By R. Vanita

This can be the 1st publication to check the same-sex weddings and same-sex couple suicides stated in India during the last twenty years. Ruth Vanita examines those instances within the context of a large choice of same-sex unions, from Fourteenth-century narratives approximately co-wives who miraculously produce a toddler jointly, to Nineteenth-century depictions of ritualized unions among ladies, to marriages among homosexual males and lesbians prepared over the net. studying the altering criminal, literary, spiritual and social Indian and Euro-American traditions in which same-sex unions are embedded, she brings a clean point of view to the homosexual marriage debate, suggesting that same-sex marriage dwells no longer on the margins yet on the middle of tradition. Love's Rites through Ruth Vanita is a finalist for a Lambda Literary Award.

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Extra resources for Love’s Rite: Same-Sex Marriage in India and the West

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On matters of sex, including ayoni sex, Hindu law books appear to directly contradict other sacred texts such as epic and Puranic stories. 55 The explanation of this apparent contradiction may lie in the fact that what is normally taboo or polluted may be sacred in special or ritual contexts. In Hinduism, non-vaginal sex is not so much evil as forbidden or taboo. Like other taboos, it may be broken by divinities and those with divine powers or by ordinary people under special circumstances, with good results.

As the Bible remarks, the sun shines on the just and the unjust alike. Devotional traditions incorporate Goddesses as sexual beings and creative principles. Kama, God of love, is, in the earliest texts, a creative force inspiring desire and animation in the universe. Ascetic, devotional, and philosophical traditions are intertwined; hence the often contradictory approach to sex within the same text. For example, the Padma Purana, a medieval text devoted to preserver God Vishnu both celebrates female erotic pleasure and elsewhere denounces it.

At the other extreme, some gay activists and queer theorists argue that the language of love, like the language of marriage and coupledom, is too heterosexual, too commercialized, too patriarchal, too bourgeois (take your pick) for use by gay people. ” Introduction 37 Lesbian and gay studies redirect public attention to the history of writing about love. 64 Women like Lalitha and Mallika or Leela and Urmila assume that the language of love is theirs to use. Among the items Lalitha and Mallika left behind was a greeting card showing a man and a woman kissing in silhouette against a sunset.

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