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This startup lets gay Indians have a chance at arranged marriage too

This startup lets gay Indians have a chance at arranged marriage too

A new startup is trying to help gay Indians get hitched in the most traditional way: Arranged marriage.

The new business venture, Arranged Gay Marriage, set up by Indian-American entrepreneur, Joshua Samson, and the Trilogy Group from Atlanta, Georgia, aims to provide matchmaking services for Indians in the U.S. and abroad.

Samson who is the CEO of the company said the the legalisation of same-sex marriage last June was what inspired him to start the business:

‘The big step for us was when the United States made gay marriage legal.

‘We knew there is a huge underground gay and lesbian community in India, and we thought why not spread some light out there, help people who feel like they can never be helped?’

Even though India still has a colonial-era law that criminalises gay sex, same-sex unions aren’t explicitly banned.

In fact, Samson suggested that same-sex marriages are happening in the country:

‘Same-sex marriage may be occurring in the country but unfortunately these couples are still fearful to go public with anything. So we are not aware of any statistics.’

Since its launch in November last year, the company reported to have received over 300 requests. However, only 25 have been selected into the matching making process.

Samson explains that their highly stringent selection process helps to filter out those who ‘do not seem serious about getting married, who are simply looking for green cards or expecting mail-order brides and grooms.’

He shared that his clientele includes ‘Indians seeking Indians, Indian-Americans seeking others in the Indian diaspora, and people from countries like Mexico and Canada signing up as well.’

Last summer, a concerned Indian mother made waves in the Indian media by posting a matrimonial ad on the newspaper, asking for a groom for her son, Harish Iyer.

‘My mother was concerned about my loneliness, she didn’t want to make a political statement,’ Iyer told Global Post in an interview.

‘She was more concerned about the fact that I’m growing old, that I would be single, which is [a] very natural [concern] in the Indian context.’

Iyer, who is an equal-rights activist, also said he is certain that Samson’s matchmaking company isn’t breaking the law, as same-sex union does not directly imply soliciting ‘unnatural’ sex, which the Indian anti-gay penal code, Section 377, prohibits.

He added that there are no clear laws criminalising gay marriage in the country either.

An Indian woman studying in New York City commented that she thinks that Samson’s business model will help many gay Indian men and women, including herself:

‘Our lifestyles are so illegitimate that… it’s just very lonely.

‘The idea of an arranged marriage can seem a bit archaic, but as an avenue to find someone to be with, I think it is great.’

She also remarked that she would like to move to the states if possible so she would have the option of marrying and starting a family of her own.

H/t: Global Post