Gay men become victims of forced marriages

http://news-updations.blogspot.comMen in some communities are being forced into the marriage because their families suspect they are gay or bisexual, the government has revealed.

The Forced Marriage Unit (FMU) says there has been a surge in such cases. Over the past year, the number of calls from men to the unit is increased by 65%, from 134 in 2008 to 220 in 2009. Experts believe that the figures are only the "tip of the iceberg", as the issue tends to be under-reported for both sexes.

In all, 1,682 forced marriages were reported to the FMU – a joint Home Office/Foreign Office body – last year. Of those, the calls suggest, 14% involved a man being forced into the union. But the unit believes the true figure may be as high as one in five.

Most victims are aged from 15 to 24, but the FMU recently received a call to its helpline from a 62-year-old widower whose family was trying to force them to marry a 35-year-old woman because they no longer wanted to care for him. Cases also include an underaged man taken to Pakistan and forcibly engaged to his five-year-old cousin.

Most calls come from men linked to Pakistan, followed by India and Bangladesh. But it has also received calls from British men with links to the Middle East, Africa and eastern Europe.

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