Nepal registered its first same-sex marriage on Wednesday.
How it happened: Surendra Pandey, 26, and Maya Gurung, 36, registered their marriage at the municipal office of Dordi in the Lamjung district. Pandey was born and identifies as male, while Gurung was born male and identifies as female, according to Reuters.
The registration follows an interim order issued by Nepal’s Supreme Court in July. Despite the ruling, Pandey and Gurung’s attempts to tie the knot were initially rejected over a supposed lack of necessary laws.
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This week, the Ministry of Home Affairs issued changes that enabled local administration offices to register same-sex marriages.
“It was quite unexpected and it was a positive breeze for us,” Sunil Babu Pant, an openly gay former parliamentarian and founder of the Blue Diamond Society, Nepal's top LGBTQ+ rights organization, told the Associated Press.
About the couple: Pandey and Gurung have been a couple for nine years. They married via Hindu tradition in Kathmandu in 2016, but they had no legal paperwork.
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Still, they had married with the support of their families. They have since lived together as husband and wife.
Why this matters: The registration of Pandey and Gurung’s marriage provides hope for other same-sex couples to follow suit. It also makes Nepal the first country in South Asia to make such progress.
"It is historic," Pant told the Associated Press. "It will open the door for them to jointly open bank accounts, own and transfer property like just any other couples."
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