A Burmese photographer, Phone Myat Htoo, posted this picture on his facebook last month with a caption “Supporting Same Sex Marriage - Real couple with Myanmar traditional wedding setting.”
So far, the picture has been “liked” by about 900 people and shared by almost 1300 people. The picture has collected about 700 comments so far – most of them are very abrupt. I guess that the photographer has already expected the negative attention his picture will get and he put a statement in the caption “any homophobic comments will be deleted and user will be banned for viewing my page.” However, it is kind of shockingly surprised to me that most of the comments show nothing other than hatred in a very surly language.
One of the grooms in the picture explained that it was a pre-wedding photo and they planed to hold a wedding ceremony in Yangon in later this year.
A friend of mine pointed out that Myanmar is one of the countries that the Article 377 of the Penal Code banning gay marriage was still put in place and she questioned about the credibility of their union in Yangon. Indeed, it is one of the conservative and unjust laws Myanmar has yet to make changes. However, what I am more concerned is that the very high level of public hatred and homophobia rooted in the Burmese society. If we have public acceptance, the steps to change the law could be followed up soon. Awareness campaigns in Myanmar should be stepping up. Otherwise, the lives of gays, lesbians, bisexuals, and transgenders in Myanmar have been traumatized and they have been bullied by strangers all the time.
Even though I do not know the two grooms in the picture, I would like to congratulate and send my well wishes to those beautiful duo for coming up strong and sending the message clearly and openly by posing for the pre-wedding picture in a very graceful Burmese traditional groom wedding attires. They don’t just stand up for themselves, and their union is such an encouragement for other gay and lesbian couples across the country to come out strong and hold their head high by following to their hearts.
What I believe is that regardless of any religion you belong and any region you are raised, each and every one of human beings on the earth should have equal rights to marry the one they love without being judged and discriminated by others. Marriage is the union of love; any marriage either between same sex or opposite sex based on one’s profound love for another is such a beautiful and auspicious thing. If you could accept marriage for status or wealth as a proper one, why can’t you accept the same-sex marriage for love which is even more pure and real in heart? Is that simple, isn’t it?