In a first for India, a newspaper carried a matrimonial ad seeking a same-sex partner.
Padma Iyer is keen to see her 36-year-old son, Harrish, happily married – so she placed an advert in the local paper. Such “matrimonial ads” are commonplace in India, but many say this is the first time they’ve seen one seeking a groom for a son.
The advert read: “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 advert appeared in the Mid-Day, a Mumbai tabloid, after papers such as the Times of India and the Hindustan Times turned it down.
The Mi-Day’s editor, Sachin Kalberg, told the Telegraph: “As an organisation, we have always supported equal rights for everyone, regardless of religion, caste, sexual orientation, the colour of the skin, or whatever.
“Therefore, when the gay matrimony ad came to our office, we did not even think twice about publishing it.
“With this ad, Harrish Iyer’s mother hopes to find a groom for her son. We wish them both all the very best in their endeavour.”
Gay relationships are illegal in India under Section 377 of the penal code, a hangover from British law.
Section 377 was briefly removed from Indian law, before the decision was overturned in 2013.
But Padma Iyer says defiantly of her advert: “How are the concerns of a gay child’s parents any different from that of others?”