Last edited: July 31, 2005

Indian Lesbian Couple Weds, July 30, 2005

NEW DELHI—Two teenage women have married in a traditional Hindu ceremony in India’s West Singhbhum district—despite laws which forbid same-sex marriage.

The women, identified in the local media as Nitima Biruwa and Laxmi Bari, were married in the village of Bharbaria with the blessings of their families.

Press reports from the region say that the wedding was arranged by family members.

The reports quote the father of one of the women as saying that he had tried for months to break up the couple to no avail. He then decided that the best thing would be to allow them to marry.

The women are still in school and say they intend to finish their studies.

Last December the families of another lesbian couple who married illegally in a Hindu ceremony went to police in Amritsar to try to have the couple arrested under the country’s sodomy law. A judge ruled the women could not be charged because lesbian sex was not mentioned in the sodomy provisions.

In March 2004, two gay men were attacked by their own relatives after they came out and exchanged vows.

LGBT rights groups in India are trying to get the sodomy law overturned but concede it is likely to be a long time before India permits same-sex marriage.

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