Nepal: 62 LGBT candidates to run for seats in November election

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This year’s race for seats in Nepal’s Constituent Assembly will see 62 LGBT candidates run, in the hope of better representing the LGBT community in the country.

The Blue Diamond Society, an LGBT organisation based in Nepal, announced this week that the 62 LGBT candidates would run for seats in the Assembly, reports BuzzFeed.

The head of the organisation, Sunil Babu Pant, a former member of the Assembly, said he had not yet decided if he would run in the 19 November election.

One candidate, Bhumika Shrestha, said: “As the political parties failed to provide us proper space in the past, we faced hard time to secure our identity,

“I have planned to fight the election from the Nepali Congress and hope that other parties will also include the LGBTs in the election, keeping in mind our population.”

In 2007, the country’s Supreme Court issued instructions to throw out all discriminatory laws, to look at same-sex marriage policies.

The country’s government has deadlocked over the creation of a new consultation, and has been without a legislature since May 2012, when the Constituent Assembly was dissolved by then Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai.

Mr Pant is seen to have started the LGBT rights movement in Nepal in 2001, when he founded an HIV and human rights support group.

In January an official said Nepal’s government would begin issuing gender neutral citizenship documents for people who do not wish to be identified as male or female.