Notable Individuals

Mark Tobey (1890-1976),

famous artist, dedicated and devout Baha'i, was gay. His life and work were commemorated.. More

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Discussion > LGBT project wiki profile on the Baha'i Faith

LGBT project wiki profile on the Baha'i Faith is a bit biased just like the wikipedia page on homosexuality and the Baha'i Faith. What concerns me is that the sources on both sites are dated, and highly sanitized for "public consumption". At the very least the LGBT project wiki profile needs a more balanced approach on homosexuality in the Baha'i Faith. I added a few website links (this site included). Hopefully we can all brainstorm on how we can edit the content. What can we include? , what sources?
July 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSean
The presentation seems "fair and balanced" overall, but some important ideas are missing. I feel there should be some sort of assertion of the reality of the situation -- that the effect of the application of the current Baha'i understanding of homosexuality as a test, or trial, that can be overcome, and the occasional application of administrative sanctions on homosexuals, has made it necessary for homosexual Baha'is to live in hiding, to be ashamed of their God-given nature, and unable to cohabitate with the one they love. Some mention should also be made of the disparity between the spiritual principles of unity in diversity (flowers of one garden, one family of man) and the effective exclusion of a large segment of the human race from full embrace by the Baha'i community.
July 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDan Ware
Hmmm...,...I must be getting really sour. I think the page makes the Faith look really bad, and I think they deserve to on this issue. If it were up to me, I'd just leave it and not makes very obvious the backwardness of the Faith on this issue - let them speak for themselves - no need to add anything - they look terrible already. I'm not opposed to tinkering - just don't think it's necessary. I think they really don't understand how bad they look in today's world.
July 20, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBarb
There are approximately 25 000 LGBT Bahais in the world, in my estimation.
need a forum
July 20, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSweetie
I am not sure how Wiki works these days with all of the Wiki spinoffs , but I do see that when others want to information on the Baha'i Faith and homosexuality it is the wikipedia page that is being used, a page fine tuned by those who think it is their job to safeguard the Faith in a public forum, thus creating a page that (to me) is not fair and balanced. Dan's suggestions would help flesh it out a bit , but I can see it being edited , and here we go again in a game of cat and mouse. This does not have to be like this , but sadly it's the reality in the Faith where freedom of speech is not embraced, they fear any pro gay stance or facts is putting strain on the Covenant (which it is not). Any gay person who reads this article can read between the lines , that the Baha'i Faith really is not for them , and is talking out of two sides of their mouth. I think I will use Dan's much appreciated examples and see what happens.
July 20, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSean
Let us know how it goes Sean, I do not want to put any energy into a wiki nor wikipedia on anything Baha'i related because, years ago when I added a more balanced presentation of the arts that was immediately deleted. There was nothing controversial and I could only assume that the person who deleted my contribution didn't see the importance of the arts - and in particular saw a link to BAFA ( under the arts section as irrevelant. So I gave up.

I agree wikipedia is a place many would go to for information but I do not have the energy to put up material knowing that the next Baha'i might delete it because it is different to what he or she thinks a wikipedia article should have on it.
July 29, 2012 | Unregistered Commentersonja

July 29, 2012

Dear Sean & Sonja,

Your references to the Wiki(s) regarding LGBTQ Baha'i undergoing sanitation by what I refer to as religious Pharisees & their "Enforcement of Dogma" are entirely accurate.

In the ongoing process of researching a book about an early American leader of the Baha'i faith, Charles Mason Remey, my staff and I have uncovered empirical evidence that substantiated efforts to marginalise and in fact disown/ban/label covenant breakers any individuals who either were or perceived to be LGBTQ.

The present campaign to continue these efforts, is in effect, a direct result of the aftermath of the power struggle and De facto palace coup which occurred after the death of Baha'i spiritual leader Shogi Effendi and culminated with Mason Remey being label covenant breaker amoung other things.

It is safe to say that certain aspects of that situation were directly related to prejudices about LGBTQ persons who included ranking members of the Baha'i faith.

What I find interesting is that now, nearly 50 odd years later is that the internal fight amoung the elite continues to guide Baha'i leadership's actions and pronouncements.

Having said that, I would anticipate that any efforts for a more inclusive and balanced approach to LGBTQ people who are Baha'i will continue to be blocked and sanitised.

Be Well,

Brody Levesque
Washington Bureau Chief
LGBTQNation Magazine *
(202) 556 -9877
July 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBrody Levesque
Greetings Brody

We have communicated in the past re: your claim that Mason Remey was gay or a closet gay. As I recall your evidence was not based on anything other than your own writing about this. If I'm wrong, please share with the group here what this evidence was.
I am asking not because I think there is anything wrong with anyone being gay but given that Mason Remey showed no evidence of being gay as far as I know, I wonder why this has become a mission of yours. Is this part of something else you are writing as well?
July 29, 2012 | Unregistered Commentersonja

July 30, 2012

Dear Sonja,

The evidence is based on materials collected, interviews, diaries, personal letters, of more than Remey himself.
As a working journalist with nearly 30 plus years under my belt, I've gotten pretty good at verification of and gathering of facts.

It is very difficult for contemporary persons to understand the world that Remey and his peers lived in, but the bottom line was that while he was no Oscar Wilde he still by necessity and virtue of his position in society as well as the Baha'i faith deeply closeted.

The Baha'i and others yet still dispute this although it played a contributing factor in the events that would ultimately fracture the religion in the early 1960's.

Mind you, I have zero stake in taking a position Sonja either for or against in this regard. I am not a believer period.
I do not hold in antagonistic regard to those would practise their various faiths other than to reserve judgement on what I view as harm caused by hypocrisy, theological dogma of a kind that marginalises or harms.
Or in simpler terms and to quote a friend from your southern United States, " I don't have a dog in this hunt."

My telephone number is public should you wish to discuss this further. But I will note that my approach is based on fact finding and not salacious unfounded gossip, innuendo, and out right fabrication of facts. Nearly three plus years of due diligence and research has gone into this project and I can assure you, I am on solid ground.

The touchiness of most Baha'i on this topic regarding Mason Remey usually results in diatribes filled with plenty of vitriol along with some anger in some cases, which I find interesting. Generally, the subject of homosexuality itself is enough to stir the pot.

Non-acceptance of LGBTQ Baha'i is a relative new phenomena contemporary to Remey's lifetime time past the 1920's and occurring after the death of Shogi's grandfather who once called Remey a 'son.' After Shogi's death is really got nasty. From my silent observation of Barb's little corner of the web here along with my and my staff's research, the past 50 plus years have not been kind at all to LGBTQ Baha'i.

Remember too this, we're talking about the elite who formulate, promulgate, and effectively set and maintain policy. [Which in the case of the Baha'i is guided from Haifa.]

While it is inconvenient, it is the truth and these are the facts. My focus on Remey by the way has less to do with his sexual orientation and more to do with who he was and the significant role he played on the world stage for 80 years.

He has a story that is amazing and compelling which for a journalist, is the best part.


Brody Levesque
Washington Bureau Chief
LGBTQNation Magazine *
(202) 556 0877
July 30, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBrody Levesque
Again, thank you Brody for your contributions and presence here. Your comments have been much appreciated and are welcome anytime.
July 30, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBarb
Thanks Brody, thanks Barb and Sonja...

I second Barb, Bordy you offer an outsiders perpective that I think Bahaís need to appreciate...

July 30, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDaniel Orey

I always appreciate your input. Baha'is have a hard time dealing with the controversial figure of Mason Remey, but he is a part of our history like it or not. There is a guilt by association for even mentioning his name even amongst the most studious of Baha'is. There is no doubt a parallel with Remey and homophobia in the Baha'i community. I heard this by older Baha'is who knew Remey, who corresponded with Remey, and who later denounced Remey as a Covenant Breaker. When the topic of homosexuality was mentioned , these individuals and Families who knew Remey would say "you know Mason Remey was a homosexual". As a closeted gay youth I took the aforementioned comment very seriously, it made me ill to think if I were to come out of the closet I was getting too "close to the fire" of Covenant Breaking. I can only speak from my experiences , but this attitude in the Baha'i community I was raised in seemed like a control mechanism to halt any productive conversation on homosexuality. Brody keep us posted on your research.
August 1, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSean
I think Sean has something there, much of the homophobia is linked to this legacy of CBers and Remey... it is difficult for them to divorce the issues... thanks Sean... it is why I have had no patience with issues related to the Guardian or Covenant... as the conservative, homophobes easily confuse the two... I know I have been harsh here and elsewhere with anything to do with the Guardian, and this is why.

Confusing the issues is what they like to do, it allows them to continue with their need to hate and discriminate. It is is easy for them and is not unlike the evangelical-Morman linking of homosexuality, bestiality and pedophilia...
August 1, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDaniel Orey