Earlier this week, Jahed Choudhury and Sean Rogan made headlines around the world when the two men were married in the U.K., in what’s been described as Britain’s first Muslim gay wedding. (Another man named Dennis Harper disputes that, claiming his marriage in 2016 was actually the first.) Choudhury, 24, and Rogan, 19, were married in their local registry office on Tuesday, and both men wore traditional Bangladeshi wedding attire for their ceremony. Following the wedding and the subsequent media attention, Choudhury has been discussing the extent of abuse and threats he and his partner have faced.
Appearing on the BBC, Choudhury said to host Victoria Derbyshire that he and Rogan have faced threats both online and in real life, including death threats and acid attacks. “I have people spitting on me and calling me pig — all the nasty stuff,” he said. “I just keep walking.”
At the same time, the couple have been receiving positive messages of support, and people have told them they’ve inspired them to come out, despite taboos and fear of ostracism or violence.
Choudhury has also described how difficult it was to deal with being homosexual due to his upbringing, religion, and culture. His family is Muslim and hails from Bangladesh. “My family think it’s a disease and can be cured; some of my family still call it a phase,” he told the BBC. In fact, the two men met, according to Choudhury, shortly after he was released from the hospital following a failed suicide attempt. Choudhury was crying on a park bench and Rogan approached him.
While mainstream cultural attitudes about homosexuality have clearly opened up in the last few generations, 52 percent of Muslims in the United Kingdom actually believe homosexuality should be illegal, according to a poll conducted by Channel 4, compared with a mere 5 percent of the general population.
Same-sex marriage has been legal in England since 2014.
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