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Emperor Elagabalus and LGBT+ rights in Russia, Romania, India and Nepal

Was the Roman emperor Elagabalus transsexual? The teenage ruler became a genderqueer icon, but according to historians, including Mary Beard, formerly a professor of classics at the University of Cambridge, reports of Elagabalus’s sexual unconventionality primarily come from people hostile to him. They wanted to gain the favour of his successor, Alexander Severus and presented the young emperor in the worst possible light.

According to the Romanian authorities, the local society is not yet ready to establish a legal framework recognising same-sex families. Romania is committed to adopting legislation recognising LGBT+ families in line with a recent ruling by the European Court of Human Rights. Meanwhile, the Russian Supreme Court recognised the “international LGBT social movement” as an extremist organisation and banned its activities throughout the country. The ruling was issued at the request of the Ministry of Justice, even though there is no such thing as an LGBT organisation because it does not exist as a legal entity.

The first same-sex marriage was legalised in Nepal. In July this year, the Nepalese Supreme Court issued an interim permit for the registration of marriages of same-sex couples. In India, however, the Supreme Court refused to legalise same-sex marriage. In light of this ruling, over 2,000 people participated in the Pride Parade in New Delhi, celebrating sexual diversity and expressing concerns about India’s restrictive laws. The only Asian country that has legalised same-sex marriage so far is Taiwan.

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