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Asia's First Gay Politician

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Nepal gets first gay politician
May 1, 2008

KATHMANDU (AFP) — Nepal will get its first openly gay politician after he was selected to represent a small communist party in the new constituent assembly, a party official said Thursday.

"We have chosen Sunil Babu Pant as our candidate to ensure the rights of gay and other minority groups," Ganesh Shah, general secretary of the Communist Party of Nepal (United), told AFP.

"He will be the first person to represent Nepal's gay community."
Pant is head of the Blue Diamond society, the only gay rights group in Nepal, a largely Hindu, caste-dominated and conservative nation.

"Representing a sexual minority I will make sure the new constitution protects sexual groups, people with disabilities, small indigenous castes and others," Pant told AFP.

The Communist Party of Nepal (United) won five seats in elections last month that saw Nepal's former rebel Maoists emerge with the largest bloc of seats to a 601-member body that will rewrite the constitution.

The April 10 polls were a central strand of a peace deal between Maoists and mainstream parties that ended a decade-long civil war that killed at least 13,000 people.



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