As Californians celebrated the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn DOMA (the Defense of Marriage Act 1996) and Prop 8, same-sex couples can now enjoy federal benefits such as joint tax filing, survivorship benefits, immigration sponsorship, and etc. Among these happy same-sex couples were Seema and Shannon who celebrated their big day in the form of a big fat lesbian Indian wedding in a Traditional Hindu Ceremony last week in Lost Angeles, CA.
Shannon wore a stunning white gown with ruffles that made her glow, while Seema wore a traditional lehanga-choli with the traditional red, white, and gold colors. She arrived on a doli (a palanquin) lifted by her loved ones and both of them married each other in the traditional Indian ceremony under a mandap (a decorated covered structure with pillars).
Shannon and Seeema’s marital union is emblematic of the progress that the South Asian community has made over the years. Earlier films like Chicken Tikka Masala depicted these unions as being tragic twists in the lives of the first generation Indian immigrant families who were learning to adjust to their new lives in North America. Their marriage, however, celebrates not just the growing acceptance of South Asian LGTBQ youth, but also great tolerance for inter-religious marriages that would not have been accepted or tolerated in the earlier years.
The newly married gorgeous couple also embodies the beauty of love and its power to conquer all. It is not to say this couple would not have had their fair share of challenges but the power of love is that it has the ability to conquer all and bring people together from different cultures, sexual orientations, race, class, and ethnicity.
Steph Grant who was present as a photographer of the wedding wrote in her blog, “I flew into Los Angeles a few hours before the wedding festivities began. I was greeted by a house full of friends, family and a lot of laughter. It was going to be an exciting day. Beautiful Indian culture, stunning brides & style for miles! Couldn’t ask for more. I have photographed Indian weddings before and I have photographed gay and lesbian weddings before, but never have I ever shot an Indian lesbian wedding. WOW. My heart! There was so much love that consumed the SmogShoppe that evening. I am writing this blog a month after the wedding and I am proud to say that so much progress has been made in our country with the Supreme Court striking down DOMA (Defense of Marriage Act) and Prop 8 in California! Love wins. ALWAYS. Congrats Shannon & Seema. Love you guys!”