Enter your email address to receive our daily LGBT news roundup

You're free to unsubscribe at any time.

Video: Help offered to LGBT victims of forced marriage

Post your comment

Comments on this article are now closed.

Reader comments

  1. A step in the right direction.

    1. Well, I thought the guy video was fairly good, but both those featuring women were pretty insultingly air-headed. And I don’t see anything in the publicity about potential trans victims at all. Still, the point is support effective and official help against forced marriage, even overseas. I just worry that help may not be available to every British person who needs it, in any country, and expectations of help may put victims in more danger, since “honour” killings are not unconnected.

      And then there’s the fact that marriage is not the only danger that may face British children/offspring if taken overseas, where rights, and beliefs may be so different.

      Its a good start though.

  2. Omar Kuddus 13 Jul 2012, 6:13pm

    It is appalling that in families where they suspect that one of the children may well be LGBT because of the stigma of being gay they fear that it will bring shame on the family and force their children into marriage.

    The inherent problem lies that despite living in Europe most Asian families still mentally live back in their native countries, have religious beliefs constantly ingrained into their lives and put their social and cultural standings in front of their children’s wellbeing.

    This need to change and unfortunately not only destroys the lives of their siblings but also those of the person that they are forced to marry, as being homosexual the marriage is but a sham.
    However generations of belief and culture overtake their parenting with drastic consequences.
    It is unfortunate that such forced marriages not only lead to misery but have resulted in the tragic loss of lives due to suicide.
    Forced marriage is no different from bullying.
    The phenomena also results that through pee

    1. As a victim of much bullying I do think that forced marriage, and what inevitably follows, is even worse. It will almost always result in rape, and often death.

  3. Such a ignorant and evil tradition to participate in. How could anyone sell their love ones. Sick!

    1. GingerlyColors 14 Jul 2012, 6:32am

      According to the Bible you are allowed to sell your daughters.

      1. “You”? There speaks male privilege.

  4. This is a great step forward. Not sure what the full answer is, but we need to do more to help protect these people.

  5. surprised that they didn’t mention forced civil partnerships in the UK – all you have to do is sign a bit of paper and thats it your civil partnered – what if you can’t read english or don’t know what your signing? At least in civil unions you have to speak the words so it at least resembles a marriage rather then a contract signing.

    1. Is that really so? When one of my best friends CPed in a very low-key ceremony, his Brazilian partner still had to read out some sort of declaration that he understood what he was doing and, I think (can’t remember it all that clearly), that he was doing it of his own free will.

      1. Given that section 27 of the Mental Capacity Act specifically mentions that the individuals concerned in a CP must consent and have the necessary mental capacity to consent – and no-one can make this decision on their behalf … it would appear that it is a legal requirement that both parties in a CP must be able to consent and understand what they are doing.

    2. Bisexual woman in Edinburgh 15 Jul 2012, 3:36pm

      I’m not aware that this is the case with CPs, but you may be interested to know that most Jewish marriages do not permit the bride to say a single word, and will have the entire ceremony in a language she most likely does not speak. I think the couple signs the marriage register at the end so that the wedding is also civilly binding. This applies to Orthodox weddings, and about 2/3 of Jews in the UK are Orthodox (although that figure may be rising as a result of the sky-high ultra-Orthodox birth rate), though some Progressive Jews also choose an Orthodox wedding out of cultural pressure. In ultra-Orthodox Judaism, homosexuality and bisexuality are not acceptable, and yes, I have read a book about people who try to leave ultra-Orthodox Judaism in which the problems that happen to LGBT folks are discussed. Arranged marriages are the norm in that community as well. Please note that apart from the weddings, I am talking about the ultra-Orthodox community only, not the modern Orthodox.

  6. GingerlyColors 14 Jul 2012, 6:31am

    Marriage should be special. Let’s ban forced marriage and let’s allow gays to marry.

    1. Spanner1960 14 Jul 2012, 10:35am

      I totally agree, but it’s never going to happen.
      Religion has a stranglehold on many people’s lives and often anybody that is seen to interfere is branded a racist.

      Take the recent German ruling to ban circumcision – one Rabbi claimed it was the worst government action against Jews since the Holocaust. How can you fight accusations like that?

      1. GingerlyColors 15 Jul 2012, 7:24pm

        Circumcision is genital mutilation. If God never intended us to have foreskins then why are we born with them? It isn’t only Jews who practice circumcision – Muslims do it as well. In France the ‘Headscarf Ban’ in schools is only part of a wider ban on religious symbolism which includes Jewish skullcaps, Sikh Turbans and large crucifixs.
        I am pretty sure that Germany doesn’t want to go back down the road of the Holocaust – they wish to uphold the rights of children not to have their penises mutilated. Whether they wish to be circumcised as adults that is up to them. Would we allow human sacrafices in the name of religion?
        In the UK are kid-gloves approach to religious groups means that some girls suffer ‘female circumcision’ which is either performed here illegally or in their parential countries.

        1. Bisexual woman in Edinburgh 15 Jul 2012, 11:07pm

          The press aren’t helping, either. There are several Jewish and Muslim anti-circumcision groups who are delighted with the German ruling and have published letters to that effect, but the press delights in presenting the issue as both Jews and Muslims being united in their support for circumcision, which inflames the racial/religious discrimination angle. I’ve seen far too many articles where they just parrot speeches about “religious freedom” without once pausing to discuss exactly how “religious freedom” gives someone the right to mutilate a child’s genitals. I think it’s because the press only likes religious extremists, you rarely see them reporting on the faith groups which support equal marriage either.

      2. The Jewish rebels rose up against Roman rule over a ban on circumcision, lost Judea, and were forced into exile. I don’t think protecting their children from mutilation, or preserving their right to choose their own religion, is going to bear much weight against that sort of ancient ritual. Its going to get nasty.

  7. Good news. More publicity needed.

  8. Spanner1960 14 Jul 2012, 10:31am

    It’s about time this was brought out into the open.

    I cannot speak for women in this situation, although I can imagine the scenario could be much worse than for men, but I have noticed for many years that many Asian men that posted on gay sites (Gaydar and the like) always purported to be ‘bisexual’.

    I appreciate that in some cases it may be true, but I have always suspected this was more a ploy to bury the fact that they were actually gay, but forced into arranged marriages in order to keep the family peace. Quite a few told me that had they not followed their families wishes, they would be completely ostracised and rejected by everyone, foregoing all financial help or a home, and forced to fend for themselves. Many of these people are late teens or early twenties and would be totally unable to cope without their families support, so they can do nothing else but comply.

    What is needed is not only counselling, but support to allow them to break away from their families grip.

    1. Many of these people are late teens or early twenties and would be totally unable to cope without their families support, so they can do nothing else but comply

      That is often exactly what the core of the problem is – the toxic effects of tribalism, usually made worse by religion. Little wonder I found Blair’s fulsome praise of “Asian Family Values” when he was trying to suck up (some years ago now) to various British-South Asian groups especially nauseating.

  9. “It is not a religious issue…”

    I understand that, perhaps, the Forced Marriage Unit *itself* might want to be gentle on religion in the support material they *specifically* offer to potential victims (so as not to discourage religious victims from talking to them), but outside of such material these sorts of disclaimers / caveats (all too common) Are Not Helping:

    The direct religious permission / mandate for this sort of thing is certainly at the very least a *part* of the problem, and the general culture of unreason that religious thinking supports is definitely another very large part.

    This dangerous habit of ‘respectfully’ detaching religion from its barbaric aspects and its wider negative effects is a worry: It is not productive to obscure the cause/s of a problem.

  10. Dennis Velco 15 Jul 2012, 8:08pm

    Thanks for this article and your reporting.  What you do is appreciated.

    I posted it to my LGBT Group on LinkedIn to spur members to read your article and to make comment. I also scooped it at Scoop.It on my LGBT Times news mashup.

    Link to group >> http://www.linkedin.com/groups/LGBT-Gay-GLBT-Professional-Network-63687/about

    All LGBT+ and community allies…. please come join me and 14,500+ of your soon to be great friends on LinkedIn. The member base represents 80% of the world’s countries. As well as the down stream in my LInkedIn personal connections that reach over 22 million potential live stream viewers on LinkedIn.

    The group is strictly professional office friendly dialog, posting and profiles / profile images. I’ve been told by many that it may well be one of the best run / managed groups on LinkedIn.

    You can be as out or private as you like and I provide instructions on how to set those preferences.

    1. Linkedin? So, did your password get stolen?

  11. Needless to say, BBC children’s programme Newsround failed to mention the sexual orientation aspects of the forced marriage issue when they reported on it last month –

These comments are un-moderated and do not necessarily represent the views of PinkNews. If you believe that a comment is inappropriate or libellous, please contact us.

Top commenters this week

Latest stories

See all