"Speak now or forever hold your peace in pieces."
“Dear kid bullying the only openly gay boy in class: I dare you to lay a finger on him. Sincerely, the linebacker with two amazing dads.”
The topic of homosexuality has long been discussed and debated in this world. There are as many anti-LGBT movements as there are that are in support of it. It’s hard to find someone who is on the fence about the topic; you’re either against or with gay marriage. It becomes much harder on a gay individual when his personal sexual orientation is being questioned along with his belief in God. Be it Islam, Christianity, Jewish or any religious body, any time an adherer admits to liking the same gender, remarks are being thrown and during worst cases, are thrown out of the family. Classical views say that any Abrahamic religion considers homosexuality unnatural and a sin, a practice or feeling that defies practical reason.
There has been many debates as to whether someone chooses to be gay or were being born that way. But considering the amount of hate and ridicule a gay person has to face, why would someone choose to be gay? Why would someone choose to be gay, but then hide in the closet and refuse to let known his sexual orientation? If choosing your sexual orientation was as easy as ABC, there probably would not be any gay people in the world.
Just like racism and sexism, no matter how hard people try to stop it, homophobia, or rather, ridiculing gay people, will never cease. What we can do, however, is to be more compassionate over a person’s way of life, and try to study the reasons behind why they are the way they are. Sometimes, it’s a choice. Other times, they were born that way. Psychological factors may also affect a person’s upbringing.
Everywhere around the world, there are people who are against same sex marriages. From a constitutional point of view, many states in America still have gay people trying to fight for their rights to get married and settle down with the one that they love.
Below are some of the reasons why people are against same sex relationships or marriage.
As we can see from the reasons above, most people are against same sex marriage due to the fact that religion forbids it, even as far as generalizing all homosexuals as people who have never believed in God.
As much as there are people who are against it, there are many people who are in support on gay marriages. The perception has one been made that those who are in support of gay marriages are “secretly” gay, when in reality, even the most heterosexual people can be diehard supporters of same-sex marriages.
Below are some of the reasons why people support same-sex marriages.
There are people backing up their hatred against homosexuality by saying that God hates it, while there are people backing up their support for homosexuality by saying that God loves all his creations, despite who they are. These contradicting statements have been the topic of debate for a long time.
From what we read from “Cases against same-sex marriage”, there are people who think that all homosexuals who don’t believe in God. From my own personal experience, I have had gay friends who are extremely pious and execute their 5 daily prayers more consistently than heterosexual men.
Just recently, I discovered upon a video of Indonesia’s transsexual Muslims. These ladies (originally men) have come to a point in their life where they wanted to change for the better, and have decided to seek spiritual help. Transsexuals are looked down upon, and naturally, it was hard for them to be accepted into religious schools, thus they decided to make one for their own. These ladies thirst for spiritual truth and were very passionate in being closer to God.
Although this article focuses more on orientation than sex-change, I just thought that video is relevant. If a transgender can have passion for religion, why not a homosexual man? To assume that just because they harbor feelings for the same sex, they disbelieve in God, is ignorant. Sinning does not make you any less of an adherer of a religion.
A lot of the disgusting ideas people get about gay people are due to misconceptions that have been floating around. Social media have made it seem like all gay people are under one umbrella, sharing the same lifestyle and the same practices. When we watch TV, we see gay couples who practice anal sex, or gay people going to dodgy gay bars to pick up cheap gay prostitutes and many more. These stories make it seem like all gay men are the same. But are they really? There is no such thing as a “gay lifestyle”, just like there is no such thing as a “straight lifestyle” either. There are many different diverse ways of life, and if someone happens to be gay, it’s not a lifestyle, but an orientation.
Here are some myths about gay people that need to be cleared up:
People have this general view that all gay men have flings, even when in a relationship, that they can’t stay committed to just one person and just need sexual relations with more than one person. This is of course, false.
Gay people are only as promiscuous as heterosexual people, and if committed, are as loyal as any heterosexual person. People are not promiscuous because they are of a certain orientation. They are promiscuous because they just are, regardless of being straight or gay. In fact, personally, I myself know of gay couples that are more committed to each other than most straight couples are.
In fact, most gay men would prefer to be emotionally committed, before they choose to be sexually involved with one another.
This is one of the most common misconceptions. I have to admit, even I thought this way once. Because we think to ourselves, “In heterosexual couples, the man penetrates the vagina. In same-sex relationships, what else can the man penetrate if not the back?” This idea is inseparable from the gay community, and some even think all gay men can’t live without it.
However, there are indeed many gay people who are disgusted with the very idea of anal sex due to the uncleanliness and risk of diseases that may come with it. So how do gay people who don’t practice anal sex, go about doing it? There are many different ways; intercrural sex, frottage or mutual masturbation. No penetration, but the effects are the same.
Someone even asked me, “How can you be in love with someone for so long, but not feel the need to consummate?” As for me, I think of it this way; when a gay couple chooses not to practice anal sex, they make do and are probably okay with the mutual agreement. It’s not about the penetration, but more about releasing sexual tension. Emotional bonds should not supersede sexual tensions.
A question most frequently asked to gay men would be “Are you a top or a bottom?” It is a patriarchal view that all relationships should have a penetrator and penetratee. Simply not true.
Being gay aside, anal sex is not something people practice because they are gay. There are many heterosexual males and females who practice anal sex. It’s not something that comes with the orientation.
As opposed to this misconception, from the video above, and from my personal experiences, many gay men are indeed adherers to a religion and are not atheists. Some people assume that all gay men don’t believe in God because they commit a sin of falling in love with another man. If sinning makes you a disbeliever of God, then I’m sure many of us are not part of a religion right now.
Many gay men worship God and some even pray more religiously than straight men. They have every right to freedom of religion as much as any human being. It does not make them any less of a person only because of their orientation. To assume they’re a disbeliever only because they commit a sin is ignorant. They cannot help who they feel attracted to, but this still does not sway their belief and love in God.
There are masculine women and effeminate straight men, so why should we categorize all gay men as effeminate? Just because it’s easier to tell a gay man by the way he acts does not mean that all gay men act the same. There are indeed masculine men who are gay. You wouldn’t know he is if he didn’t tell you! Being effeminate is not something that comes with who you fall in love with.
Even though one is related to the other, it should not be a determining factor. Also, just because someone looks like a girl or is a little soft, it does not make them gay! The man right here on the right, Miyavi, just like many Japanese rock artists, is notorious for his effeminate face and ways.However, he is a married to a woman with 2 daughters. The man on left, Ricky Martin, was a 90s heartthrob which even I fawned over at one time. He is, however, gay, with 2 adopted sons.
Many of those who oppose LGBT equality dismiss the biological basis of sexual orientation and promote other theories to the development of a homosexual orientation. Some argue that being gay develops as a result of certain types of parenting such as the presence of an overly involved mother, an absent father or too much exposure to “girly things” when young. There is no evidence to suggest that how people parent their children has any direct involvement in sexual orientation of a person. Others suggest that sexual abuse in childhood can cause the development of a homosexual orientation. Again, there is no evidence to support this claim. Some also think it’s because of having more female friends than male friends. Again, this is merely a theory.
When do heterosexual people realize that they’re straight? When they fall in love with the opposite sex. What about gay men? It is also the same thing. In fact, a lot of gay men, in their younger days, tried to force themselves into relationships with girls to ignore their feelings for the same gender. When I was a young girl, my parents had never taught me that I was supposed to fall in love with a boy. These are emotions that come on their own. As a child, I was exposed to many boyish things, and I was disgusted by anything girly. Yet, I grew up liking boys. So how can we simply assume that a parent’s way of upbringing is wrong only because his or her child is gay?
A lot of those who oppose LGBT use “Being gay is a choice” as their reason. They say that all human beings were born to fall in love with the opposite sex, and there is simply no way a person was born gay.
One Nigerian science student even made a research as to why gay marriage is supposed to be impossible:
A student in Nigeria claims he has scientific proof that gay marriage is wrong.
The so-called discovery was made by Chibuihem Amalaha, a postgraduate student at the University of Lagos who told Nigeria’s This Day Live that same-sex marriage is “eating deep into the fabric of our human nature all over the world.” Amalaha said he conducted “experiments” in physics, chemistry, biology and mathematics to test his theory. Ultimately, he deduced that the repellence of two similar entities (magnets, for instance) proves that gay marriage is wrong.
In a series of befuddling explanations, Amalaha cited magnets, electrolysis, animal mating and simple addition as rationale for why gay relationships just aren’t right. His entire thesis boils down to the fact that “like” does not attract “like.”
You can read the whole article here: http://www.thisdaylive.com/articles/science-of-gay-marriage/158265/
In 2012, the reasoning that “Being gay is a choice” was further enforced when actress Cynthia Nixon, after commenting to a New York Times Magazine reporter that she “chose” to pursue a lesbian relationship after many years as a content heterosexual. This was met with outrage by lesbian and gay activists. As one horrified gay male writer proclaimed, “[Nixon] just fell into a right-wing trap, willingly. Every religious right hatemonger is now going to quote this woman every single time they want to deny us our civil rights.” Under considerable pressure from LGBT advocacy groups, Nixon recanted her statement a few weeks later, stating instead that she must have been born with bisexual potential.
However, research by neuroscientist Simon LeVay, also writer of the book “Gay, Straight and The Reason Why: The Science Of Sexual Orientation”, think that being gay could be biological.
He presents cross-cultural evidence that goes counter to psychoanalytic and learning theories. For example, “many (probably most) young people in our own culture develop an awareness of their sexual orientation while they are still virgins.” In contrast, boys among the Sambia in New Guinea “are required to engage in sexual contacts with older male youths for several years before they have any access to females, yet most, if not all, of these boys become heterosexual men.”
Rather than ask, “What went wrong?” biological theories examine sexual variety as part of nature. Homosexual behavior is common among wildlife. Homosexual behavior in animals include sexual activity, courtship, affection, and pair bonding and parenting among the same-sex animal pairs. Close to 1,500 species, including our closest relatives, the primates, have been observed engaging in this behavior.
Bruce Bagemihl, Canadian biologist, linguist and author of “Biological Exuberance: Animal Homosexuality and Natural Diversity”, has stated that “the animal kingdom does it with much greater sexual diversity, including homosexual, bisexual and non-reproductive sex, than the scientific community and society at large have previously been willing to accept”. One species in which exclusive homosexual orientation occurs, however, is that of domesticated sheep. About 10% of rams refuse to mate with ewes but do readily mate with other rams.
The observation of homosexuality in animals have been used as an argument against and for acceptance of homosexuality in humans. The question “What causes homosexuality?” is a simplicity that doesn’t exist. Definitions of homosexuality vary, how it happened, when it sparked etc. The expression of gender-atypical traits, for example, feminine traits in men and masculine traits in women, also varies among humans. That is when it is important to understand the difference between sex and gender, whereby sex is your biological differences and gender is behavioral, and is usually built around societal construct and stereotype. Those gender shifts account for variations within both homosexual and heterosexuals.
Gender-atypical traits have been linked to developmental mechanisms, the way a person was brought up and also “bad parenting”. Sharing from an experience, I have two gay friends. One of which has always been gay. He has never been attracted to girls, only boys, but thought it was just a phase and even tried to force himself to be a heterosexual once, but didn’t work because “that’s just the way he is”. The other friend of mine just decided to be gay one day after a long string of failed relationships (which can also mean he is bisexual). So to say that someone “chooses to be gay” or was “born gay” is really a subjective issue as it varies for each other.
Emotional desires are something that we cannot force. I am a heterosexual woman, and no matter how hard I try to be attracted to a female, I cannot. The same thing goes for gay men, who just cannot look at women as life partners. An interesting question to ask yourself is, “When did I decide to be heterosexual?”
Although there are many questions of interest, such as “Is there a biological explanation or justification for homosexual tendencies?” And if so, what does this mean for Islamic teachings and morality?
Homosexuality has been mentioned in all holy books of each Abrahamic religion, all of which mentions the act of homosexuality as a detestable sin. Religious groups are committed to a belief that God had created a natural order for opposite genders to copulate in order to ensure the continuing existence of species. This reason has been used as the number one reason why homosexuality is “unnatural”.
Religions, like Islam, have attempted to outlaw the practice by prescribing punishments like flogging and stoning, for people who either confess to being homosexual or are caught committing acts of sodomy. Medieval Muslim scholars even once prohibited men from being in seclusions with beardless boys in order to remedy increased occurrences of homosexuality. Catholic naturalists, their Muslim counterparts and others who cling to a belief in natural order are under significant pressure to reassess their rationale for declaring homosexuality as vices.
Many gay men justify that homosexuality is not a choice, but rather, an inborn disposition. This claim possesses a huge contradiction to their male-female binary, thus many religious bodies classify homosexuality as an inordinate lust that has to be controlled and restraint somehow. I have mentioned above that all gay men being promiscuous is merely a misconception, so is homosexuality simply “lust”? Considering if homosexuality was biological, many religious bodies assume that this condition demands corrective biological manipulation (if within reach) in order the person according to what is right and what is wrong.
The subject of sexual orientation is one that is sensitive within the Muslim community. A lot of Muslims are against it, as many as there are that support it, while there are those who are on the fence, not knowing which side to be on. The question now is, “Can one be a gay Muslim?” From an Islamic point of view, every human being is born with a God-given sanctity, our intrinsic human rights, and we’re all equal before God. It’s our actions that determine our status with Him, not how we are labelled or how we label ourselves. It’s not exactly what we do, per se, but more of how we turn Islam into a tailored religion to be fitted around our lives.
As I have stated above in “Reasons why people are gay”, majority of gay men (if not all) were like to be “born that way”. A segment of the population does feel attraction and emotion towards the same sex, and this is something they do not choose. So this rhetoric should stop. No one chooses how they feel and their emotions. No one chooses to be bullied in school and harassed at work. What seems very prominent in our Muslim society is their ignorance towards the underlying realities behind these emotions.
In this article, I aim to answer these three questions:
The answer to the first two questions is yes. The answer to the third question is a non-negotiable no.
ولوطا إذ قال لقومه أتاتون الفحشة ما سبقكم بها من أحد من العلمين إنكم لتاتون الرجال شهوة من دون النساء بل أنتم قوم مسرفون
“And [We had sent] Lot when he said to his people, “Do you commit such immorality as no one has preceded you with from among the worlds? Indeed, you approach men with desire, instead of women. Rather, you are a transgressing people.” [Al-A’raf 7:80-81]
What’s interesting about the above verse is how Prophet Lot was talking about the action, not the emotion. If you had to look at other translations of this verse:
And (remember) Lout (Lot), when he said to his people: “Do you commit the worst sin such as none preceding you has committed in the ‘Alamin (mankind and jinns)? Verily, you practice your lusts on men instead of women. Nay, but you are a people transgressing beyond bounds (by committing great sins).
And Lot! (Remember) when he said unto his folk: Will ye commit abomination such as no creature ever did before you? Lo! Ye come with lust onto men instead of women. Nay, but ye are wanton folk.
We also (sent) Lut: He said to his people: “Do ye commit lewdness such as no people in creation (ever) committed before you? For ye practice your lusts on men in preference to women; ye are indeed a people transgressing beyond bounds.
And (We sent) Lut when he said to his people: What! Do you commit an indecency which anyone in the world has not done before you? Most surely you come to males in lust besides females; nay you are an extravagant people.
And (remember) Lut, (Lot) as he said to his people, “Do you commit such obscenity as in no way has anyone in the worlds ever gone before you (perpetrated) it? Surely you indeed come up with lust to men, apart from women; no indeed, you are an extravagant people.”
Every single translation above uses the word “commit” and also “lust”. The word “commit” here means “to perform”. Thus, Prophet Lot was addressing the act of “performing their lust unto men”, not the orientation itself. Again, if we were to look at other verses that speak of homosexuality:
أَتَأْتُونَ الذُّكْرَانَ مِنَ الْعَالَمِينَ وَتَذَرُونَ مَا خَلَقَ لَكُمْ رَبُّكُمْ مِنْ أَزْوَاجِكُم بَلْ أَنتُمْ قَوْمٌ عَادُونَ قَالُوا لَئِن لَّمْ تَنتَهِ يَا لُوطُ لَتَكُونَنَّ مِنَ الْمُخْرَجِينَ قَالَ إِنِّي لِعَمَلِكُم مِّنَ الْقَالِينَ رَبِّ نَجِّنِي وَأَهْلِي مِمَّا يَعْمَلُونَ
“Do you approach males among the worlds and leave what your lord has created for you as mates? But you are a people of transgressing. They said “If you do not desist, O Lot, you will be surely be of those evicted.” He said, “Indeed, I am, toward your deed, of those who detest [it]. My Lord, save me and my family from [the consequence of] what they do.”” [Ash-Shu’ara 26:165-169]
He said: “I am, indeed, of those who disapprove with severe anger and fury your (this evil) action (of sodomy.)”
He said: I am in truth of whose who hate your conduct.
He said: “I do detest your doings.”
He said: Surely I am of those who utterly abhor your doings
He said, “Surely I am of those who disapprove of what you are doing.”
أَئِنَّكُمْ لَتَأْتُونَ الرِّجَالَ شَهْوَةً مِّن دُونِ النِّسَاء بَلْ أَنتُمْ قَوْمٌ تَجْهَلُونَ
“Do you indeed approach men with desire instead of women? Rather, you are a people behaving ignorantly.” [An-Naml 27:55]
Do you approach men in your lusts rather than women? Nay, but you are a people who behave senselessly.
Must ye needs lust after men instead of women? Nay but ye are a folk who act senseless.
Would ye really approach men in your lusts rather than women? Nay, ye are a people (grossly) ignorant.
What! Do you indeed approach men lustfully rather than women? Nay, you are a people who act ignorantly.
Do you (really) come up with lust to men rather than women? No indeed, you are a people who are ignorant.
وَلُوطًا إِذْ قَالَ لِقَوْمِهِ إِنَّكُمْ لَتَأْتُونَ الْفَاحِشَةَ مَا سَبَقَكُم بِهَا مِنْ أَحَدٍ مِّنَ الْعَالَمِينَ أَئِنَّكُمْ لَتَأْتُونَ الرِّجَالَ وَتَقْطَعُونَ السَّبِيلَ وَتَأْتُونَ فِي نَادِيكُمُ الْمُنكَرَ فَمَا كَانَ جَوَابَ قَوْمِهِ إِلَّا أَن قَالُوا ائْتِنَا بِعَذَابِ اللَّهِ إِن كُنتَ مِنَ الصَّادِقِينَ
“And [mention] Lot, when he said to his people, “Indeed, you commit such immorality as no one has preceded you with from among the worlds. Indeed, you approach men and obstruct the road and commit in your meetings [every] evil.” And the answer of his people was not but they said, “Bring us the punishment of Allah, if you should be of the truthful.”” [Al-Ankabut 29:28-29]
And (remember) Lout (Lot), when he said to his people: “You commit Al-Fahishah (sodomy the worst sin) which none has preceded you in (committing) it in the ‘Alamin (mankind and jinns). Verily, you do sodomy with men, and rob the wayfarer (travellers, etc.)! And practise Al-Munkar (disbelief and polytheism and every kind of evil wicked deed) in your meetings.” But his people gave no answer except, that they said: “Bring Allah’s Torment upon us if you are one of the truthful.”
And Lot! (Remember) when he said unto his folk: Lo! ye commit lewdness such as no creature did before you. For come ye not in unto males, and cut ye not the road (for travellers), and commit ye not abomination in your meetings? But the answer of his folk was only that they said: Bring Allah’s doom upon us if thou art a truthteller!
And (remember) Lut: behold, he said to his people: “Ye do commit lewdness, such as no people in Creation (ever) committed before you. Do ye indeed approach men, and cut off the highway? – and practise wickedness (even) in your councils?” But his people gave no answer but this: they said: “Bring us the Wrath of Allah if thou tellest the truth.”
And (We sent) Lut when he said to his people: Most surely you are guilty of an indecency which none of the nations has ever done before you; What! Do you come to the males and commit robbery on the highway, and you commit evil deeds in your assemblies? But nothing was the answer of his people except that they said: Bring on us Allah’s punishment, if you are one of the truthful.
And Lut, as he said to his people, “Surely you indeed come up to (such) obscenity as in no way has any of the worlds (that) preceded you (done so). Do you really come up to (obscenity) to men, and cut the way, and come up in your assembly to maleficence?” Yet, in no way was the answer of his people (anything) except that they said, “Come up with the torment of Allah in case you are of the sincere.”
From the verses read above, we can see that the Qur’an talks about the act of sodomy being blasphemous, not the orientation itself. But it is also important to note that not all gay men commit sodomy, and not all those who commit sodomy are gay men.
وَيَسْأَلُونَكَ عَنِ الْمَحِيضِ قُلْ هُوَ أَذًى فَاعْتَزِلُواْ النِّسَاء فِي الْمَحِيضِ وَلاَ تَقْرَبُوهُنَّ حَتَّىَ يَطْهُرْنَ فَإِذَا تَطَهَّرْنَ فَأْتُوهُنَّ مِنْ حَيْثُ أَمَرَكُمُ اللّهُ إِنَّ اللّهَ يُحِبُّ التَّوَّابِينَ وَيُحِبُّ الْمُتَطَهِّرِينَ نِسَآؤُكُمْ حَرْثٌ لَّكُمْ فَأْتُواْ حَرْثَكُمْ أَنَّى شِئْتُمْ وَقَدِّمُواْ لأَنفُسِكُمْ وَاتَّقُواْ اللّهَ وَاعْلَمُواْ أَنَّكُم مُّلاَقُوهُ وَبَشِّرِ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ
“And they ask you about menstruation. Say, “It is harm, so keep away from wives during menstruation. And do not approach them until they are pure. And when they have purified themselves, then come to them from where Allah has ordained for you. Indeed, Allah loves those who are constantly repentant and loves those who purify themselves. Your wives are a place of sowing of seed for you, so come to your place of cultivation however you wish and put forth [righteousness] for yourselves. And fear Allah and know that you will meet Him. And give good tidings to the believers.”” [Al-Baqarah 2:223]
In the above verse, husbands have been told to not have sexual intercourse with his wife until after her menstruation period has ended. This would mean that anal sex is not permissible under any circumstance, as if the man wanted to have sex with his wife, it has to be through the vagina. The word “tilth” indicates that only vaginal sex is permissible, as it is from this place where children are produced after semen has been lodged in the womb, which is likened to the seeds that are planted in the ground to bring crops and vegetation.
There has also been interpretations by different people saying that anal sex between husband and wives are halal as long as he has his wife’s permission. Wallahualam. In my own personal opinion, I think it is haram due to the risk of STDs that it may offer as the anus was made for fecal matter to go through.
So ultimately, anal sex between gay men is as haram as it is between men and women. Why is anal sex always emphasized when it comes to gay men? Because a man’s biological body was made for penetration. If same sex emotions are forbidden in Islam, why is lesbianism not mentioned in the Qur’an? Sodomy was emphasized as it is an act considered haram in Islam, and considering the male’s body, sodomy in homosexual relationships can only exist between gay men.
I attended a workshop on women’s rights in Islam a few days ago, and it just so happens that one of the speakers, Kiyai Hussein (a renowned male ulama in Indonesia) mentioned about homosexuality in Islam. As we had been taught on the difference between sex and gender, someone asked him about Islam’s stance on sexual orientation.
He went on to say, “Why is it whenever people think of homosexuality, they think of sodomy? Homosexuality is not sodomy. Homosexuality is an emotion. Who said love has to always involve penetration?” He also said, “We do not have the right to stop people from falling in love. Emotions cannot be forced. Emotions are a God-given gift.”
When asked about the verse of Prophet Lut’s people and why they were overthrown, Kiyai also mentioned “Were they really destroyed because they committed sodomy? Or was it because of something else (refer to 29:29)? Or was it just a normal natural disaster? We don’t know for sure. But I do not think so.”
He also told us the story of Abu Nuwas, a famous gay poet in Islamic tradition, who extensively wrote on love between men. One of his poetries read:
I die of love for him, perfect in every way,
Lost in the strains of wafting music.
My eyes are fixed upon his delightful body
And I do not wonder at his beauty.
His waist is a sapling, his face a moon,
And loveliness rolls off his rosy cheek
I die of love for you, but keep this secret:
The tie that binds us is an unbreakable rope.
How much time did your creation take, O angel?
So what! All I want is to sing your praises.
(Love in Bloom; after Monteil, p. 95)
If sodomy between men and men was punishable by death, stoning or flogging, why was sodomy between men and women not punishable by that too considering the fact that it is haram between them as well? Kiyai Hussein said, “Sexual intercourse is an act done in secrecy. How do we know for sure if someone sodomizes? And even if they do, why the big deal? Should we be the ones punishing them for something they do in silence? Or is it for God to judge?” It is important to look at it from a larger scale. Murdering, discriminating and bullying gay people have a bigger effect than just on the individual, but also affects people who are closest to them. Before we react harshly to a “different” person, we should as ourselves how we would feel if someone we dearly loved had the same thing happening to them.
:EDIT 28/6/14: Reading the above verses, we see that the people of Prophet Lut were cruel people. Their act of sodomy is seen as an act of ‘wickedness’. When I met Muiz Ghazali in Indonesia, he mentions that this might mean that sodomy was used as a weapon of terror against men (rape of men). Sodomy was used to assert power over others, and that these verses do not explicitly state if the men of Prophet Lut were homosexual or not, thus it is wrong for us to assume that God punished them simply for being homosexual.
When discussing homosexuality, people have the impression that somehow, along with a different sexual orientation than the norm, they also lack the capacity for self-control. Apparently, being homosexual meant the irresistible urge to fulfil one’s sexual desires. However, this tendency should not be biased on gay couples, as even unmarried Muslim men and women couples fulfil their sexual desires illicitly. Does being heterosexual send a signal to your brain to enforce the need for chastity? Homosexual people are just like heterosexual couples, only with a different preference.
In the Islamic world, human beings are not labelled by reducing them to their sexual orientation or a single behavior they engage in; being human means much more than just sexual orientation or practice. The term “Hate the sin but love the sinner” is not just something you use, but do not apply in real life. As much as many Muslims refuse to acknowledge this, ultimately, we are brothers and sisters in humanity and all equal before God. Every one of us has shortcomings and challenges on our way to get closer to God. Unfortunately, it seems that many Muslims focus on condemning homosexuals and using that as an opportunity to forget about oneself. I call this “escapism”, as they are escaping from themselves and justifying their own sins with sins of others that they refer to as “worse”.
Contrary to common Muslim belief, homosexuality has existed from the very beginning of Islamic period, if not even before that. With that said, I think it is important to bring up the fact that Islam is a religion of peace, which does not condone discrimination and judgment in any way. We have been told by God to treat all his creations fairly and with righteousness, despite who they are and despite our differences.
I am hoping for a less discriminatory Muslim society, in which we are less illiberal towards homosexuality and more compassionate towards people who have a hard time living their lives. Homosexual Muslims are always subject to ridicule and are constantly in a confusion about their religion; do not make things harder for them.
A balance between firmness upon Islamic teachings, and showing compassion and understanding, must be present in order for Muslims to be steadfast upon their beliefs; to carry out their duty as worshippers of God without alienating others in the process. Is it necessary for us to always instill fear into the hearts of people? Does this not go against Islam’s message of gentleness?
The reason why the demand for LGBT marriage is high is due to the fact that homosexual couples wish to receive the same amount of marriage rights and privileges as other heterosexual couples. Should they be deprived of a comfortable and convenient life only because of sexual orientation?
You be the judge.
I just believe in acceptance of others, maintaining peace and kindness within a society of human beings all made equal before God. I do not ask for people to listen to my voice, I merely ask for compassion towards others. Only God knows best. Wallahualam. May God bless us with his guidance and mercy.