Third Gender’ IDs to be Issued in Nepal
The government of Nepal will soon begin issuing third gender IDs for Nepali citizens who do not identify as male or female. According to the Associated Press, Nepal's Supreme Court voted in favor of third gender citizen certificates in 2007, but it has taken over 5 years to implement the decision. In late January, Nepal Home Ministry official Bhola Siwakot said that the order to issue third gender citizen certificates was sent to all district administration offices and that the ID will be available free of charge for anyone who wants it.
French Lawmakers Move Marriage, Adoption Rights Forward
The controversial bill that would grant French gay and lesbian citizens the right to marry and adopt passed its first major hurdle last month. Lawmakers overwhelmingly approved the most important article of the new law, redefining marriage as an agreement between two people of opposite or same sex. France 24 reported that deputies met for a rare weekend session at the French parliament after it was decided that 14 consecutive days would be dedicated to working on the bill. Despite a large protest against the bill in January, statistics show a growing majority support it with 63 percent in favor of marriage equality.
Britain Steps Closer to Marriage Equality
The House of Commons voted 400-175 in favor of allowing same-sex couples to wed in the U.K. According to the BBC, a slight majority of conservatives (136) voted to kill the legislation; 127 were in favor of the bill, 35 did not vote, and five registered an abstention by voting both in favor and against. The bill is, however, strongly backed Prime Minister David Cameron. The measure must be approved by the House of Lords before it can become a law.
Sochi Olympics Will Test Gay Rights
The 2014 Winter Olympics is set to take place in Sochi, Russia, where some of the most draconian LGBT legislation is working its way through parliament. A number of openly LGBT athletes say they worry they’ll be forced to go back into the closet to avoid running afoul of the law. The US’s openly gay figure skater Johnny Weir, who spends a lot time in Russia, offered some advice for his fellow athletes: “Watch what you do when you leave the [Olympic] Village, don't be aggressive, don't wear a big rainbow flag fur coat." As Gay Life has previously reported, the bill, which is expected to pass, would outlaw "homosexual propaganda" making public events that promote gay rights and public displays of affection by same-sex couples illegal. St. Petersburg and a number of other Russian cities already have similar laws.