Nepal Courts Gay Tourism

Jim Burroway

March 15th, 2010

nepaNepal, an otherwise conservative Hindu nation, is not only looking to go after gay tourism dollars to pull itself out of poverty, but they seem intent on making real, tangible advances in LGBT rights:

Just five years ago, police were beating gays and transsexuals in the streets. Now, the issue of gay rights is almost passe here. Nepal has an openly gay parliamentarian, it is issuing “third gender” identity cards and it appears set to enshrine gay rights — and possibly even same-sex marriage — in a new constitution. “(It) is not an issue anymore, for anybody,” said Vishnu Adhikari, a 21-year-old lesbian. “Society has basically accepted us.”

Nepal has been popular for decades among backpakers who spend very little and are seen a stingy by the locals. Tourism authorities see the LGBT market as being significantly more lucrative. They’re thinking weddings at the base of Mt. Everest and elephant safaris would be a big draw. I’m thinking that cashing in some airline miles is a tempting idea.

Paul in Canada

March 15th, 2010

Be nervous when enshrining gender/orientation equality is ‘economically based’ and not human-rights based.


March 15th, 2010

“Just five years ago, police were beating gays and transsexuals in the streets. Now, the issue of gay rights is almost passe here.”

Special Request: somebody do up an article on how this happened. We need to know how this happened!


March 15th, 2010

“Third gender” identity cards? Uhh.. no thanks.. Just paint a bullseye on your back then..

UK Chris

March 16th, 2010

Has anyone actually been there recently (gay or straight)? I’m interested in hearing what it’s like!

On the whole money changing political beliefs…I have mixed feelings there. We’re the only group who (in this area in particular) on average makes more money than the majority. I believe (but don’t quote me) gay tourism worldwide is about a 60 billion dollar industry. It’s harder to raise children to hate a group when the government is asking for them to come over and play…

On the other hand… Five years. Really? It’s all great now?

Chris McCoy

March 16th, 2010

A quick google search shows that Nepal is not so idyllic, and without its own Human Rights issues on other fronts besides the LGBT cause.

For me, Nepal still has a ways to go before my gay tourism dollars line the pockets of corrupt Maoist insurgents who refuse to put down arms after a bloody coup that ended more than a year ago.

Gay Marriage at base camp on Mount Everest? $3,000
Getting kidnapped, robbed, raped, and murdered by uniformed government military police who operate above the law with no legal punishment/recourse? Price-less.


March 16th, 2010

This is probably more to do with the Maoists being thrown a bone than any wider change in feeling.
But once the tourism dollars start coming and marriages are in the open, it’ll be much harder to go back. Court decisions and legislation can be overruled, but economic interests motivate people to keep them.

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