A US-based Indian engineer recently married his gay partner in Yavatmal, about 150 km southwest of Nagpur in a traditional vedic wedding ceremony ahead of the Supreme Court reviewing Section 377 of the Indian penal code (IPC) which crimilalises gay sexual relations.
Hrishi Sathawane (40) from Yavatmal who now lives in Fremont, California and hVinh, a Vietnamese, met in October 2016 through an online dating website and got engaged in April last year. Hrishi graduated from IIT-Powai in 1997 and is US green card holder.
Hrishi’s parents opposed him when he told them that he wanted to get married in Yavatmal. But he was firm and came to Yavatmal in the last week of December. He then booked a hotel for a get-together. An estimated 70-80 people including around 10 gay couples gathered there in the evening on December 30 for the marriage.
His father, Mohan Kumar Sathawane who runs a photo studio at Yavatmal eventually agreed to the marriage after a lot of persuasion, but his mother did not attend the marriage.
When contacted, Mohan Kumar refused to talk about the issue. But he confirmed that his son left the country after the marriage.
Hrishi admitted in social media that his parents were against his decision. “But I succeeded in convincing them, and many others in his circle, to bless me as I joined my gay fiancé Vinh in wedlock,” he said in a WhatsApp message.
Gay marriage is illegal in India. When the news spread in the city, additional superintendent of police Amarsingh Jadhav directed the city police station to investigate the matter and submit a report soon.