Bil Browning

Indian Mom Seeks Husband for Son in Newspaper

Filed By Bil Browning | May 20, 2015 12:45 PM | comments

Filed in: Living
Tags: arranged marriage, changing times, Indian mother, same-sex marriage

Gay_Matrimonial_Ad_0.jpgWe often get caught up in the minutia of LGBT rights advances and setbacks here in the States, but sometimes you have to take a step back and look at the bigger picture.

While arranged marriages aren't the norm in America, they're still common in other countries like India. After that country's supreme court recriminalized gay sex back in 2013, its reputation as a relatively safe place for LGBT citizens took a hard blow. Still, the times have changed worldwide and can't be put back the way they were.

Case in point: An Indian mother placed an ad in the Mid-Day newspaper seeking a husband for her gay son. Ads like this are commonly placed in newspapers and websites around the country by parents seeking a spouse for their child. While other outlets declined the ad citing the court ruling, Mid-Day opted to run the first public ad for a same-sex arranged marriage.

"My mom worries about me too much. She is constantly thinking that I am getting old, will be alone, and all those concerns a mother has. So, she and I had a discussion last week and decided to go ahead with placing a matrimonial ad looking for a gay person. The ad is drafted by her, though I edited out the gotras that she had put," says Harish, laughing.

Looks like the ad has elicited a good response. "My mum called me this morning saying three people have responded so far. She asked me what to do next, how to proceed, so I told her, 'proceed like you would have if you were looking for a girl for me'," says Harish.

"I will take my time before I give my nod. I am an animal lover and would want my partner to be one. And I am going to have the last word in who I choose because I am going to be living with him, not my mother. Having said that, it is my mom who has led me into finding someone for myself."

The next time you get down in the dumps over some rightwing idiot or another saying something stupid here in the US, remember this ad. Attitudes on LGBT people are changing worldwide (albeit slowly in some places). As Americans we may not grasp the full implications of some of the changes - like arranged marriages, caste systems, etc - but the folks who live there do. That's all that matters.

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