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Nepal: First South Asian Nation with Same-Sex Marriage

By Amigos IAS

Why is it in the news?

  • Nepal recently formally registered its first case of same-sex marriage.
  • This development makes Nepal the first South Asian nation to recognize and register same-sex marriages.


Constitutional Background

  • The Constitution of Nepal, adopted in 2015, explicitly prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation.
  • Nepal’s Supreme Court issued an interim order in June 2023, allowing same-sex couples to register their marriages until a final verdict is reached.


Scenario in India

·       In October 2023, a five-judge Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court in India declined to legalize same-sex marriage.

·       The bench ruled that there is no fundamental right to marry, and the matter is left to Parliament to legislate on.



Global Context

  • The Netherlands was the first country to legalize same-sex marriage in 2001 by amending its civil marriage law.
  • Taiwan is the only other country in Asia to have legalized same-sex marriage, despite conservative societal norms.

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