Saturday, 3 April 2010

Gay Marriage: India

As marriage equality continues to advance across the globe, some countries (usually the rich, Western ones) make the headlines, others do not. Some situations are clear-cut, some are not.

When the Indian Supreme Court handed down a ruling last year which outlaws discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, it was not at all clear whether this would necessarily ensure a right to marry. Now, in the Indian state of Manipur, the answer for one couple is clear: it does.Two men –– Sandeep Soibam and Nikhil Sharma Hidangmayum got married publicly this week.

Gay marriage solemnised in State

Source: The Shangai Express
 In a bold and path-breaking step, two gays have married and their marriage solemnised publicly today. 
This is the first recorded case of gay marriage in Manipur.
From the legal perspectives, there is nothing wrong in the unique marriage.
The Supreme Court issued a ruling last year which guaranteed that two individuals of the same sex may marry or live together.
Two men –– Sandeep Soibam and Nikhil Sharma Hidangmayum got married publicly in the hall of Leimayol Arts Centre, Chingamakha at 4.30 pm today.
Sandeep (26) was the bridegroom and Nikhil (28) the bride.
The marriage ceremony, though public, was devoid of any customary or religious rituals.
Nevertheless, the bridegroom was clad in the western attire of black suits and tie while the bride wore a white gown.
Amidst congratulatory wishes and salutations from their well-wishers and friends, the bridegroom and bride of the same sex exchanged rings in a fashion somewhat akin to a western marriage.Speaking to media persons after the marriage ceremony, Sandeep and Nikhil said that they have been having affairs for the last six years.
Nikhil Sharma runs a beauty parlour at Akampat.
Sandeep works at the same beauty parlour as an assistant.
Even as their marriage was not sanctioned by their parents, they, somehow, sent invitation to more than a hundred of their friends and well-wishers during the last two/three days.
Conceding that they would certainly feel emotional need of a child as a couple, the gay couple disclosed their intention to adopt a child.
"With our marriage not sanctioned nor recognised by our families, it would create a big problem when I take Nikhil to my parents as my bride", Sandeep said.
"As a temporary measure, we would put up in Nikhil's parlour for sometime", he added.
One woman who came to attend the marriage ceremony said that she was really taken aback to see that it was really a marriage ceremony.
She said that she came there as she was told that it was Sandeep's birthday function.
"The marriage of Sandeep and Nikhil may be according to their wishes but this is a direct challange to the customs and culture of the society", the woman said.
The trend set by Sandeep and Nikhil may bring serious diturbances to social order and family life of the soceity in future, she cautioned.
Transvestites may choose 'others': Tranvestites who do not like to be registered either as male or female in the electoral roll may choose the 'others' category.
The Election Commission has issued an order in this regard.
The Election Commission has directed the Chief Electoral Officers that any one who do not like to disclose their sex should be registered under category 'O'.

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