Nepalese Gays Get Political

Those Nepalese gays are such go getters! Five activists – including Sunil Babu Pant – are running in the forthcoming Parliamentary elections to protest the nation’s historic homophobic behavior. Pant and company are being backed by the Nepal Communist Party (United).

“It is a prejudiced society,” said Sunil Babu Pant, founder of a leading gay rights group, Blue Diamond Society.

“We are standing in the elections to fight the discrimination against our community,” he said. “This is a very symbolic approach to tell all Nepalis that we have equal rights.”

Pant and four other gay candidates are standing for public election on April 10 to become members of a new 601-seat constituent assembly. It will be Nepal’s first national vote since 1999.

The country has been recovering from a ten-year civil war launched by the Communist Party of Nepal, which is Maoist, rather than Marxist.

Things have slowly been getting better in Nepal since the war, however. The High Court ordered pro-gay laws last December. Still, things aren’t quite perfect: coppers beat some condom-carrying trannies in July and politicos suggested that AIDS activists should find “something better to do” with their time. Still, Pant and friends remain confident thatunknown number of queers will help install him in Parliament.