A gay matrimonial advertisement posted by an Indian mom on Tuesday has taken the Internet by storm.
Padma Iyer, a 57-year-old mother from Mumbai, India, is looking for a groom for her son Harish Iyer, a well-known human rights activist.
In an advertisement that Iyer posted in the Mumbai-based tabloid Mid-day, she wrote:
“Seeking 25-40, well placed, animal loving, vegetarian groom for my son 36, 5′ 11″ who works with an NGO caste no bar (though Iyer preferred)”.
The advertisement which resembled traditional marriage ads posted by Indian parents quickly went viral on social media earning mixed reactions from netizens.
According to Harish, his mother decided to post the controversial advertisement out of genuine concern for him to be able to find a husband and settle down. Currently, he has received six responses to the ads.
“I’m proud of her. It was her idea. My mum was like: ‘You don’t have a boyfriend, you’re not so young.’ She was concerned for her ageing son like any Indian mum would be, irrespective of whether he is homosexual or heterosexual,” he said.
India imposes ban on gay sex
Padma’s same-sex marriage advertisement is considered a taboo in the country since homosexuality is considered illegal in India. In fact, two newspapers declined to publish it for legal reasons.
In 2013, India’s Supreme Court ordered the re-criminalization of homosexuality in the country.
The British colonial law termed as Section 377 that dates back 155 years ago states that individuals who engage in gay sex may be imprisoned for up to 10 years.
India’s decision caused an international uproar and led the United Nations to call it a “significant step backwards for India.”
In a 2009 decision by the New Delhi Court, the ban on same-sex relationships was lifted after Section 377 was proven to violate “constitutional guarantees for equality, privacy, and freedom of expression.”
However, the ban was reinstated four years after the decision.
Although prosecutions for same-sex activities are considered rare in India, gay people often get discriminated or harassed.
Featured image credits to Manorama Online.