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.
A "Let's Talk" op-ed piece on Aljazeera Magazine:
Sheikha Sajida of Aljazeera.com 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.
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:
||Would have a "devastating effect and chaos" on society.
||SSM is "reversal of the natural order."
||SSM is a moral disorder.
||God established limits on humans which SSM would violate.
||SSM is not a legal right.
||Homosexuality is a bad habit.
||Like alcohol or other forms of drug addiction, homosexuality starts with
an experimental experience and quickly develops into an addiction.
||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:"
||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.
||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.
||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:
radical reform in the basic institution of marriage, jettisoning long-recognized
cultural values and drastically redefining the fundamental structure of our
"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'."
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:
||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.
||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.
||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.
||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.
||SSM is, in fact, a legal right in a growing number of countries and
||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.
||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.
- Sheikha Sajida, "Gay marriage is prohibited in Islam & Christianity!," Lets Talk, 2006-OCT-26, at: http://www.aljazeera.com/
Copyright © 2006 to 2016 by Ontario Consultants on Religious
Originally written: 2006-NOV-03
Latest update: 2016-APR-21
Author: B.A. Robinson