Two women have married each other in northern India, just months after the nation decriminalized same sex relationships.
The lesbian lovers, aged 21 and 26, married each other by ‘garlanding’ one another, the Times of India reported.
‘Two women living under Rath Police Station area of Hamirpur came to my office on Friday, and married each other by garlanding one another,’ sub-registrar Ramkishor Pal said.
One of the two women is already a mother
The pair, one of whom is a mother, wanted their union to be officially recognised, the Indian newspaper reported.
‘They came with an affidavit that their marriage be registered and that it should be socially recognised,” the paper quoted Pal as saying.
Dayashankar Tiwari, the lawyer for the 21-year-old, said his client is the daughter of a government school teacher. The older girl, he said, is the daughter of a labourer. Both married on their own wish, the lawyer said.
Union was not registered as same-sex married in India remains illegal
However, the registrar confirmed that the union was not registered, as same sex marriage remains illegal in India.
The Supreme Court’s September ruling, though, which decriminalised same sex relationships, offers hope for more changes ahead.
India’s LGBTI community welcomed the overturning of the anti-gay laws, which were leftover from the harsh days of colonial rule.
As one of the most populous nations on earth India, the move was a historic moment for Asia, where many governments still cling to anti-LGBTI and homophobic policies.
India is opening up in other ways, too. The nation’s film industry is slowly beginning to address LGBTI issues in some big budget upcoming releases, as we reported earlier this week.