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Nepal seeks same-sex tourists

April 21, 2010 at 9:57 AM

KATHMANDU, Nepal, April 21 (UPI) -- Nepal, a country that classified homosexuality as a crime just three years ago, is now seeking to become a top destination for gays, its tourism minister says.

Sharat Singh Bhandari says not only is his country about to become the first in Asia to allow same-sex marriage but it is also promoting gay weddings on Mount Everest, The Times of London reported Wednesday.

In addition to mountain weddings, Nepal's tourism board is considering offering elephant safaris to gay honeymooners and a variety of other special activities.

Sunil Babu Pant, Nepal's leading gay rights activist and the only openly homosexual lawmaker in South Asia, deserves much of the credit for his country's progress, The Times says.

Pant founded the Blue Diamond Society, an organization with 120,000 members that has been campaigning for gay rights.

A same-sex marriage law is currently working its way through Nepal's parliament.

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