LGBTQ+ activists in Nepal are hailing an interim order from the Supreme Court which has cleared the way for same-sex marriage to become a reality.

An order issued on 28 June will allow for the temporary registration of marriages for same-sex and non-traditional couples.

It is not yet clear when the Court will make its final decision on the case and same-sex marriage is not yet fully legal – though its significance cannot be understated, activists said.

Sunil Babu Pant, a former parliamentarian who is openly gay and a leading LGBTQ+ rights activist, was among those praising the ruling.

“At a personal level, for those who are living together it is a huge victory. Practically, they can register their marriage and their rights can be immediately exercised,” he told AP.

“This is very important because it allows the couple to go and register their marriage and start living as a couple legally.”

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Pinky Gurung, chairperson of the Blue Diamond Society gay rights organisation, told Reuters that the decision is “very big and historic” and said that about 200 same-sex couples were likely to register their marriages almost instantly because of it.

Nepal has been becoming increasingly progressive in recent years, though Taiwan remains the only place in Asia that officially recognises same-sex marriage.

There have, however, been major advances in LGBTQ+ rights in Nepal, including people having the ability to select a “third gender” on official documents and the new constitution preventing discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.