Revolution in South Asia

An Internationalist Info Project

Nepal: Maoists stand up for LGBTQ rights

Posted by n3wday on December 20, 2008

A blue diamond society pride march in Nepal

A blue diamond society pride march in Nepal

Thanks to the Maoist Revolution elist for sending this out.

Nepal Maoists to stand up for gay rights in UNDecember 11th, 2008 –

Kathmandu, Dec 11th Nepal’s ruling Maoist party, which till a year ago regarded homosexuality as a threat to a future socialist society, will strike a blow for gay rights at the UN later this month, marking a sea-change in the organisation that took up arms to seize power. Nepal’s first Maoist Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda, has asked the foreign ministry and Nepal’s ambassador to the UN to support a statement that will be tabled at the UN General Assembly this
month recognising human rights violations on sexual orientation and gender identity.

Prachanda, whose once banned party waged a 10-year peoples war on the state to end the monarchy, renewed his commitment to gay rights Wednesday to a delegation led by Nepal’s only publicly gay lawmaker Sunil Babu Pant.

The prime minister’s office also gave the delegation a copy of the order issued by it Monday, asking the appropriate ministries to support the gay rights statement in the UN initiated by France and supported by a core group of eight more nations, including Japan, the Netherlands and Norway.

“Since then, 55 other countries have pledged to sign the document,” Pant told IANS. “Nepal becomes the 56th.”

The statement, coming in a year that marks the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, urges for an end to human rights abuse perpetrated on people because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. The abuses include violence, criminal sanctions, torture and discrimination in accessing economic, social and cultural rights.

The Maoist decision to uphold gay rights comes just a year after some young communist league cadres were intimidating homosexuals in Kathmandu valley and asking house owners not to accept gay tenants. Due to successive struggle on the gay issue through the parties youth wing and the broader international communist movement, the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) has scene the light.

Pant, who was nominated to Nepal’s newly elected constituent assembly by the Communist Party of Nepal-United, a partner in the ruling coalition and the first party to have fielded gays and transgenders during the April elections, says the Supreme Court was the first to secure gay rights.

Last year, the apex court recognised gays as “natural people” and ordered the government to end all discrimination against them. Last month, it also sanctioned gay marriages.

Recognising the growing network and clout of Nepal’s sexual minorities, this year three major political parties, including the Maoists, wooed the community by including gay welfare in their election manifestos.

“I wrote to Prachanda in November, urging him to show leadership at the UN on the issues of sexual and gender diversity,” said Pant, who in 2001 founded the Blue Diamond Society, Nepal’s first gay rights organisation.

“By supporting the France statement, Nepal shows government support for human rights that are set out in its own interim constitution,” he added.

Pant hailed the Maoist government’s efforts on behalf of the sexual minorities.

The budget tabled by Maoist Finance Minister Dr Baburam Bhattarai has allocated Nepali Rs.2.5 million ($38,800) for a community building that can accommodate 50 homeless transgenders.

In a bigger project under the Poverty Alleviation Programme, about Rs.70 million has been earmarked to uplift the status of marginalised people like women, Dalits (former untouchables) and sexual minorities.

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2 Responses to “Nepal: Maoists stand up for LGBTQ rights”

  1. sharon said

    Thanks Comrades,
    please in future link to the correct site which is http://groups.yahoo.com/group/MAOIST_REVOLUTION/

    The present one is incorrect.

    Comradely

  2. […] RevSa: Nepal: Maoists Stand Up for LGBTQ Rights (20.12.08) […]

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