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MAF Nepal symposium on “Religious Perspective, Social Practice and Legal Provision on Same Sex Marriage”

Religious Leaders, Media Advocates, Sociologists come together against legalization of same sex marriage


Kathmandu, April 6-

Media Advocate Bidur Adhikari emceeing the symposium

Media Advocacy Forum (MAF) Nepal which works for human dignity, civic liberty and good governance, organized a symposium on “Religious Perspective, Social Practice and Legal Provision on Same Sex Marriage” at the Reporters’ Club Nepal hall, Bhrikutimandap, Kathmandu. Addressed by leaders from Christian, Hindu, Buddhist and Muslim religions as well as legal expert and sociologists and analysts, the  programme was organized and conducted by MAF-Nepal Chair Bidur Adhikari.

The symposium was the first of its kind, broadcast live and publicly, as the first one in the “Civic Concern Series -1”, which aims at addressing such serious issues as abortion, gender affirming surgeries and transgenderism, among others. The unanimous conclusion of the symposium was very clear: same-sex marriage is detrimental for human civilization, it is unacceptable and unproductive, it cannot be accepted, and must not be legalized and normalized.

Dr. Sundar Thapa presenting the Working Paper

As the MC of the programme, the scribe clarified that he was in favor of society giving place to individual’s personal desires and new discoveries, and initiatives. Yet, he emphasized, he wont condone depravity and harmful practices in the name of liberty. Since MAF Nepal work in favor of human dignity, civil liberty and good governance, any law or ideology or activism that is pushed and is against what is good and godly and productive will be strongly opposed.  Any social, legal and human rights issues naturally become a matter of concern to MAf Nepal, he clarified.

Advocate Prakash Nepali clarifying legal provisions

Then as the working and position paper in the issue under consideration, Rev. Dr. Sundar Thapa, Christian pastor and social worker, presented against same-sex marriage. He quoted from the Book of Genesis, stating God created both man and woman in the Bible. God conducted the first marriage and established the first family, by bringing a man and a woman together as husband and wife. It was a union between a man and a woman, not a man and a beast or man and a man, or woman and a woman etc. He said that same-sex marriage is unnatural, unproductive, sinful, deserving of divine punishment and fatal to human civilization. After making his points for marriage as a life-long union between a man and a woman, Dr. Thapa then went on to quoting scriptures which clearly condemn homosexuality- from genesis 19 where Sodom was judged for this  son, which is connoted by the term “sodomy”; He also quoted from Leviticus 18:12 and 20:13, and Romans 1 which register homosexuality as sin punishable by death.

Homosexual marriage is not a marriage, cannot be designated and recognized as a marriage as it neither marriage nor natural nor righteous, he concluded.

Then Advocate Prakash Nepali brought a comprehensive picture of legal and covenantal provisions nationally and internationally, as enshrined by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Civil and Political Rights, said that an interim order has been issued by the court regarding same-sex marriage. He said that with the issuance of the said order, Nepal and the Nepali society were shaken to their core. He said that in Article 16 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights-1948, there is a provision that men or women of full age shall have the freedom to marry. According to him, rule is: the person who wants to get married should be a man and a woman.

He says that even neighboring countries China and India have not given legal validity to same-sex marriage. Regarding Nepal, same-sex marriages are registered by Dordi Rural Municipality of Lamjung District and Baghaiyatal Rural Municipality of Bardia, he said. He says that there is no legal basis behind the marriage registered by the local level. He said that if someone filed a writ against the marriage, it would be annulled. He said that it will not be recognized until the state clearly mentions in the law that same-sex marriage can take place. Advocate Nepali claims that there is no legal basis for same-sex marriage in Nepal.

Swami Damodar Gautam, chief advisor of the World Hindu Federation of Nepal, said that same-sex marriage does not fall within the discipline of Eastern philosophy. He said same-sex marriage would be unfortunate. He opined that same-sex marriage should not be recognized as it is unnatural. He says that same-sex marriage is unnatural, unnatural and unproductive. That said, he went on to reference some instances where the same person goes from being a male to being a female, and the two natures combined in one person. He also wondered how is it possible that this ideology of homosexuality is rampant in the West where Christianity is the major religion while Christians here in Nepal so clearly oppose this ideology.

Buddhist monk and head of Anand Kuti Vihar, Bhikshu Dharmamurti Mahasthaveer said that religion does not envisage same-sex marriage and does not recognize it. He says that the purpose and meaning of marriage is important, in which it is always a male and a female who are united. He said that marriage is an act of socially accepting and promoting the relationship between men and women. He said that marriage cannot be established other than what is accepted by religion, society and the state. Religion does not recognize same-sex marriage. If we can consciously discourage such activities, then society can progress, he said.

Azizullah Ansari, a central member of the Islamic Association of Nepal, said that there is no concept of same-sex marriage in the Quran. He termed same-sex marriage as adultery. He said that same-sex marriage is also mentioned in the Quran and God punishes such people. He went on to elaborate how other forms of sexual relations than between a married male and a female couple  were punishable and worthy of death. Man is made for dignity, not for indignity and perversion, according to Islam, he stated.

Former member of the National Human Rights Commission, Dr. K.B. Rokaya claimed that the country most opposed to same-sex marriage is Russia and Putin is among the leaders. He said that Putin would not allow even the smell of this type of marriage in Russia. In addition, he said that such type of marriage is prohibited in India as well. He said that the single bench of the Supreme Court had ordered to ‘make arrangements for the registration of same-sex marriages’ in Nepal. He said that Nepal has become the first country in Asia to register same-sex marriage. He objected that same-sex marriages are being registered on the order of a single bench when there is no law. He says that there is an increased danger of Nepal becoming a destination country for homosexuals from all over the world.

Sociologist and child rights activist Dr. Jomesh Wad said that only natural marriages can be recognized as social marriages. He said that we need to be careful now that same-sex marriage is being practiced and various questions are being raised. “While same-sex marriages are being registered, we need to be careful that we are ruining the nation. A family is collapsing, society is collapsing. This is giving a big blow to nation building,” he said. He also referenced the evil practice of abortion and gender affirming surgery and called on the civic society to strongly oppose such.

Concluding the programme, the organizer informed that this is just a beginning, one in the Civic Concern Series, and it will continue.

This was the first ever public live streamed and covered programme on same sex marriage, strongly condemning and opposing any legalization of such.


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