Indian mother seeks groom for son in first gay advert

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MUMBAI: A mother has had her gay son’s matrimonial ad published in an Indian newspaper after three leading dailies refused – the first such advert published in a country where homosexuality is illegal.

Padma Iyer placed the advert for her rights activist son Harish in the matrimonial pages of Mid-Day newspaper, the largest selling tabloid in India’s financial and entertainment capital Mumbai.

“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),” read the advertisement published on Tuesday.

Thousands of adverts are carried in India’s hugely popular newspaper matrimonial pages in a time-honoured tradition in which potential spouses are sought and vetted by families.

Preference for higher castes such as the Brahmin group Iyer is often specified in India’s entrenched social class system.

Harish Iyer said like most Indian mothers, his was “pretty concerned” about finding him a partner and planning a wedding.

“She thinks I need to settle down as I am growing old,” the 36-year-old said, adding he has so far received six responses to the advert, which he said was the first of its kind published in India’s matrimonial pages.

“Parents are equally concerned about the future of their children, whether they are gay or not.”

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