and Development Forum to the Honorable Supreme Court. The petition calls for marriage equality and challenges the provisions related to marriage in the National Civil Code 2017. It asserts that the denial of marital rights infringes upon constitutional guarantees outlined in Articles 12, 16, 18, and 42 of the Constitution of Nepal 2015.

Advocate Binu Lama says, "The central issue lies in the definition of marriage within the National Civil Code of 2017, which currently states that marriage is acknowledged when a man and woman mutually recognize each other as husband and wife through any occasion, ceremony, formal act, or other means. Until and unless this definition is revised, the community will continue to be denied the rights associated with marriage equality."

Addressing the gathering, Manisha Dhakal, Executive Director of Blue Diamond Society, expressed that marriage serves not only as the foundation for lineage but also for one's livelihood. Stressing the importance of self-realization, she emphasized the need for extensive discussions with stakeholders to bring about essential amendments and revisions to existing discriminatory laws relating to marriage. Dhakal highlighted the crucial role of dialogue in paving the way for a more inclusive and equitable legal framework. "We must put an end to the brain drain of skilled and energetic youths from our country. Unfortunately, due to the absence of marriage equality, many young individuals from the LGBTIQ community are compelled to seek opportunities in countries where same-sex marriage is accepted."

Chairperson of Inclusive Forum Nepal, Badri Pun underscored the persistent absence of family and social approval within the community. He emphasized the crucial need to address and manage this issue effectively, particularly in the context of marriage. Recognizing that societal acceptance plays a pivotal role in the well-being of individuals within the community, Pun highlighted the importance of fostering understanding and approval to create an inclusive and supportive environment for everyone.

During the event, numerous stakeholders voiced their solidarity, affirming their commitment to advocate for the issue of marriage equality within their respective fields. This collective expression of support reflects a united effort across diverse sectors to address and promote the cause of marriage equality. The program concluded with open discussion where participants engaged in constructive conversations sharing perspectives and insights on the intricate interplay between societal constructs and the right to marry freely. The program fostered an environment of open dialogue, encouraging stakeholders to critically examine the existing barriers and work collaboratively towards dismantling them.

The program witnessed active participation from a diverse group of 104 individuals representing
the gender and sexual minority communities. This inclusive gathering included participants from
various entities such as the Ministry of Women, Children and Senior Citizens, National Human
Rights Commission, National Women Commission, National Inclusive Commission, UN-
Women, Civil Society, Non-government Organizations, Nepal Police, teachers, health workers,
human rights activists and media personnel. Their collective involvement highlighted a
comprehensive and collaborative effort to address the issues and concerns of the gender and
sexual minority communities.