The Times of India looks into why so many gay Indian men are going into sham marriages.
Marriages of convenience are clandestine part of South Asian gay culture — a homosexual man and woman decide to tie the knot to stave off questions from nosy families or find protection from the law in countries like India where homosexuality is a criminal offence. In India, the Delhi high court decriminalised homosexuality (Section 377) in 2009, but the Supreme Court overturned the ruling four years later.
In 2015, a lesbian couple from China launched a smartphone app iHomo to facilitate marriages of convenience or ‘cooperative marriages’ between gay men and lesbians. But in more conservative India, the LGBT community looks for MoCs on private Facebook groups, chat rooms and Craigslist.
There is still a huge stigma attached to being gay in India. Many Indian parents prefer not to admit that their child is gay, and hope he or she ‘will grow out of it’ once married.
In a marriage of convenience, terms are agreed beforehand, so both sides know what they are getting into – but problems often emerge later.