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US women marry in Nepal's first public lesbian wedding

Ceremony comes as Nepal's landmark stance on gay rights faces threats from conservative lawmakers
NepalgayweddingEnlarge
US lesbian Sarah Welton (L) arrives for her wedding ceromony in a Hindu temple on the outskirts of Kathmandu on June 20, 2011. The couple tied the knot in a Hindu ceremony at a temple in Nepal, becoming the first same-sex couple to so in a public function. Courtney Mitchell, 41 and Sarah Welton, 48, both from Denver, Colorado in the United States, exchanged garlands as a Hindu priest chanted mantras and Nepalese artisans played traditional musical instruments in a temple complex 22 kilometres (13 miles) south of Kathmandu. (PRAKASH MATHEMA/AFP/Getty Images)

A lesbian couple from America tied the knot Monday in Kathmandu, marking what may be Nepal's first public lesbian wedding ceremony, the BBC reports.

Same-sex marriages are not officially legal in Nepal, though the supreme court has ordered the government to legally guarantee sexual rights and end discrimination against gays and lesbians.

Meanwhile, though those laws are still being drafted, a parallel movement to re-establish laws that make so-called "unnatural sex" a crime is also underway, according to the Times of India.

Courtney Mitchell, 41, and Sarah Welton, 48, from Denver, Colorado, were wed through a Hindu Nepalese ceremony at the Dakshinkali temple, the BBC said.

Local gay rights activists and supporters attended the ceremony - carried out by a Hindu priest - as did close friends and member of parliament Sunilbabu Pant, a gay rights activist.

Pant's Blue Diamond Society has been fighting for gay rights for several years, and recently opened a travel agency hoping to attract foreign gay couples to come to Nepal for weddings and honeymoons, the BBC said.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/globalpost-blogs/bric-yard/us-women-marry-nepals-first-public-lesbian-wedding