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American Lesbians First to Wed in Nepal

American Lesbians First to Wed in Nepal


A lawyer and a college professor from Denver became the first lesbian couple to hold a public wedding ceremony in Nepal, celebrating their union with a traditional Hindu rite.

Courtney Mitchell, 41, and Sarah Welton, 48, were cheered on by local gay rights supporters during the country's first public wedding of a lesbian couple, Nepalese gay activist Sunil Babu Pant told the Associated Press. A Hindu priest performed the ceremony, in which Mitchell put red vermilion powder on Welton's forehead, a practice similar to exchanging rings.

"It was my dream wedding come true. This is a fabulous ceremony," Welton said.

Mitchell and Welton's wedding will not be legally recognized, however, as laws are still being drafted to institute marriage equality in Nepal. Recently the country's highest court ruled that it is unconstitutional to discriminate against people based on their sexual orientation.

Here are a few snapshots from the ceremony, held Monday in a temple about 14 miles south of Kathmandu.

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