Ironicschmoozer’s Weblog

Young Gay Hindu Couple’s Wedding in India

Coming right after the Indian government’s repeal of a law that made homosexual behavior a crime is this news article  from the Times of India about two 18-year-old gay men’s wedding ceremony in a temple Chandigarh, Punjab state, where my own sweetie is from.  They plan a small reception a bit later.  They note that many other relationships are lived out in secret and reject giving in to fear–quite courageous!  The mother of one of them reportedly attended the Hindu ceremony but refuses to acknowledge his orientation and relationship.  A brother covered his face with a scarf.

I made the mistake of looking at the Readers’ Comments section.  (I typically avoid this in the Sacramento Bee et al., as it always disheartens and infuriates me to see how mean-spirited or ignorant my fellow readers can be.)  The majority of the respondents were outraged or “sickened” or both, and most of the narrow or ill-informed comments reminded me of things we used to hear in the US about the risks of granting equal rights to gays, especially the “recruiting” charge and the “danger to children” charge.  Severe criticism was directed at the media for drawing attention to this marriage and to homosexuality in general.  I recall the story from a UU ministry colleague in the late 1990s who had officiated at a lesbian wedding in South Carolina; the local paper covered the whole wedding process (not just the ceremony) with many pictures.  Neither the minister and church nor the couple got many threats, but the newspaper was attacked for its coverage and punished by the cancellation of subscriptions and advertising.  Many fear that such examples will “confuse” their youth or lead them astray.  Of course, as has been the case here, they do not yet realize that the kind of confusion that damages youth is that of thinking that they are alone and that their authentic feelings are somehow a sign of sinfulness.  The damage comes from self-doubt, repressed feelings, and emotional and spiritual isolation–not to mention social hostility and physical assaults.

Most of the religious anti-gay references are made by Muslim respondents, many of whom say they are from the Middle East, not India.

One of the few comments that made me chuckle says that gay marriage will lead to gay adultery, as straight marriage does.

It comes from K.S.Subramanian, in the US:  “They can be gay friends but what is the purpose of a marriage. In most of the marriages all over the world the spouses get bored with the monotonous life and seek pleasure elsewhere. The same may happen to gay couples too. Beware.”

In the US it’s been only 40 years since the Stonewall Riots in NYC, which is the event marked as the start of the modern LGBT movement, though many “homophile” organizations and lesbian and gay male activists had existed long before then.

Given how much attitudes here have changed since LGBT people started to come out of the closet in large numbers, I think there is reason for hope in India, as well as gratitude for the bravery of these young men.


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