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Let’s be consistent

  • Published at 07:07 pm July 1st, 2015
Let’s be consistent

After news broke of the recent Supreme Court verdict legalising gay marriage in all the United States, around the time of iftar on that day, there stood two obvious groups -- the liberals in support of LGBT rights (in general of course, since just supporting the US’s stance hardly makes any sense) and another group strongly advocating Islamic teachings that very clearly opposed same-sex relationships, not to mention rights.

I will definitely not argue about religious beliefs. However, the message I intend to convey tis whether we are cherry-picking religion, upon our convenience and obviously against the weak.

Meaning, when a person is sexually involved with another of the opposite sex prior to marriage, it is not strictly acceptable according to Islam, but we tend to find a way out and avoid talking about the contradiction.

However, when a person is involved with another person of the same sex, religion is all of a sudden an issue. If we are all pretty much in the former group, that certainly does mean we could not really control our sexual desires till marriage.

Thus, are we not being hypocrites, trying to stop them from fulfilling their desires while using the excuse of religion? We are fine (though not openly) with sex prior to marriage with the opposite gender while same-sex marriage itself is something many people cannot accept. It is then that we decide to open our mouths regarding religion and how homosexuality is barred according to it.

Though a bit unrelated, a similar example is when it is somewhat acceptable in our society to occasionally have alcoholic beverages (not openly, again), although the same average Bangladeshi would be furious when offered a food item made of pork.

So, if we can agree that, at times, we prefer to be in the grey area simply because it serves us well, though strictly barred in religion, can we not be open to something which is more than mere enjoyment and is something many people have no choice in but are born with?

Members of the LGBT community do have the right to be sexually involved with any adult they feel like (with consent of the other person, of course).

Just as barring heterosexual people from having sex would not be acceptable to them, similarly, the issue means more than just a group of people demanding tolerance.

LGBT rights are human rights. Thus, we must either all be strong enough and properly follow Islam ourselves to have an opinion against homosexuality, or a more practical option is to perhaps leave religion as a personal matter and not bring it up as an issue in all spheres of life.

Supporting the latter option and believing that LGBT rights are human rights would require us to raise our voices for the annulment of Section 377 of our Penal Code 1860 that mentions that homosexuality is illegal in Bangladesh, which states: “Whoever voluntarily has carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any man, woman, or animal, shall be punished with imprisonment for life, or with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to ten years, and shall also be liable to fine.” 

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