Thursday, May 21, 2015

India and Ireland: Social Advances for LGBT

In India, it is common for mothers to put ads in local papers for their sons to find a spouse to wed. But one Indian mother, with the help of her gay son, successfully posted an ad for a groom for him. The ad says it's looking for a "25-40, well-placed, animal loving, vegetarian groom... caste no bar, lyer preferred." The Mumbai tabloid was the first to accept the ad. The social buzz went viral for the progress in India that this story represents.

Some criticized the discrimination of caste being mentioned in the ad. The lyer caste is known to be more wealthy. Although the caste system is not as strict as in the past, it is still common-day in India. Harish, the man in the ad, says he does not discriminate caste or religion. He does discriminate against non-vegetarians, though.

Homosexuality was decriminalized in 2009, only to be re-criminalized in 2013. But transgender citizens are now counted in the country with a transgender woman mayor newly elected this year. Many see this as huge steps for equality.

Meanwhile, in Ireland, lawmakers, politicians, and activists alike are pushing for the first country in the world to vote in legal same-sex marriage. The Netherlands was the first to legalize SSM, but only from the legislature. Ads, flyers, and huge signs are all over Dublin urging voters to vote "Yes" for same-sex marriage. The church has long played the conservative role, over-reaching, some say, into the law. Although many in the church oppose SSM, the secular government wishes to turn the gay marriage ban on its head this year.

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