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Religious Tolerance logo

Is gay marriage/same-sex marriage allowable or not?

Part 1 of two parts:

Opposition to gay marriage from the
Aljazeera Magazine, a Muslim periodical.

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A "Let's Talk" op-ed piece on Aljazeera Magazine:

Sheikha Sajida of posted an op-ed piece about gay marriage on 2006-OCT-26. "Tom from U.S." sent her an Email noting that a court in New Jersey had just ruled that same-sex couples were entitled to the same rights, privileges and obligations of marriage that had previously been enjoyed only by opposite-sex couples. He asked why same-sex marriage is still banned in Muslim countries. His note ended, stating that homosexuals:

"... should be respected, as well as their needs. It only shows the lack; or I’d rather say the absence of tolerance in those states. God bless America!" 1

Her column is particularly interesting because it demonstrates the close agreement between conservative Christians and Muslims, and the contrasting beliefs held among liberal Christians, liberal Muslims and secularists.

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Sheikha Sajida's main points:

She wrote that gay marriage and homosexual behavior are prohibited in Islam and thus is banned in Arab and Muslim states because they:

bullet Would have a "devastating effect and chaos" on society.

bullet SSM is "reversal of the natural order."

bullet SSM is a moral disorder.

bullet God established limits on humans which SSM would violate.

bullet SSM is not a legal right.

bullet Homosexuality is a bad habit.

bullet Like alcohol or other forms of drug addiction, homosexuality starts with an experimental experience and quickly develops into an addiction.

bullet All religions in the world prohibit homosexual behavior.

She cites the Quran, 7:80-1

"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 unto men instead of women. Nay, but ye are wanton folk."

She also cites three of the Bible's "clobber passages:"

bullet Genesis 19:4-5: This is the story of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. Religious conservatives generally interpret this chapter as referring to homosexual behavior of the entire male population within the two cities. Religious liberals and secularists generally interpret the Sodomites' crime as attempted rape of visitors to the cities. Since the visitors were angels, the rape would have involved bestiality -- humans having sex with another species. Additional bad behavior involved the lack of caring for orphans, widows, strangers, and others.

bullet Leviticus 18:22: This prohibits anal sex between two males. Conservative generally interpret this verse as referring to all forms of sex between either two men or two women. Liberals frequently interpret the verse as applying only to male Jews who engaged in same-sex ritual sexual behavior in Pagan temples. An alternate, literal translation of the passage forbids two men having sex if it is performed on a woman's bed.

bullet Leviticus 20:13: This is essentially identical to the other Leviticus verse, except that the execution of both parties is mandated.

She quotes an Amicus Curia (court brief) written by Hawaii's Future Today (HFT) in opposition to SSM. They described SSM as:

"a radical reform in the basic institution of marriage, jettisoning long-recognized cultural values and drastically redefining the fundamental structure of our society..."

She concludes:

"I thank god [sic] we don’t have that type of freedom in the Middle East, if you consider allowing men marry each other and women become couples a form of 'freedom'."

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Opposing beliefs:

Sheikha Sajida was writing from a traditional Muslim viewpoint, interpreting the Qur'an literally. The views that she expressed would probably agree with most religious conservatives in non-Muslim religions and wth social conservatives. However, many religious liberals and secularists would disagree with her statements:

bullet The Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Canada, and South Africa had legalized same-sex marriage by the time her op-ed piece was written. Much of Europe and three states in the U.S. had given loving, committed same-sex couples the same rights as have long been enjoyed by opposite-sex couples. None of these states and countries have reported "devastating effect and chaos." Nine years later, on 2015-JUN-26, the U.S. Supreme Court made gay marriage available across the entire United states, except for American Samoa.

bullet Opposite-sex marriage is desired by many adults with a heterosexual or bisexual orientation. SSM is desired by many homosexuals and bisexuals. Professional mental health associations have determined that heterosexuality, homosexuality, and bisexuality are three normal and natural sexual orientations. Homosexuality and bisexuality is part of the "natural order," and is found in humans, in all other mammals, and in many other animal species.

bullet Religious conservatives definitely believe that homosexuality and SSM are moral disorders. Most people agree that all forms of sexual behavior can be misused and thus sinful. However most gays, lesbians, homosexuals, professional mental health associations, religious liberals, secularists, and others regard all three sexually orientations to be morally neutral.

bullet Sajida believes that God established limits on human behavior which SSM would violate. However, various faith groups have different interpretations about what those limits are. A growing number of people believe that all loving, committed couples should be able to obtain marriage rights, obligations, and privileges for their own piece of mind, for their protection, and for the protection and security of their children.

bullet SSM is, in fact, a legal right in a growing number of countries and jurisdictions.
bullet Religious conservatives often regard homosexuality as chosen, changeable, abnormal, unnatural behavior to which people can become addicted. Many believe it is caused by childhood abuse or poor parenting,  But child psychologists can predict with excellent accuracy which pre-schoolers will grow up to be homosexual. Gays, lesbians, religious liberals and others generally regard homosexuality as unchosen, fixed, normal, natural orientation caused by a person's genes and/or an unknown environmental trigger. Evidence seems to indicate it is set up by a person's genes and triggered by something in the environment.

bullet In fact, all religions in the world do not prohibit homosexual behavior. Currently, most conservative congregations, traditions, and sects within the major religions are opposed to same-gender sexual activity. However, the liberal wings are not. Religious teachings are in a state of flux and trending towards acceptance of homosexuality as normal and natural for a minority of adults.

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This topic is continued in the next essay

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  1. Sheikha Sajida, "Gay marriage is prohibited in Islam & Christianity!," Lets Talk, 2006-OCT-26, at:

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Home > Religious info. > Basic > Marriage > SSM > Menu > Good? >here

Home > "Hot" topics > Homosexuality > SSM > Menu > Good? >here

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Copyright © 2006 to 2016 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Originally written: 2006-NOV-03
Latest update: 2016-APR-21
Author: B.A. Robinson

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