Saturday, June 24, 2006

Muslims Gays Seek Marriages of Convenience

As bad as conservative Christians can be about gay people, in the Muslim world, to be gay is to invite, at worst, execution and, at best, a prying family who won't leave you alone and feels shame that you aren't married. This story in the Washington Post is an interesting one, that gay Muslims are using the Internet to find marriages of convenience with lesbians. For them, it's the perfect solution. The family backs off, they won't get killed, and they can settle down into a nice home. Some live celibately and some have boyfriends (and girlfriends) as companions.

Recently, in Iran, a couple of gay teenagers were hanged for being gay. In Afghanistan, the law was that they topple a wall onto gay people to kill them. So, self-preservation is definitely one of the incentives for this kind of arrangement. From the story:
"Hard statistics are hard to come by, but on a single Web site for South Asian gays and lesbians seeking such marriages, almost 400 requests had been uploaded."
Naturally, the hardline clerics are outraged at such marriages of convenience because they have no concept of the reality of being gay. For them, the matter is simple:
The face of Imam Omar, a scholar at the Islamic Cultural Center of Manhattan, crinkled with laughter when he was asked about this phenomenon. "These people are Muslims?" he asked.
Yes, darling. It seems that gay fabulousness knows no ethnic, cultural, racial or religious boundaries. Even among Muslims.
Omar receives all sorts of inquiries and is now rarely taken aback. But a query about marriages of convenience stunned him. "What kind of marriage is this?" he asked. "A nikah [marriage] in Islam needs to be consummated. There is no concept of marriage in Islam without sexual relations."

It's always about sex with religious people, isn't it? It's always a wonder to me that the more religious a person is, the more obsessed with sex he or she becomes -- and usually while accusing everyone else of being obsessed with sex.

Religious irony also knows no ethnic, cultural, racial or religious boundaries.

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