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Bangladeshi Gay Marriage news gone Viral!

by Adnan Saqib

Almost after half a century July 2013, United Kingdom Parliament made history when they passed the Same Sex Marriage (Marriage Act 2013) which came into force in March 2014. The House of Commons voted by a majority of 400 to 175 to redefine marriage and make it available to all. The year 2014 was a victorious year for all LGBT couples who celebrated by singing and their tears greeted the announcement.

As the Equalities Minister expressed the Act in parliament as “respect for each and every person is paramount, regardless of age, religion, gender, ethnicity or sexuality”, LGBT couples were planning their first gay and lesbian wedding for the next summer. As more and more people were feeling confident to come forward with their sexuality regardless of any obstacle, Jahed Chowdhury- tied the knot with Mr Rogan making history of being the first British Muslim in July 2017.

Though the rarest gay wedding was indeed in 19th March 2018, where first time in UK Shahadat Hossain and his 6-year long-term partner Masud Rana – two Bangladeshi Muslim Gay couple got married in strict privacy in Walthamstow Council. Unlike the positive media exposure of gay couple Zahirul Islam and Nobi Hossain as they got married in mid of 2017, Shahadat and Masud’s story got viral in social media streams with hatred, threats and abuse. Though the new couple followed the same footsteps this year but given the circumstances of the community they live in (Upton park), is largely consist of Muslim originated from third world countries, their marriage became illicit relationship to the Muslim community.

The couple have been very active with online campaigns supporting LGBT rights, and contributors of ‘Boys Love World 71’- the famous online page in Facebook with more than 20 thousand active supporters. Their devotion has helped hundreds to be brave and come forward facing the worst fear. But unlike UK or any other countries legalizing and welcoming LGBT rights, the couple belongs from Bangladesh where the legal penal code 377 states strict prohibition of same sex relationships. And to breach the law will result in jail time of up to 10 years or atleast getting slammed by a huge fine, nonetheless the abuse of general public, harassment from family & friends – leaving the only option of suicide. Although if not caught in the legal system, getting hacked by militiants is becoming a common targeted killing in Bangladesh.  Gay rights activists Julhas Mannan and his friend were killed by machetes in April, 2016 after getting captivated by the attention of extremists.

Homosexuality is seen as a sin in Islam, and taken as a disgusting disease in the community in Bangladesh. After trying to reach a few neighbours of the newly-wed in Narayanganj, Bangladesh; pity and sympathy was offered with anger for the couple for their ‘disgraceful act’.

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