Friday, July 2, 2010

Under pressure, couples forced apart

Under pressure, couples forced apart

The Delhi High Court decision favouring gay relationships had brought great joy to two couples, prompting them to solemnise their marriages. A year later, however, societal pressure caught up with them. Not only have the couples been forced to separate, their friends are even unaware of their whereabouts.

The stories of Sachin-Aniket (name changed to Sanjana) and Harnam-Deepak (name changed to Sapna) are similar. On July 8, the couples exchanged nuptial ties in a temple. In a press conference, Harnam and Sapna had said they were in a relationship for five years, while Sachin and Sanjana said they were in love for a year. Sapna’s brother had even participated in the marriage rituals.

HT traced a friend of Sachin’s, who revealed that once they announced their relationship in the open, people in Manimajra where they were staying, spoke up against them. Sachin’s family members in Bihar were informed, who came and took him away. Sanjana, also a migrant, left the city with her parents. Harnam’s family members beat him up and forced him to leave Sapna.

Ramesh (name changed), a gay rights supporter, was in touch for the couples for a while, but soon they became untraceable.

Rajiv Kumar, Assistant Director, Targeted Intervention, Haryana Aids Control Society said some parents, who even oppose a heterosexual affair, have trouble accepting homosexual affairs. Those in a gay relationship not only needed to be tracked regularly, but also need regular counseling, he said.

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