Nepal adopted its first democratic constitution , a historic step for a nation that has seen war, a palace massacre and devastating earthquakes since a campaign to create a modern state began more than 65 years ago.
- The constitution defines Nepal as a secular and federal system, despite widespread protests for it to be declared a Hindu state.
- A clause stating “Religious and cultural freedom, with the protection of religion and culture practiced since ancient times.
- Proselytising remains illegal, reflecting fears of growing numbers of low-caste and other marginalized groups converting to Christianity.
- The constitution is the first in Asia to specifically protect the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities.
- The state and the judiciary are prohibited from discriminating against sexual and gender minorities.
- The rhododendron is the national flower, and the cow remains the national animal.