Nepal's Supreme Court on Dec. 21 ordered the government to pass new laws and rewrite old ones to extend equal rights and anti-discrimination protections to gay, lesbian, bisexual, transsexual and intersex people.
The ruling came in a public-interest case filed by four gay organizations.
Current Nepalese law prohibits "unnatural" sex under penalty of up to two years in prison.
"Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual and intersex are natural persons irrespective of their masculine and feminine gender and they have the right to exercise their rights and live an independent life in
society," the court said.
The court also ordered the government to form a committee to study same-sex marriage in other nations with a view to changing Nepalese law in that area, as well.