Harish Iyer, a Mumbai-based gay rights activist, recently tried to get a gay matrimonial ad placed in various English publications in Mumbai.
Iyer told BuzzFeed India that it actually all started with his mother trying to place an ad in DNA.
According to Iyer, DNA told him that it was not possible to place a matrimonial ad in which a gay man is trying to find a groom, on legal grounds.
Iyer decided to keep going, though, and approached other publications, beginning with The Times of India.
Iyer also tried The Hindustan Times and forwarded BuzzFeed India their reply:
Dear Mr. Harish,
Sorry to say but we Can't carry this Advertisement in HT Matrimonial Section's.
Harish Iyer also stated to BuzzFeed India that "under Section 377, gay sex is illegal, but marriage between the same sex is not. It is void and has no legal sanction".
The last publication Iyer reached out to was Mid-Day, who agreed to print his ad. And this is what it looks like:
Mid-Day editor Sachin Kalbag said this to BuzzFeed India in an email:
A marriage is a meeting of minds, of souls. At mid-day, we believe that human rights should be applicable to all, regardless of religion, caste, colour, sexual orientation, etc. Therefore, a mother seeking a union for her gay son is perfectly normal. Why should it be any different? In fact, why should we even be talking about it? In an equal society, which we all strive for, this should be routine.
Mid-day stands for equal rights for the LGBT community and we campaign vociferously for it, regardless of whether there is a trial going on in any of the major courts. Our coverage is not "newsworthiness dependent". Our official stand is that India should not discriminate against any community, including the LGBT community, in any aspect of life.
Marriage is all about love, compassion, and companionship. If Harish Iyer, through this ad, is able to find an ideal partner who would be able to give him all of this, that would be one heck of a union. Because marriage can never be only about sex, it is also about partnership. I understand that this particular marriage will face opposition from some quarters, but as a society we must never discourage any community member from finding an ideal life partner.