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ASIA - Feb 27, 2004

Kathmandu -- The gay, lesbian, and bisexual community has called for the government its United Nations representatives to support the UN's "Human Rights and Sexual Orientation" resolution which is coming up for approval in March. If endorsed, the resolution would safeguard gay rights and an individual's choice concerning sexualorientation. Currently, there is not a single international convention that protects such rights.

Since Nepal will be a voting member of the proposal, Blue Diamond Society (BDS), an NGO working for the welfare of Nepalese GLBT, points out the need to vote for the proposal. "Such a resolution is crucial for UN human rights mechanisms to have a clear and unequivocal mandate to address human rights violations," says BDS."

Abuses based on sexual orientation and gender identitypersist all over South Asia. In Nepal, vague lawsagainst 'Unnatural Sex" (under Bestiality Law, Chapter16: Country Law, Nepal), "public scandals" or"indecent behaviour" are used to penalise sexualminorities."

Against such a backdrop, a recent meeting of Nepal's GLBT community, comprised of over fifty participants representing 15 cities of Nepal, drafted the statement pointing out the need to support the resolution and forwarded it to authorities concerned. Their petition points out that a majority of Nepal's gays are forced tomarry against their will and notes that many are denied access to basic health information.


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