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Gay Marriages get Punjab Push

Half – a – dozen gay couples have tied the knot since the Delhi judgment
The landmark Delhi High Court judgment decriminalising consensual homosexual sex has spread the seeds of liberation beyond the Capital.

Three young gay couples have announced their marriages in Chandigarh. Possibly the first gay nuptials in the country, the weddings were solemnised at the ancient Mansa Devi shrine outside Chandigarh on Wednesday morning. The elated couples then went to Panchkula to celebrate the occasion.

Jarnail Singh, a gay, who married Deep – renamed Sapna – said that he had seen “Her” in a garden five years ago. He took a fancy to Sapna’s gait and approached “Her”. “We started meeting each other and finally started staying together in a rented accommodation.

Our parents know of our status though they did not attend the ceremony,” Jarnail said. He said that the priest in the temple did not object to their marriage.

Singh, who owns a dairy, said they did not go to the temple dressed as groom and bride. “We wore simple clothes,” he said. Sapna, however, said “she” would start dressing up like a bride from now on.

Sachin and Sanjana also have a similar story to tell. Sachin said that they had been living together for over five years.
  • People had been teasing them.
  • But now things had changed.
The couples said they were aware gay marriages have not been legalised in the country and that the Delhi High Court had only ruled that consensual sex was not crime.

“This is our way of expressing gratitude to the court for allowing us live with dignity,” he said. He added that they planned to adopt children and bring them up.

“We want to adopt a girl child. We are not aware if the law allows it,” said Sanjana. Informed sources said over half– a– dozen couples staying together have married after the high court judgment. Over two dozen couples, who had been living– in for the past few years, have got married in the past three months. They all belong to Chandigarh and Panchkula and a majority of them hail from the lower social strata. Gays have started asserting their presence by coming out in the open, said Vinod Kumar, deputy director, Haryana AIDS Control Society. “The Haryanvi society will probably not accept such alliances,” he said.

Meena Thakur, an outreach worker at Butterfly Nature Club of India, said she has observed migrants from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh indulging in same– sex activities. “ There are about 6 – 7 migrants staying in a room. A few of them have forged relationships which may end up in same–Sex marriages,” she said. Thakur also said some lesbians are known to be staying together without proclaiming their identity or “ marrying” each other. “Some college– going girls have been living in a colony near Panchkula. They are lesbians,” she said.

Jitender Kumar, project manager at the NGO, said some bisexual men also stayed in the colony and were attempting to assert their identity. “If they start venturing out in the open as husband and wife, they might start a social problem,” he said.

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