Nepal's Gays, Lesbians and Transgenders on a hunger strike

A number of gays, lesbians and transgenders have started a public demonstration in Kathmandu today, led by Sunil Babu Pant, Nepal's only openly gay Member of Parliament. They are on a fast unto death to protest against discrimination and homophobia.

They are protesting against the current Home Minister Bhim Rawal who is apparently refusing to authorise the issuance of identity cards to transgenders though the Supreme Court ordered the government to do so three years ago.

Nepal is promoting itself as a gay-friendly tourist destination and inviting gays to get married in Nepal under the Visit Nepal 2011. Just recently, the first gay marriage was held by a Hindu priest. But the attitude of the Government towards the local gays and lesbians still seems a bit discriminatory.

Perhaps only bideshi gays are treated with respect, not locals!