• Ruth Vanita


This book demonstrates that same-sex marriage, a social reality in India as well as the West today, has roots in the past. Its antecedents—marriage-like unions—appear in a variety of Euro-American and Indian texts. I argue that both in the past and in the present, mutual consent and family and community recognition validate a marriage; and this extra-legal validation sometimes extends to same-sex marriages too. While state recognition is desirable, the state’s refusal to recognize a union as marriage does not mean that the union is not a marriage.


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Chapter 1 Introduction

  1. 2.
    Robert Wintemute and Mads Andenaes, Legal Recognition of Same-Sex Partnerships: A Study of National, European and International Law ( Portland, OR: Hart Publishing, 2001 ).Google Scholar
  2. 3.
    See Evan Wolfson, Why Marriage Matters ( New York: Simon & Schuster, 2004 ).Google Scholar
  3. 9.
    Bruce Bagemihl, Biological Exuberance: Animal Homosexuality and Natural Diversity ( New York: St. Martin’s, 1998 ).Google Scholar
  4. 10.
    See Sheikh Abrar Husain, Marriage Customs among Muslims in India ( Delhi: Sterling, 1976 ).Google Scholar
  5. 11.
    See Martin Ottenheimer, Forbidden Relatives: The American Myth of Cousin Marriage ( Champaign, IL: University of Illinois Press, 1996 ).Google Scholar
  6. 17.
    Mark D. Jordan, The Invention of Sodomy in Christian Theology ( Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1997 ).Google Scholar
  7. 19.
    See Bina Fernandez and Gomathy N.B., The Nature of Violence Faced by Lesbian Women in India ( Mumbai: Tata Institute of Social Sciences, 2003 ).Google Scholar
  8. 53.
    Mark D. Jordan, The Invention of Sodomy in Christian Theology ( Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1997 ), 17.Google Scholar
  9. 57.
    Vaman Shivram Apte, The Student’s Sanskrit-English Dictionary ( Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass, 2000 ), 319.Google Scholar
  10. 63.
    Peter Brown, The Body and Society: Men, Women and Sexual Renunciation in Early Christianity ( New York: Columbia University Press, 1998 ).Google Scholar

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© Ruth Vanita 2005

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  • Ruth Vanita

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