[quote="Hypatia, post:8, topic:189214"]
There are no Muslim majority countries where same-sex marriage is currently legal.
It has been discussed very seriously in one country, Albania (estimated around 70% Muslim). Albania's gay rights bill, passed earlier this year, ended up NOT including a provision for same-sex marriage, though it was otherwise very progressive.
Turkey likewise has certain protections in place, and homosexuality is not illegal.
Indonesia, the world's largest Muslim country, does not allow for same-sex marriage, homosexuality is legal, openly practiced and widely accepted. When certain Islamic leaders tried to make it illegal, not that long ago, the law was quickly shot down and the whole idea was rejected as an illegitimate form of "Arabizing" Islam and Indonesian culture.
Pakistan has recently recognized the hijra, and have given them legal status as a third sex protected by all the civil rights granted citizens. As far as I know the issue of marriage has not yet be broached, in this regard.
Iran is in some ways the most interesting case. Homosexuality is illegal, and marriage is unavailable. But the late Ayatollah issued a fatwa suggesting transsexuality as a solution for those who are attracted to the same sex. Part of the concern was to make marriage available to those persons. I do not know if they still do it, but, for a while at least, Iran actually helped pay for sex change operations. So homosexuality is not legal, but one can be transsexual in Iran. *
In most of the Arab world homosexuality is illegal and socially unacceptable. Egypt is one example of this. Technically there are no laws against homosexuality in Egypt, but people in same-sex relationships have been prosecuted for violating religious and moral sensibilities. Most Arabs (and probably most Deobandis, etc. in places like India) would tell you that homosexuality is forbidden by the Qur'an (the Qur'an contains some stuff on Lot (pbuh), etc. that is similar to what one might find in the Bible).
So there are various responses to sexuality and gender. I think the conversation, often, does not always map on well to Western categories. In Egypt for instance it may well be the case that someone prefers same-sex relationships, but the expectation that you will marry and have children is still so strong that even if you identify as gay, gays still often presume that they are going to marry someone of the opposite sex. And the fact that Americans and Europeans don't see things that way is often very puzzling to them. You have also seen in some cases the attempts of Western activists to make the hijra of India and Pakistan into Western transsexuals, and that may be what they seem to be to most Westerners. But that is not how they have traditionally been seen or understood on the subcontinent.
Finally American Muslims: Arabian Muslims have shown little support for homosexuality or homosexual marriage in the US. Those from southeast Asia tend to be more supportive of it, I believe. I say this mostly from experience, not with any hard data in front of me. African-American Muslims are usually indistinguishable from their non-Muslim peers on most issues (there are numbers for that), so I would expect to find them largely opposed to gay marriage. White women make up the largest growing group amongst converts and they tend to be more liberal in their social views.
Saqib Ali is the only major Muslim, American, politician that I know of to speak out on the issue. He has worked for gay marriage in his home state of Maryland, arguing that it should not be approached as a religious issue. He says he hopes to see it legal in Maryland by 2011, and that its passage throughout the US is inevitable.*
Hypatia, Thank you for your post it was very informative. I would have guessed that the Muslim community would have been even more conservative than what you have presented. While we are miles apart theologically I respect practicing Muslims for their zeal. We used to have that zeal but by and large we Catholics have become quite secular. The good thing is I really see a reversal in that trend and see in the near future a renewal in Catholicism that will be beyond anything that has transpired in the past.
We as Catholics will never accept Gay Marriage. It just won't ever happen.
Have you ever seriously explored the roots of your religion? Please do not misunderstand me I am just honestly inquiring if you ever had taken an unbiased look at Islam and an unbiased look at authentic Roman Catholicism. There are a lot of things we hold in common.