Gay couple risk mob violence by holding public wedding in Myanmar

In a country that punishes gay sex with a life sentence in prison, several are hailing the bravery it took to hold Myanmar's first public gay wedding

Gay couple risk mob violence by holding public wedding in Myanmar
03 March 2014

A gay couple have risked violence and imprisonment by getting married in a country where gay sex is illegal.

Tin Ko Ko and Myo Min Htet exchanged rings in Myanmar – also known as Burma – yesterday, in what is being described as the country’s first ‘public gay wedding’.

In an upmarket Yangon hotel, the two dressed in traditional clothes in a lavish public ceremony attended by over 200 guests.

While the couple had discussed the wedding to local media, they ensured the venue was a secret in fear it could attract violent mobs.

‘We both tried hard to make this a reality. I am almost speechless, I am so happy,’ said 28-year-old Myo Min Htet to the AFP, adding the wedding marked the couples’ 10th anniversary.

Tin Ko Ko, 38, said: ‘My family accepted me. I am so glad that my parents were understanding… but he had to overcome many difficulties from his family.’

Wai Phyo Myint, a journalist and LGBTI rights activist, said: ‘[This couple] doesn’t just stand up for themselves, their union is such an encouragement for other gay and lesbian couples across the country to come out strong and hold their head high by following their hearts.’

Gay sex is illegal in the Southeast Asian nation, punishable with up to ten years in prison. While prosecutions may be unusual, violence against the LGBTI community is not and the authorities often disregard discrimination.

Taboos around homosexuality have begun to relax after a quasi-civilian government replaced military rule three years ago. The first gay pride celebrates were held in May 2012.



No thumbnail available

Oregon poised to have the first openly bisexual governor in US

Secretary of State Kate Brown will take over after embattled Governor John Kitzhaber resigns from office
No thumbnail available

Alan Carr slams gays who call him ‘camp’

British gay comic says he does not feel he has to 'appease' the LGBT community who call him a camp stereotype
No thumbnail available

German chancellor Angela Merkel votes no to gay tax equality

Germany's leader sides with her Christian Democratic Union party on extending married tax benefits to same-sex couples
No thumbnail available

US Attorney General mentions gays and lesbians at speech honoring 1963 March on Washington

According to Attorney General Eric Holder the struggle for black equality, that started 50 years ago, now includes gays and lesbians
No thumbnail available

How better condoms make sex safer

My mission to bring better fitting, safer condoms to the world through crowd-funding
No thumbnail available

Power Gays: Tattoo artist Louis Molloy

GSN meets the tattoo artist inking the world’s celebrities
No thumbnail available

Top tips for world gay work equality

What the best global employers are doing to ensure their gay, bisexual and lesbian staff are safe and happy when they work abroad
No thumbnail available

Police halt gay pride march in Dominican Republic

Video footage shows police officers arguing with marchers for using the Dominican flag at the gay pride event
New guide gives gay tourists the low-down on British rights

New guide gives gay tourists the low-down on British rights

Stonewall launches guide in six languages to tell lesbian, gay and bisexual visitors to Britain their rights
No thumbnail available

Malawi officially suspends gay sex arrests

At least three men are still serving up to 14 years in prison for homosexuality