Which Asian country did you think will be the first to legalize same-sex marriage? Modern Japan? Relaxed Thailand? Catholic-but-tolerant Philippines?
If recent events are any indication, these are all wrong answers. The correct answer might soon be Nepal, one of the poorest nations in the world, perhaps most noted for having the highest point on Earth (Mt. Everest).
What may have prompted Nepal’s jumping into the front of the line of marriage equality in Asia is the country’s transition, seven years ago, from a monarchy to a democracy, after about ten years of civil war. Not long after, the new government legalized homosexuality and the Supreme Court instructed the government to establish equal rights for LGBT citizens and to look into marriage equality.
This past week, Monday, the government committee charged with studying the issue formally submitted its recommendation that Nepal legalize marriage equality. So, it may end up that one of the least modern countries in the world, with high rates of poverty, and that has the status of “least developed country,” will nevertheless be the first country in Asia to legally recognize marriage equality.
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“Committee recommends Nepal legalize same-sex marriage,” Washington Blade.