An American couple have become the first lesbians to marry publicly in Nepal.

Courtney Mitchell, 41, and Sarah Welton, 48, both from Colorado, tied the knot in a colourful ceremony at a Kathmandu temple yesterday.

In the evening, they attended a reception with Nepalese celebrities, gay rights campaigners and politicians.

The ceremony was organised by the gay rights group Blue Diamond Society and gay travel company Pink Mountain Travel.

Ms Mitchell, a psychologist, had lived in Nepal previously and the couple wanted to support the country’s LGBT community.

She helped Nepal’s only gay MP, Sunil Babu Pant, set up Blue Diamond Society.

Last year, Mr Pant helped a gay British-Indian couple marry in Nepal.

Although Nepal does not yet recognise same-sex marriage, wedding ceremonies performed by priests are usually accepted in society.

The country is expected to enshrine gay rights in its new constitution and may also legalise marriage for gay couples.