Last edited: January 08, 2005

Nepal’s Gays Find New Voice, January 7, 2005

By Newscenter Staff

Kathmandu—Gays struggling for the most basic human rights in the tiny Himalayan country of Nepal are developing a sense of community with the launch of the country’s first LGBT newspaper.

The weekly publication will start rolling off the presses later this month. It is being funded by the British Embassy and will be prepared and distributed by the Blue Diamond Society, Nepal’s gay rights group.

Blue Diamond Weekly will be printed in both English and Nepalese and provide information about the struggle for gay rights along with information on HIV/AIDS. It will not be “controversial” the Society says—an effort not to incur the wrath of censors or the government.

Nepal has refused to recognize the civil rights of gays in the country and does not provide HIV information on male to male transmission of the virus.

Last year 39 members of the Blue Diamond Society were jailed after police rushed a peaceful demonstration for gay rights in front of the Parliament building. They were released three weeks later following an international outcry.

Most of Nepal’s gays are closeted and many are persecuted by their own family members. The firing of gays from their jobs is commonplace once an employer discovers the worker’s sexuality.

Blue Diamond had been allowed to distribute information about HIV and gay sex but began a crackdown last year after a petition was filed in the Supreme Court against the government accusing it of abetting immoral activities by permitting the society to function.

The case will be heard on Jan 18, just days before the first copies of the gay weekly roll out.

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