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Gay rights protesters parade in Nepal for constitutional guarantees

Hundreds took part in the parade, demanding rights granted to sexual minorities -- and others rights still out of reach -- be written into the country's new constitution.

By Fred Lambert
Gay rights protesters parade in Nepal for constitutional guarantees
A gay pride event organized by the Blue Diamond Society in Nepal on Aug. 22, 2015. On Aug. 30, 2015, LGBT activists took to the streets of Kathmandu to demand the rights of sexual minorities be enshrined in Nepal's constitution. Twitter photo by Blue Diamond Society

KATHMANDU, Nepal, Aug. 30 (UPI) -- Activists took to the streets of Nepal's capital Sunday in a parade calling for rights granted to the LGBT community be written into the country's constitution.

About 500 colorful protesters danced in Kathmandu as a controversial draft of a new constitution is being considered in parliament.

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"Our main demand is that the rights of the sexual minorities should be guaranteed in the new constitution," the BBC quoted Pinky Gurung of the Blue Diamond Society, a gay rights group in Nepal, as saying.

Protesters also called for same-sex marriage and the right of gay couples to adopt -- which are currently not recognized -- to be added into the document, as well as the right to inherit from one another and buy joint property.

Nepal legalized homosexuality in 2007 and for the past two years has recognized a "third gender" option for citizens who do not identify as male or female, allowing them to also run for office.

The BBC reports Nepal began this year issuing passports with "other" as a gender designation, but members of the LGBT (lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender) community say the documents are difficult to procure.

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Sunday's rally was one of several in recent weeks related to the drafting of the new constitution. Several minority groups oppose the division of Nepal into seven federal districts, arguing it would allow for discrimination and less autonomy, the BBC reports.

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