First Hindu Gay Wedding in South Africa

What is believed to be South Africa’s first known gay wedding by Hindu rites was conducted recently by a Tamil Hindu priest. Although many elements in a traditional Hindu wedding ceremony were missing, the Hindu priest guided the couple to undertake the ceremonial fire prayer and then got them tie a necklace. The Hindu community leaders here are upset as the marriage was not ‘Kanya Dhan’ as mentioned in Hindu scriptures.

Times of India Reports

Sales advisor Joe Singh and manager Wesley Nolan, both 21, spent 18 months preparing for their wedding after first meeting in the company that they both work for.

Singh said that he and Nolan were both "staunch Hindus" hence the Ganesha pendant to "ward off evil and remove obstacles from their path".

Nolan's parents disapproved of the relationship and did not attend the wedding, which took place at the residence of Singh's stepfather and his mother.

The couple did not tie the traditional 'thali' string that a husband ties around his bride's neck or even place any 'kumkum' dots on each others' foreheads.

Nolan justified this by saying that there was "no woman in this relationship. We are both husbands, so it would have been inappropriate to tie a thali".

But this, as well as the agreement by the priest to conduct the ceremony, has upset Hindu leaders who said that the marriage was not in conformance with Hindu scripture.

"The Hindu wedding ceremony is between a male and a female - that is what the scripture says," South African Hindu Mahasabha president Ashwin Trikamjee said.

"The essence of the Hindu marriage is the fact that before the marriage proper takes place the parents have to formally consent to their daughter, called 'kanya' in Sanskrit, to be married to a male.

But human rights activists have supported the right of the couple to get married, as South African legislation recognizes same sex marriages.

The Gay concept is nothing new to Hinduism as Puranas mention about Gay relationships but majority of Hindus do not approve it.

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