Is Nepal progressive when it comes to sex but conservative when it comes to religion?

A few days back I had blogged about religious freedom in Nepal - and asked the question,  is religious freedom the freedom to practice the religion of your choice or the freedom to convert others. Religion seems to be a very important aspect of the New Constitution of Nepal. One point that keeps getting reported in certain media outlets is the proposed ban on religious conversions.

One such article appears in Christian Today. A couple of notable Christian priests in Nepal, Bishop Anthony Sharma and Rev. Dr Mangalam Mahajan have expressed their views  regarding bans on religious conversions. The view they hold is that "Conversion is by God; people simply respond to Him. Our philosophy is, 'We propose and not impose.' The growth of the church in Nepal is due to the Christian witness, and not just by preaching." This statement seems alright.

However, some of the other statements they make are worth pondering over. Bishop Sharma states that the good aspect of preventing conversions is that "only those who are willing to pay the price will remain". However, "It is surprising, though, that socially Nepal is very progressive – homosexual marriages are legal – but when it comes to religion, it becomes conservative." How do we interpret this statement? Just because Nepal supports same sex relationships, it doesn't mean that the Constitution supports homosexuals going around 'proposing homosexuality'. Individuals are allowed to decide what sexual orientation they belong to i.e. they have sexual freedom. Similarly, the proposed draft allows Nepalis to practice the religion of their choice. However, they cannot go around converting others.

Therefore, I think religious leaders should think twice before stating that Nepal is being progressive when it comes to homosexuality and conservative when it comes to religion.