Assam’s first lesbian couple happily married for 10 years
July 12th, 2009 - 11:37 am ICT by IANS
By Syed Zarir Hussain
Garubasha (Assam), July 12 (IANS) Oblivious to the raging nationwide debate on homosexuality and same sex marriage, a lesbian couple in Assam is happily married for the past decade - and also accepted by the society.
A cursory glance at Thingring Basumatary and Roinathi would fail to detect if they were anything other than man and woman. Thingring plays the husband’s role and dresses like a man, while Roinathi is the coy wife busy doing household chores.
“We were in love since our childhood days. It was love at first sight,” Thingring told IANS even as Roinathi was seen visibly blushing as the couple sat in the courtyard of their mud-and-thatch hut in village Garubasha in Chirang district, about 240 km west of Assam’s main city of Guwahati.
The Bodo tribal couple married at a Hindu temple in 1999 and were soon shunned by their families and fellow villagers of North Pakriguri in the adjoining Kokrajhar district of Assam.
They were subjected to public whipping before and after the marriage.
“Left with no option we fled our ancestral village and took shelter in Garubasha. I am a daily wage earner, while Roinathi works as a domestic help in the neighbourhood,” Thingring said.
Ignorant about the current debate and legal wrangling over gay and lesbian rights, Thingring and Roinathi are happy about their decision to get married.
“We are both very happy and now even the society where we live accepts us and treats us well,” Roinathi said as Thingring looked at her with a smile.
“We don’t miss anything in life now. We want to adopt a child.”
Asked if gays or lesbians be allowed to get married legally, the unlettered couple was unanimous in saying there was no harm in same sex marriages.
“We have been staying as husband and wife for 20 years now and leading a normal healthy life. If two persons of the same sex can live happily, why force them into marrying someone of the opposite sex,” Thingring said.
Thingring soon broke off the conversation and excused herself by saying she had to leave to buy essentials from the market, while Roinathi went inside to cook lunch.
On July 2, in a significant ruling the Delhi High Court de-criminalised gay sex, triggering angry reactions from religious leaders who have urged the government not to legalise it. The apex court is hearing an appeal against the high court ruling.
(Syed Zarir Hussain can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)
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