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Nepal gets its first gay representative in parliament May 5, 2008

Posted by nitinkarani in Times of India.
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http://tinyurl.com/6phelt

1 May 2008, 0100 hrs IST,TNN

The wind of change that swept through Nepal in the form of a historic election this month, dethroned its king, once revered as god, and instead gave power to the former Maoist guerrillas, will also see a
fresh social revolution with the first gay representative being nominated to the new constituent assembly.

Sunil Babu Pant, a 35-year-old crusader for gay rights who founded the first organisation to protect the rights of the sexual minorities and ushered in a social revolution, now becomes part of Nepal’s political history as well after being chosen by a minor communist party to represent it in the 601-member constituent assembly.

“We are honoured to send Pant as our representative to the constituent assembly,” said Ganesh Shah of Communist Party, who’s Communist Party of Nepal-United (CPN-U) has won five seats in the assembly under the proportional representation system.

“We hope it will improve the lives of a people who are the most repressed in Nepal, disowned both by society and their own families,” he added.

Pant, a computer engineer from Belarus, founded the Blue Diamond Society in 2002. It is now one of the best known gay rights groups in South Asia, fighting for molested and detained gays, spreads HIV/AIDS awareness, runs a hospice for terminally ill gay patients and provides training and jobs to members of the community.

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