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Discussion > Famous Baha'is who are Gay Supportive 

I was thinking we should make mention on this site of Famous Baha'is who were Gay-Supportive. Two famous Baha'is come to mind : Dr. Steven Greer of the Disclosure Project and the late Dizzy Gillespe , both of these gentlemen went on record as being friends to the Gay Community. I am sure we can find other notable Baha'is who supported Gay Rights. If others come to mind I will add their names to this topic.
November 20, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSean
Thank you for this post, Sean. I learned something. Please do add names here when you discover them, and perhaps others will do the same. Great idea.

Barb
November 20, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterBarb
Barb,

I would want to add Native American Activist and Singer Buffy Saint-Marie to the list , but not sure if she "officially" became a Baha'i , some sites say she is an active Baha'i , others say she is a "friend" to the Baha'i Community. I love Buffy regardless, she is a true role model for Native Americans and Women.
November 22, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSean
There is an interesting list of members of the Baha'i Faith who have been subjects of Wikipedia articles - you may already be familiar with this. If not, Google "List of Baha'is Wikipedia" - Buffy Saint-Marie is on this list, though I don't know if the list is accurate. This list might be a good source for people to add to your list here - if you have time to do the research.

Dizzy is on the list as well, I noticed.

Barb
November 25, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterBarb
Barb,

I am very familiar with that list. I added many names over the course of years , and some people were deleted even if they were known Baha'is. Sources are very limited for certain actors , musicians, and athlete's religious status, so with lack of source material deletion can happen. It would be interesting if there was a list of people who were Baha'is , but left the Faith, or a list of famous people who are close to the Faith, but never declared. A great book on the subject is called "Baha'i Lore" and it mentions a slew of people who were close to enrolling. One such person who declared her belief in Baha'u'llah in 1974 was Cher at a Baha'i Youth conference, she left the Faith shortly afterwards. I may have a remote (very remote) chance in meeting Cher and will ask her a few gentle questions about her short-lived Baha'i experience. Of course we all now know Cher as a gay icon, and an advocate for Gay and Women's Rights.
December 21, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSean
Thanks, Sean, for mentioning the book - I had not heard of it before. Paul Dodenhoff's letter of resignation (1999) from the Faith is one of the more interesting, to me. He articulates very well some of the problems in the Faith at that time, and does mention his concern about the stance toward gay rights as well. Because he was a prominent and active Baha'i, serving as an assistant, his letter is of particular significance. Perhaps we should post it here, for those who are not familiar with it? Good luck with Cher...

Barb
December 28, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterBarb
Not aware who Paul Dodenhoff is , his letter would be a good read. The Cher meeting is so remote , but still could happen with the connections I have. I will also try to find a quote from Dizzy Gillespe supporting gay rights to post here, he was an amazing man.
December 30, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSean
Paul Dodenhoff was an assistant to an ABM, and he resigned in 1999, I believe. His resignation letter is online, you should be able to search and find it - if not, let me know. He cited a number of reasons for his resignation, particularly the censorship of Baha'i scholars, and the tracking of, and keeping information on (by Baha'i officials), Baha'is with questionable opinions. He also mentioned his support of gay rights, so he definitely belongs on this list.

R. Jackson Armstrong-Ingram, Baha'i scholar, recently deceased, also was supportive of gay rights, and apparently helped write the letter from the Gay Baha'i Fellowship to the U.S. NSA in 1993. That letter is posted on Dan Orey's blog, Revoked. If you have trouble finding that, let me know. He also has a very interesting article which was presented at a Baha'i meeting of scholars in 1996, I believe, concerning provisions regarding sexuality in the Kitab-i-Aqdas. It is extremely interesting and a very different understanding from the one Baha'is are presented with today.

Sorry I have been remiss in responding - I have been busy educating myself on this subject, and will be making some changes/additions to this website soon.

Barb
February 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBarb
See Notables page for further information on notable Baha'is, gay and/or supportive of gay rights.
March 1, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBarb
Its extremely easy to be a Bahai and homosexual. Just dont make a big deal out of it.
Lots of Bahais drink alcohol. If they become sponsors of Smirnoff Vodka---drink and drive--campaign -- they can have their voting rights taken away, otherwise its a personal issue - no ones business.

(I knew a Bahai man who liked to drink beer. He assured me it was 2% alcohol only, which is fair enough I guess)

Allahuabha :0)/
June 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnon
I understand what you are saying, anon, but there are those who want the dignity of being open, honest, and accepted for who they are, without being considered in need of "fixing." Those gays outside of the Faith who are out and open about their lives, proud of who they are and accepted by many in their workplaces and neighborhoods and places of worship are happier and mentally healthier, I believe, than they would be with a "don't ask, don't tell" approach. The assurance that God loves and accepts us for who we are is a precious gift. Gay Baha'is have the choice to decide how they want to deal with the official Baha'i stance on homosexuality that it is a perversion of human nature, that homosexual behavior is abhorrent to God, that homosexuality subverts the very purpose of human life, that gays are "problem humans" in need of repair. I am glad if you are truly happy and satisfied with a decision to "fly under the radar" and just live your life quietly as both a Baha'i and as a gay - but not all gay Baha'is can go that route. I'm not sure the UHJ agrees that their official view is flexible in regard to homosexual behavior, but I do know that many Baha'is are supportive of gay rights, and would support a vote for gay marriage .

I am most grateful for your sharing your view here, because you may represent a good many gay Baha'is, and we want to hear all sides of the story.

Barb
June 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBarb
"Its extremely easy to be a Bahai and homosexual. Just dont make a big deal out of it."
So let me get this straight (no pun intended). How exactly does one not make a big deal out of havinng a spouse and children? Do I introduce my future partner as my roomate? And I guess I have to make sure that my kids when we are at Feast refer to me as "dad" and my partner as "roomate". Then when we are outside of Bahai activities, they can refer to both of us as dad. And during our 20th anniversary, I guess I need to tell the Bahais that it is 20 years since I found such a great roomate- he's been paying his rent every month, like clock work! Great roomate! Or maybe what you are asking is that I just leave my parter, oops I mean "roomate", at home when I go to Bahai activities. But what if he is also a Bahai? What then? We take turns taking the kids to Sunday school? Your closeted world will eventually shatter as more and more LGBT people become visible. We are here, we are queer and we are made in God's image.
From a gay Bahai who doesn't drink alcohol because it is actually a very clear law in the Writings (unlike the ban on loving gay partnerships). Cheers!
June 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterPey
I was surprised to read the statement that there are Baha'is who drink alcohol. As a former Baha'i myself, I'd expect any true Baha'i to characterise such people as non-believers (just as I would expect any innocent person to characterise a thief a criminal, even if they're never caught). But on second glance the poster "Anon" is probably not a Baha'i....

I had to question my faith because I was gay, and I abandoned it rather than be a fake anything. The problem the Baha'i faith has with same-sex love is its biggest unenlightened statement and is based on material rather than spiritual qualities.
June 26, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDavy
The Baha'i Teachings emphasize unity and love; these principles extend to all people, independent of their perfections and imperfections. As the Bible says, "We have all sinned and fallen short of the Glory of God".

You don't become a non-Baha'i just by breaking a law. There are prayers for forgiveness and assistance throughout the Baha'i Writings; they're there because Bahai's are human -- they err, pray, seek redemption, and strive towards the lofty standards laid out in the Baha'i Writings.

A gay Baha'i who strives to overcome is still within the Covenant, just as an alcoholic Baha'i who strives to overcome their drinking habit is. The love of God, His Mercy, and His Compassion surpasses all these things, and God never despises a contrite heart.

Love,
A straight Baha'i
June 29, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCK
The point is, ASB, that being gay/lesbian is not something for which a person needs or wants forgiveness - appreciation of that particular diversity would be nice, however. Lumping sexual orientation with alcoholism, other substance abuse, promiscuity, addiction, etc. is offensive. If Baha'is could come to understand this, it would mean a lot to gay Baha'is.

God values gays and lesbians for who they are, and requires no change of orientation - it's only the followers who haven't gotten the point yet.

And incidentally, there is no Baha'i law against homosexuality - only against pederasty (pedophilia), which is a completely different subject. Baha'u'llah never spoke, so far as we know, of the question of homosexuality, only of the abuse of slave boys.

I repeat, being gay or lesbian is not a sin or an imperfection. Your assumption that it is, is rude, self-righteous, and offensive in the extreme.

Perhaps you will become contrite over your position, which you think is loving but is not.

Barb
June 30, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBarb
I agree it is completely offensive to be lumped in with those who have substance abuse issues. The inequities in how Baha'i law is carried out is startling to say the least. Look how straight Baha'is can be encouraged to date in hopes that they will marry. These same straight Baha'is can date on and off, jump to Baha'i to non-Baha'i to find the "right one" , and are never challenged if they are having sex. Gay Baha'is on the other hand are automatically branded a sinner, and that is just for being openly gay!
Look how many times a community will use the term "flagrant" for someone who simply says "I am gay", while our wonderful straight Baha'i "Youths" will dance lewdly at a fundraiser dance without being brought before and LSA or an ABM. This entire situation is disgusting and harmful. Do not think for a minute a fragile gay Baha'i may take his or her own life by how we treat gay people in the community, it has happened, and will continue to happen.
June 30, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSean
A straight Bahai said "A gay Baha'i who strives to overcome is still within the Covenant"
Then I'm guessing that a gay Bahai who accepts himself as I have and loves himself as God has made me, is what? Going against the Covenant? I have news for you straight Bahai... I am just as much a Bahai as you are. And if one day I am blessed with a partner and children (a family), then I will STILL be as much a Bahai as you are...maybe even more so because I am raising children that will advance civilization even more than intolerant, homophobic children being raised in conservative Bahai homes. There is no "love" in your post as far as I can see. So don't fool us with "love" at the end of your post. It is the same facade of love that evangelical Christians and Mormons try to pull over the eyes of the world. When the Bahai community accepts gay families as equals, then and only then will it live up to its true callign of equality, unity and love. Peace out!
June 30, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterPey
I am a striaght Bahai who has several gay friends, two of whom I have been my friends since elementary school. Is it a sin for them to act on their homosexual orientation? It doesn't seem like a sin to me. If it is a sin according to Bahaullah, then I would say that it is a sin, just like all the sins I've committed, some I've regretted, others I haven't. Whether or not it is a sin to act on their homnosexuality is irrelevant to how I should (and do) treat them. I don't have any biological brothers, but I think of these two friends as my brothers. I love them like brothers and treat them accordingly. They are not Bahais, but if they were I would embrace them as part of the community just like any striaght member of the community.
July 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTom
Hi Tom -

Doesn't seem like a sin to me, either, or to many other Baha'is. I'm hoping there will be a "trickle-up" effect and eventually the UHJ will consider, and say "doesn't seem like a sin to us...". Gays/lesbians seeking or establishing a committed, monogamous same-sex relationship, and marriage where it is available to them, should be encouraged, not told they are committing a sin.

Thanks for your comment here.

Barb
July 15, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBarb
Tom is it a sin for a married straight Bahai couple to have sex with each other? No. Then it isn't for a committed gay couple to do the same. Simple as that. Same sex relationships in a committed, legal union is something that is OUTSIDE of the Book. So the UHJ will have to rule on it in the future. At this point all we have are letters pointing to letters written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to answer the questions of individuals living in the 1950's. That is not law and never will be. Straight married Bahai couples can practice S&M, abuse each other, despise each other while having sex with each other- and it is not a sin. A loving, legally married couple build a peaceful family, adopt kids that straights don't want, and suddenly- that is a sin. Doesn't make sense to me.
August 21, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterPey
There is an alternative to being gay and being a Baha'i. I have been in recovery from homosexuality for more than 20 years. I attempted to obey rules and simply not be sexual. Eventually repression doesn't work, and I was a sex addict whereas before I seemed to be able to choose. I had to learn enough about who I was, where and what I came from, and be aware of feelings and that I have choices. I believe in Joseph Nicolosi's work and others and see that pattern in my life VERY clearly. I have choices now, and I choose NOT to be gay. I do not hang out with gay people. I do have friends because accepting them means accepting who I have been and am now. Baha'is caring about me has been very important. Because the word gay has such baggage now, I think any use of gay Baha'i is an oxymoron. For nothing else on the face of the earth would I have sacrificed my sexuality. I could have married, but did not attract opposite sex partners who fit, because love is NOT enough. Fit is more important.
September 1, 2010 | Unregistered Commenternacho man
Nacho, nacho, nacho man . . . I don't wanna be a nacho man!
(Thank you, Village People!)

Sean -- from a post way back yonder -- I was actually at that youth conference in the summer of 1973. Oklahoma City. Cher came out on stage one evening after a concert by Seals and Crofts and she actually sang "Allah'u'Abha" with them. You could not believe the excitement in the crowd. It was near pandemonium. As I recall, her dress wasn't too outrageous. I remember hearing that she had a meeting with the members of the NSA who were present (perhaps all of them?), and they discouraged her from actually enrolling until she could conform to Baha'i Laws. Guess that never came about, huh?
September 1, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDan Ware
Dan,

There is still a slim chance I can meet Cher one day , and I will talk to her about her experience. She just may be disgusted in how she was treated , or it could be one her many experiences on her own personal quest. I love Cher as a person, God forbid a woman speaks her mind! Since we were not privy to her meeting with the NSA maybe she just stood her ground in her then "lifestyle"? I do know how PR savvy the Faith is , and maybe they thought Cher to be too outragous? I would be honored to have Cher in our ranks. Baha'is need to just chill out about who they deem Baha'i-like or not. We are all God's children, just some of us are more colorful than others. Thanks for your story, I love hearing about this event.
September 1, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSean
Actually Nacho. From what I gather from your postings (including your story that you posted), I think you are more correct in saying that there is an alternative to being a sex addict. I agree. And I applaud you in what you are doing. It is an oxymoron to call yourself a Bahai and treat yourself and others as mere sexual objects to be used and abused. So I applaud you in your efforts to deal with these addictions that are harmful to you and your soul. BUT, please stop confusing the demons you are fighting with as afight against being gay. You are still gay. You wil always be gay. You have chosen to deny yourself the love of someone of the same sex because it must be the only way you feel you can control your addictions. Fair enough. That's your path, your journey. Good luck! But I know of MANY same sex people who are living in fulfilling, loving relationships physcially, emotionally and spiritually. My path is to find someone with whom I too can also such a deep relationship. My desire and the realization that I will one day in fact live in a happy partnership with my husband is not and never will be an oxymoron. The Bahai community will have to eventually accept us in God's Kingdom as it has accepted you. Peace!
September 3, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterPey
Aside from the implications to LGBT (Which I am one of the four, as well as being in a happy, monogamous straight marriage, so figure that one out) I am offended by the postings that implicated people who drink are "alcoholic" or otherwise substance abusing. It is possible to have an occasional glass of wine or beer (for me it is less than once a week) and not be an alcoholic. I am not of the Bahai faith, not of any faith actually, and it is rules like these (proscriptions against sexuality, use of alcohol, dietary laws!!) that prevent me in part from ever joining any formal faith. I liked what I was initially reading about this faith until I got to these two. Once again, a flaw in organized religion.
September 20, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterdcweas
Supporting Sexual Co-existence !!!!!
October 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSalah R.
Should add Rainn Wilson to that list of well-known Baha'is supportive of gay rights.

http://straighttalkonmarriage.blogspot.com/2009/10/voice-for-equality-rainn-wilson.html
November 12, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBarb
Just wanted to let you know I added a link to this site from Bahaindex.com. It's great to see such discussions taking place!
January 31, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCasper Voogt
Thanks, Casper.
February 1, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBarb
I'm 36 years and a Baha'i. I love the faith very much. However I struggled with same sex attractions all my adult life and have never
acted on them because I believe that homosexual behaviour is spiritually condemned. The faith helped me to understand myself better and to live with these feelings. I will rather die alone than to embrace a same sex relationships. I don't judge anyone who believe otherwise.

Dadly
February 20, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDadly
I am a Baha'i since '08. I whole-heartedly follow the Aqdas. One thing FORBIDDEN in the Baha'i Faith is Homosexuality. It is against the natural order and way of life. It is a disease. It must be cured not supported. Any sexual activity between homosexuals is fornication/pre-marital sex, Which is also forbidden. -- The Bible damns homosexuals to hell, Islam condemns it, Judaism refuses to acknowledge it and therefore forbid it. Taoism, Buddhism, Hinduism, all blatantly forbid it as an UNNATURAL (and unlawful) act.
God bless you all heteros out there.
As for the Homos, you're wrong and unclean. Ask God NOW for forgiveness, to change your ways and heal you.
April 16, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterZach_PA
Greetings, Zach_PA

I am sorry that your heart is so small, and your experience of God so limited and distorted. You are free to disagree on the issue of homosexuality, but when you post here, you are expected to put forth your views in a manner respectful toward those who are gay/lesbian. Comments in the spirit of Baha'i are appreciated, i.e. with love and compassion, not with judgment. After all, God is God; you are not.

I will let your comment stand for now, but you are forewarned to please in future offer your views on this matter in a manner becoming Baha'is. I suggest that you read everything on this site, on all the pages, in addition to the stories, and consider carefully how best to offer your views on this subject, if you wish to comment further.
April 16, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBarb
Allah'u'abha, Barb.
I'm sorry if I came across disrespectful. I was only stating the facts as they are stated (although, granted, not ver batum) so therefore as I see it. All I mean by it is if I had a disease, which I do known as stress, anxiety, anger etc., I would certainly pray to God for help, which I oft do at night after my final obligatory prayer. -- All I'm wanting is for those who have this problem (as I see it, and as it seems to state quite clearly) is to pray, and I'm sure our Great, All-Powerful, Most Forgiving God would and will help them to desist from their erroneous ways.
With respect and prayers,
Zach_PA
April 17, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterZach_PA
Zach,

Please take time to read the stories posted here. Many of us Gay Baha'is are steadfast in our Faith , we have taught the Faith to many , and brought many people into the Faith of Baha. We have Pioneered to other countries to Teach the Faith, and have served at the World Centre to serve the Cause. Many of us here serve or have served on Local Spiritual Assemblies as well as National Spiritual Assemblies. Our prayers to God have not "cured" our attraction to the same gender. Have you read the latest letter from the US NSA regarding Gay Rights? Can you site a Letter that calls homosexuality a disease from Baha'u'llah, Abdul-Baha, the Guardian, or the Universal House of Justice? , if so do you realize that if such a word was used it was from another era and not used by the Universal House of Justice? Zach there is no cure for Homosexuality , if so I believe that Gay and Lesbian Knights of Baha'u'llah would have gone on record if they were in fact cured, yes Knights of Baha'u'llah ... too have been Gay.
April 17, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSean
Greetings Zach PA,
To correct your claim "stating the facts as they are stated" when you wrote "One thing FORBIDDEN in the Baha'i Faith is Homosexuality. It is against the natural order and way of life. It is a disease. It must be cured not supported. Any sexual activity between homosexuals is fornication/pre-marital sex, Which is also forbidden. -- The Bible damns homosexuals to hell, Islam condemns it, Judaism refuses to acknowledge it and therefore forbid it. Taoism, Buddhism, Hinduism, all blatantly forbid it as an UNNATURAL (and unlawful) act."

First you are incorrect. Homosexuality is not any more forbidden than practising birth control is. Some Bahais might think to use birth control is against the teachings of the Bahai Faith because a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi states it "as constituting a real danger to the very foundations of our social life.”
(link to the letter is here > http://justabahai.wordpress.com/2010/05/19/flexibility/#1935 - scroll to the comments below for the full letter)

Some Bahais interprete anything penned by a secretary as if this has the same status as Bahai Scripture so here is a link to some statements about the status of these letters > http://justabahai.wordpress.com/find/#letters

These letters have status, but not the same as anything penned by Baha'u'llah, Abdul-Baha, or Shoghi Effendi.
As Bahais we need to learn to see these distinctions if we want our Bahai community (Here Shoghi Effendi is referring specifically to our administration) to: "be conceived as an instrument and not a substitute for the Faith of Baha'u'llah, that it should be regarded as a channel through which His promised blessings may flow, that it should guard against such rigidity as would clog and fetter the liberating forces released by His Revelation."
(Shoghi Effendi, The World Order of Baha'u'llah, p. 9)

So in short, let the priniciples of the Bahai Teachings guide us in our actions.

From your comments you seem to be taking a rigid approach because it is only in the Letters written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi penned by various secretaries from about 1922 to 1957 that we find any reference to "disease" and in my view, any view that discriminates against any group of people clogs the liberating forces of the Bahai Teachings.
It seems a pity to me that you are using the views in these letters written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to support prejudice against homosexuals.

You may be unaware of a recently released letter from the Universal House of Justice specifically written in relation to same sex marriage. It states clearly that Bahais should not promote discrimination and in fact should work against it.

"The purpose of the Faith of Baha’u’llah is the realization of the organic unity of the entire human race, and Baha’is are enjoined to eliminate from their lives all forms of prejudice and to manifest respect towards all. Therefore, to regard those with a homosexual orientation with prejudice or disdain would be against the spirit of the Faith. Furthermore, a Baha’i is exhorted to be “an upholder and defender of the victim of oppression”, and <u>it would be entirely appropriate for a believer to come to the defense of those whose fundamental rights are being denied or violated.“
(Letter from the UHJ to an individual, 27 October 2010)

The full letter is here: http://senmcglinn.wordpress.com/email-archive/same-sex-marriages-6/

Show us you are a Bahai by making some effort to understand your own prejudice against gays as clearly expressed in your messages above. I suggest you start by thinking about the Bahai prinicple of equality. Equal opportunities and equal responsibilities for all people. Please note that in the Bahai Teaching of equality is not just for some people and not others.
Another Bahai principle is unity in diversity, so you are free to express your views as personal views, just as I am free to state my views as personal views. It is quite another thing to state your personal views as being these of the Bahai Teachings if they contradict Bahai principles. Principles such as equality, justice, a focus on spirituality, and progressive revelation. Using the examples you use from other religious traditions, goes against the very idea that revelation is progressive, a Bahai principle.

Please focus on homosexuality as an orientation and do not focus on what you call an "act". This is as offensive as referring to a loving marriage between heterosexuals as 'sexual acts'. A homosexual is a human first. A Bahai homosexual places great value on spirituality or they wouldn't be a Bahai. It offends me that you discriminate in this way by discussing my Bahai brothers and sisters in the way some people might talk about animals. I hope you can now see why your words are so offensive and so un-Bahai.
April 17, 2011 | Unregistered Commentersonja
Dearest Sean and Sonja,
As for your comment on Era. Is not Baha'u'llah the prophet of this age, for a thousand years? In so being, a manifestation of God as such, would he not be always the same ( or until the next prophet, or the end of time, whichever comes first). To point out disease, why is it, then, that men who have slept with men or a woman that slept with a man who slept with a man, cannot donate blood? Why are Homosexuals the most likely to contract HIV/AIDS? I'm not saying a straight man cannot get it, I'm only saying that Gays have an inclined chance. But why and how could that be if it was a perfect and acceptable way of life? (Acceptable not as a societal acceptance) The foundation of marriage has been built on opposite sexes' copulation. Like that old saying, "Don't fix what ain't broke," hetero marriages and population increases are not broke, granted the mass populating over the past 50-60 yrs has become a problem and an economic downfall for nearly every country, but these problems are only inconveniences not broken. -- In the US Homosexuality wasn't taken off the list of diseases until 1973. If a person has something that worsens their life, are they not treated, or tried to be? A man with the flu can barely do anything anywhere, so he gets medicine or prays. He doesn't stand up for the Flu-people and say we deserve to sneeze anywhere we want. (I know that sounds ridiculous but...) Although they may be accepted as being still a person, they are still kept at a distance. So if Gays don't fit in, or are at least kept at a distance, who's to say they don;t need medicine or prayer? -- My step-father is Catholic, his son is a Homosexual. I love his son (my step-brother) not because he's my brother, but because he's a great person, that plays great music, a great sense of humour... So I would like say that I, in no way, hate or indorse hate. All I'm saying is that if you're Gay, I believe it is wrong. I am not saying they shouldn't vote, or shouldn't drive, or shouldn't be allowed in "Straight" places (like segregation). I love you all, you are all God's creations, as am I and everyone else. I only believe that they shouldn't be able to desecrate and re-lay the foundation of marriage. If you want a civil-partnership, that's fine, go for it, God's blessings be with and upon you for a strong and long-lasting relationship.

Sonja,
I would like to thank you for your politeness and opening my eyes to such letters. You are one of the prime example of why Gays need to be heard, not endorsed as it would create a total extinction of the Human Race, but heard, accepted, not bashed, or otherwise. You are a key, and exemplary soul that shows the Gay Prejudices to be just that. Although I find the carnal relations and marriage wrong, you all should be accepted in one form or another. I am sorry, however, that I cannot find room for you in all ways of life, primarily in those two aforementioned. -- I was raised on the Bible and teachings of the OT and Jews, and mostly the NT of Jesus Christ, both of which openly condemn both actions. Although it says they shall be damned to Hell-fire, it also says that the only unforgivable sin is blasphemy of the Spirit. So I conclude by saying, a Gay is not necessarily damned but through prayer and forgiveness, they can walk through the "pearly gates". -- Again, thank you for being polite, and showing that not all Gays are the Faeries they're made out to be.
God Bless and help you all in every way,
Zach_PA
April 17, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterZach_PA
Zach_PA,

The ugliness, ignorance, fear, and prejudice of your comments cannot be glossed over with terms like "dearest" and "God Bless." The phrase "lipstick on a pig" comes to mind. I am letting your comments stand because they demonstrate the ignorance and prejudice that sometimes (often?) exist in the Baha'i community, and the need for education of Baha'is regarding homosexuality. A conversation regarding this subject is obviously needed within the Baha'i community, and sometimes it will be a painful conversation. I can only suggest to you that you first of all gather the facts, listening to all sides of this issue without prejudice, in the Baha'i spirit of decision-making, and come to any conclusions only after you have the facts and have listened carefully with an open heart to gays/lesbians and their friends/families who are deeply affected by the misunderstandings, prejudice and fears which you exhibit.
April 21, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBarb
Dear Zach,
A corollary to the notion that people cannot help being gay, and that the most sincere prayers sent up to heaven never change their sexual orientation, is that neither can heterosexuals help being straight. A person does not have to achieve her or his sexual orientation, and no awards are given for what one cannot help being. Heterosexuality is more robust than a lot of worried straights seem to think, and cannot be threatened by tolerance and appreciation of lesbians and gays, nor for that matter, is heterosexual marriage in any way threatened or diminished by gay marriage. Therefore, do not worry that our existence is a threat to the human race.
By the way, many more heterosexuals in the world, not to mention innocent babies, have HIV than do gays. HIV is not a punishment for anything, but like so many types of human suffering, is something to be treated with compassion. Suffering occurs to the righteous and the unrighteous alike. We are all sometimes foolish and sometimes prudent, and if care and compassion were only for the perfect ones, then none of us would qualify. This is why there is nothing written by the Manifestations saying to care only for the deserving. If care were reserved for them, there would be no recipients of it.
And hell is not a place, but is a state of mind that cannot love itself, others, the created world and what stands behind that world.
These are the facts, but they cannot be taught by one person to another; that is why I present no arguments for them. If you search your heart, are open to the world of experience and to the inner voice of the divine, you will know these things.

Sincerely, Gary.
April 22, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterGary
Barb and Gary,

Your insight is truly beautiful. There has to be a true dialogue about homosexuality in the Faith , all facts laid out on the table with the utmost compassion. Zach's opinion is fading from the American landscape , and I would hope the same could be said of the Baha'i Community here in the US. I wish Zach would not negate the shining examples GLBT Baha'is have been in the Faith I illustrated in my past post. Gary thanks for stating the facts in regards to AIDS, Zach please educate yourself about AIDS, the Universal House of Justice guiding the Baha'i International Community at the United Nations has tackled the horrific spread of AIDS in Africa and the developing world in a Statement a few years ago.
April 22, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSean
Zach you wrote: "why is it, then, that men who have slept with men or a woman that slept with a man who slept with a man, cannot donate blood?"

And my response to this is, that prejudice is a disease.
How come prejudiced people can still give blood?

If you think my response is circular or makes no sense, neither does your statement. This is a statement based on prejudice not on science.

You appear to be completely ignorant about the cause of HIV/AIIDS which is caused by a virus. Viruses do not have sexual preference.

A memorable line from the film, "And the Band Played On" (1993) for me was when in the race to isolate the HIV virus a French scientist says something like 'Trust the Americans to think that a virus cares about the sexual preference of the host cells.' Anyone with any understanding of biology would understand why this is so funny, so if you do not understand the joke, ask someone to explain to you how viruses operate.

And you then attempt to expand on your premise of prejudice by stating that
"In the US Homosexuality wasn't taken off the list of diseases until 1973."

And yes prejudice supports prejudice, but if a Bahai would take such logic seriously, ignoring the Bahai principle of equality, then only 10 years before this the 'scientific racism' of the "separate but equal" argument then allowed for a range of prejudical acts from lynching to denial voting rights, is the same type of logic.

So a question here would be, do we as Bahais look at the most awful and prejudiced aspects of history (I could call it "your" history since I am not an American, but my point is a general one) and then use that to limit the practice of our progressive Bahai Teachings? Or do we realise that such a practice as was the case with racial prejudice, is something Bahais need to work against because is against the principle of equality?

If anything the Bahai Teachings are in clear opposition to all of your statements.

"The sciences of today are bridges to reality; if then they lead not to reality, naught remains but fruitless illusion."
(Abdu'l-Baha, Selections from the Writings of Abdu'l-Baha, p. 109)

"With the love of God all sciences are accepted and beloved, but without it, are fruitless; nay, rather the cause of insanity. Every science is like unto a tree; if the fruit of it is the love of God, that is a blessed tree. Otherwise it is dried wood and finally a food for fire."
(source, Tablets of Abdu'l-Baha, p. 687, also cited in Baha'i World Faith - Abdu'l-Baha Section, p. 366)

The above quotation stresses the importance for science to have a moral relevance which is how I read the phrase "the love of God," but that is not the same as saying that science is a slave to religious teachings. The Bahai teachings make it very clear that science must be free in order to be able to ground religion so it does not turn in superstition, and likewise religion must be independent of science so it can influence how scientific understandings are applied. There is a whole section on the importance of the Bahai principle of science and religion complimenting each other here: http://info.bahai.org/article-1-3-2-18.html

Now you mght be asking but what is the point of the importance of science when we have the Bahai Teachings and can just follow these?
Abdu'l-Baha would disagree with this idea:

"Note thou carefully that in this world of being, all things must ever be made new. Look at the material world about thee, see how it hath now been renewed. The thoughts have changed, the ways of life have been revised, the sciences and arts show a new vigour, discoveries and inventions are new, perceptions are new. How then could such a vital power as religion -- the guarantor of mankind's great advances, the very means of attaining everlasting life, the fosterer of infinite excellence, the light of both worlds -- not be made new? This would be incompatible with the grace and loving-kindness of the Lord.
Religion, moreover, is not a series of beliefs, a set of customs; religion is the teachings of the Lord God, teachings [end of Page 53] which constitute the very life of humankind, which urge high thoughts upon the mind, refine the character, and lay the groundwork for man's everlasting honour."
(Selections from the Writings of Abdu'l-Baha, p. 523 - Also found here http://bahairesearch.com/)

So we need science to "be made new", for a "new vigour" and here this would mean as much as the current knowledge that the intellectual capacity of a race is not determined by craniometry, as was once believed to be the case, as much as that we now know that homosexuality poses absolutely no threat to any individual, including oneself. Here is a link to a number of scientific resources to counter the 1950s attitudes that homosexuality is something other than an aspect of human diversity.
http://justabahai.wordpress.com/2010/12/31/we-verily/#comment-153

Show me from the Bahai Writings where there is even a hint of justisification in referring to our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters as another category of humankind, as you repeatedly do in your post. Count me as "them" in your thoughts because my humanity has more in common with any gay Bahai than with yours. And if you wish to know why, it is because no gay Bahai is going to put me into a "them" that "other-type-of-human-therefore-it-is-ok-to-call-my-prejudice-separate-but-equal" category. Gays know we are all human beings. We are one human family with no exceptions, no segregations, and equality poses no threat to anyone.

In short what would be the threat if gay marriage became a human right in all countries in the world?
The threat?
More gay marriages. The logic that you suggest that a gay marriage threatens a heterosexaul marriage makes as much sense as supposing that a human body has "homosexual" blood cells.

Abdu'l-Baha, who if alive today, would I believe be championing against the prejudice you expressed in your message.

"cause them to become the promulgators of the oneness of mankind and the cause of love and concord in the world of humanity, so that the perilous darkness of ignorant prejudice may vanish through the light of the Sun of Truth, this dreary world may become illumined, this material realm may absorb the rays of the world of spirit, these different colours may merge into one colour and the melody of praise may rise to the kingdom of Thy sanctity."
(Abdu'l-Baha, Selections from the Writings of Abdu'l-Baha, p. 105)

There is a section here http://info.bahai.org/article-1-3-2-14.html on "Abandoning Prejudice"
and I end with Bahá'u'lláh who wrote:

"O CHILDREN OF MEN! Know ye not why We created you all from the same dust? That no one should exalt himself over the other."
Bahá'u'lláh, The Hidden Words (The Hidden Words (Arabic Hidden Word, Number 68)
April 22, 2011 | Unregistered Commentersonja
Oh Zach you are so ignorant. But God bless you for posting. You see, we can tell the world our experiences in the Bahai community over and over again, but it really doesn't make a difference. Because many don't believe us when we describe the homophobia inside the Bahai community. THey say "Oh you are just a disgruntled Bahai who wants his way", "you hate the Bahai Faith" , "you are materialistic" etc etc But when a "loyal" Bahai like you shows the true ugly homophobic side that exists among many Bahais inside the Bahai community... well it is worth a thousand of the words that I could write to describe it.

So do keep posting please. It makes my job a lot easier. :o)
April 24, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterpeyam
It seems that none of these postings speak to the heart of the matter, and that is, Baha'u'llah on the one hand expects believers to be "righteous and tolerant" within and without ourselves, in Summons of the Lord. The heart of the belief is that man does not know best for his own sake, while the Divine Physician does. Submission, abiding by the rules, striving daily, overcoming the inner insistent self, the renunciation of that which is abhorrent to God, is one which the individual believer must bend his energies to.

No one knows their end, everyone will be made to give account for their deeds, no one is above the law of God, unless they are not believers. When I say I believe, I must, do whatever I can to obey the laws. This struggle demonstrates capacity, to overcome the primal drive of selfish desires. Many many of the learned and nobilities that Baha'u'llah addressed in his tablets were engaged in homosexual and lechery. Socrates was also engaged in it, but Baha'u'llah praises him. In all Baha'u'llah desires nobility and according to God, in this day, until the next revelation, homosexual, and other licentious behaviours are not noble and have cause to be accountable before God.

Humans have the tendency to want to circumvent. God allows it in this day, just not under the auspices of His Name, not under the creed of Baha'i. Falling short is accepted, circumvention and justification are not. A man who does not try, is not on the path of perfection. A person who tries, and falls short, is on the path of perfection. Perfection is not the end, but the battle of daily cycles of night and day.

Those who advocate Baha'is being prejudiced and against gay behaviour have superficial understanding of the concept of inner improvement and often side with lamentably defective material standards, which, honestly, is not the Baha'i standard. We don't have to lower our standars, it's up to the critics to raise theirs to ours.

If you, or any one does not like our rules, there is no closed door for anyone to leave. Our doors are much more open to leaving then otherwise. But do not, with words or accusations, bring down the Cause of God's rules and laws to your own base behaviour because it does not cater to your bodily appetites. A heterosexual promiscuous person is just as easily accountable for his behaviour as a homosexual; the offense is equally disdained. There is equal treatment before the law.

For millennia, incest was the norm, but not now. It was part of evolution. So in this day, it's no longer permissible. Man must stop asking God for His doing and meditate on the inner meanings of changed behaviour, based on the creative word.
April 29, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSED
SED,

1. Pretty flimsy Law of God, if it applies only to "believers," whatever that might mean. Spiritual law, as natural law, applies to us all, imho.

2. Homosexual does not equal lecher: homosexual = lecher is a false equation.

3. Promiscuous heterosexual does not equal homosexual: promiscuous heterosexual = homosexual is another false equation.

4. Homosexual does not equal base behavior, any more than heterosexual equals base behavior: homosexual = base behavior AND heterosexual = base behavior are TWO false equations. (This is not to deny that both heterosexuals and homosexuals might at some time exhibit base behavior.)

5. Homosexual does not equal licentious behavior any more than heterosexual equals licentious behavior: Homosexual = licentious behavior AND heterosexual = licentious behavior are BOTH false equations. (This is not to deny that both heterosexuals and homosexuals might at times engage in licentious behavior.)

6. It is inappropriate for you to assume that anyone here exhibits base behavior - even if you knew us, which I doubt you do, it would be inappropriate for you to make that judgment.

7. Saying in effect "if you don't like it, you can leave" is, I realize, a time-honored solution of religious authorities when called to account for their own acts of discrimination based on prejudice. And it is a path which some gay Baha'is might take - but what you fail to realize is that the Faith will be poorer for their having left, if they choose to do so. And God will hold you and others with your judgmental views accountable for driving His Servants away.

We are not discussing rules here; we are discussing justice, and how to achieve it.

This is pretty basic stuff. Think about it.
April 30, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBarb
Thanks for your notes. It seems that from my first statement that you are still continuing the miss the heart of the matter, strict and constant attempt, to recognize the law of God, and live by it, and trust that God knows our purpose better than we do.

Please refer to my first paragraph at your convenience and reflect on the nature of purpose of creation -- to know and obey one's Creator -- submitting when it is most difficult in light of one's internal, animal, dark desires, whether of sex, vengeance, greed, covetousness, calumny, lying, cheating, killing, adultery, and so on.

Otherwise, the discussion will never transcend the plane of sex, acts of sex, desires to satisfy one's genital appetites for the same sex.

If homosexuality is not about sex, then there should be no hesitation for anyone to practicing chastity being gay, which is the rule for heterosexuals just the same. This I've yet to hear from advocate Baha'i homosexuals. Where is their preaching of chastity on the subject? Because it's not about chastity. And if you have studied at length any portion of the Baha'i writings without bias, chastity is a watchword of personal behaviour.

There is no single worse quality of man, according to Abdu'l-Baha, if you give any credence to His status in the Baha'i faith as you should, except hypocrisy.

To say I believe and yet circumvent the law under the auspices of justice and retain the right to be the natural gay as one is, is hypocritical.

Your information in regards to licentious behavior requires further investigation on your part to acquaint yourself with the writings that homosexual, incestual, and any sexual act committed between persons not married fall under the same definition. There is no argument against this in the Baha'i writings that you can ever find. I assure you. There is none.

My suggestion to homosexual Baha'is is that they should not be hypocrites. Either leave the Faith so that they can be free to be who they are, or attempt, no matter how insignificant, not matter how slow, and gradual, to at least practice chastity, one day at a time.

There is great hope in former gays who were Christians, who, with little scripture and a lot of heart, overcame their homosexuality. I for one am on their side.

Homosexuality is a personal issue that is between one's self and God. To publically advocate rights and prerogatives, where they don't exist, any more for the homosexual as well as a promiscuous heterosexual, is sheer false obedience. God sees right through hypocrisy. The Cause of God has no room for hypocrites or liars. Lying is that attracts sanctions from Baha'i administration, not being homosexual; blatant behaviour gets the warning, not the private act.

If you are a Baha'i, great, and if a caring one, would you like to have Abdu'l-Baha, the gentle, yet wise Master, be associated with such practices, including promiscuous heterosexual behaviour? If you speak of justice, how just will it be to have Abdu'l-Baha's beloved Faith associated with animal instincts?

We Baha'is will never change our position, no matter the slander against us by the enemies within and without, with labels of injustice, of hypocrisy, unfairness, and so on. Our history is full of it. Those how compromised or harmed the Cause of God, in the end were wiped from the thoughts of the people and history. Kings, rulers, clergy, nobles, soldiers, prison guards, and just about anyone who in their feeble mind thought that they can extinguish the light of this Faith. But no one has learned this, in spite of the manifest evidence. Where is Kaiser, Napoleon, Czar, Nasiridin, Fuad, Abdu'l-Aziz? All covered by the same dust, the same distance underground.

The standard of the Cause of God is immutable and immobile. It's the compromising mentality, thinking that they can harm, diminish, belittle, darken in the eyes of the critical world, the polish of this eternal Faith, that will one day find rest and peace under its canopy and laws, subservient, and humbled by the welcomeness that they will receive at any time, when they begin to submit to their Creator's Will, no matter how slow and gradual.
April 30, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSED
SED,

1. I can only conclude that you did not read carefully what I said in reply to your comment, or if you read it, you did not understand it. You are still equating homosexuality with promiscuity, a false equation. Do you really believe that gays/lesbians are incapable of sustained, committed, monogamous same-sex relationships? Try opening your mind just a little, simply for the purpose of understanding what I said. You don't have to agree with it, just try to understand it.

2. The point is, SED, that heterosexual Baha'is have the choice between sexual chastity and sex within marriage - gay/lesbian Baha'is do not have that choice. That is the difference; therein lies the discrimination.

3. Are we now equating sex (all sex, including of course heterosexual sex within marriage) with the dark side, with the base animal nature, with "dark desire?" Abdu'l-Baha was married, as was Baha'u'llah, and both practiced sex within marriage, it must be assumed. Was the sex they practiced an example of their dark, animal desires and to be condemned? Do you believe that sex must result in children, or have the potential to result in children, in order to be approved by God? If so, is this Baha'i teaching? And do you intend to promote this teaching among Baha'is, with all its implications for heterosexuals?

4. The opportunity for gay/lesbian Baha'is to have committed, monogamous same-sex relationships which are blessed by marriage is what we are talking about here. Among non-Baha'is, such committed relationships, blessed by marriage when legally possible, have resulted in loving, stable families, and the children in those families are in no way inferior to children raised by heterosexuals, and indeed their families and home environment may even be more loving and stable than in many heterosexual marriages.

5. I don't know if you have read all the stories here, but I suggest you do so. They offer a wide range of experience and points of view. The purpose of this website is to provide a forum for discussion of the experience of gay/lesbian Baha'is and their families/friends, and to provoke a dialogue within the Baha'i community around this issue. Gathering the facts, which as Baha'is we must do when attempting to solve a difficult problem, is hindered when there can be no open discussion and sharing of experience and knowledge. Silence is the enemy here.

6. There is, as you probably realize, a question of what the law of God is regarding committed, monogamous same-sex relationships, and of what the law of God is in regard to homosexuality as it is commonly understood today. Baha'u'llah's words which are cited in regard to this subject appear to refer to pederasty. Pederasty and homosexuality are two different subjects.

7. I suggest that you come here with humility, and with a heart open to learning from your gay/lesbian brothers and sisters in the Faith.
April 30, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBarb
SED,

The inequities exhibited by Baha'i Administration regarding the implementation of Baha'i Law towards those who are homosexual, versus those who are heterosexual should suffice the casual observer that there are gross violations of true justice in our Baha'i communities. Time and time again homosexual Baha'is are treated to a different "standard" than those who are heterosexual. Often times heterosexuals who break Baha'i Law are ignored, while our Gay Brothers and Sisters are held to account for the most lamest excuses. I will not pretend that I agree with the current understanding on the Baha'i Law on Homosexual relationships, but like Barb I do believe that Baha'u'llah was talking about the sexual abuse of a child, and that the Guardian used the limited knowledge available to him at the time he translated the Synopsis and Codification to translate to the broad term of "homosexuality". More harm than good has been brought upon our Faith by marginalizing our Gay and Lesbian Baha'i Brothers and Sisters. Those who used their own prejudice for marginalizing Gay and Lesbian Baha'is and Seekers will be held accountable. This Faith of ours will not reach full potential until we overcome homophobia and not embrace the current science available to us regarding human sexuality. I was "Born This Way" , and no matter how devoted we are to the Cause as Gay and Lesbian Baha'is we cannot change. We can be LSA and NSA Members, serve at the World Centre, serve as Assistants to the Auxilliary Board Members , be Auxilliary Board Members , Pioneers, and yes even Knights of Baha'u'llah , but we are still attracted to the same gender, and it will not change. Please take careful consideration of all our Stories presented here, this site serves as a true testament to what LGBT Baha'is have gone through, how we served the Cause, and how we plan to stay in the Cause.

Sean
April 30, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSean
SED,

You state that "We Baha'is will never change our position...."

How is it that you can speak for all Baha'is? I didn't know that any individual could do that.

You imply that we are among those trying to extinguish the light of this Faith. Quite the contrary, we are attempting to dispel some of the darkness of prejudice, in order to let that light shine more brightly.

And just for the record, we are all inevitably "covered by the same dust" when we die. Even Baha'u'llah, Abdu'l-Baha, Shoghi Effendi, and all the Baha'is from those in the highest ranks to the most lowly among us - we all return to the same dust. Baha'u'llah in Hidden Words reminds us of that fact, lest we consider ourselves above others, for any reason. Thank you for reminding us of that.
April 30, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBarb
Change is the essential purpose of life and evolution. Even a pretty person wants to have more, as much as the ugly.

"Transformation is the essential purpose of Cause of Baha'u'llah, but it lies in the will and effort of the individual to achieve in obedience to the Covenant." UHJ

It seems that there is an intense desire for gay and lesbians to accept themselves as they are created. So would the thief, the liar, the pedophile, the murderer, the cruel, the bully, the adulterer. Everyone of these people would say, that I'm this way, this is the way I'm, I don't need to change. I accept myself. It's in my nature.

Evolution, change, is the warp and woof of creation. Nothing stands still in the universe. Nothing. Absolutely nothing.

Are homosexual Baha'is ever think that they are immune from change? at least consider it? Is there absolute correctness in their position as to their orientation that change is not an option?

Regardless, it seems that I've said too much. I stand by them. Please reread my postings with its clear meaning.

Additionally, I'm posting the letter of the UHJ through the NSA that our position of accepting such behaviour and same-sex marriage will not change. Ever. We are not. Ever. If this is point of unacceptance, then please feel free to keep your private life private. Should a thief ever tell on his theft? the murderer on his crime? the cruel, on his injustice, the adulterer on his promiscuity? It's to their advantage to keep silent. There is no hypocrisy in this. Just privacy.

However, we do not impose our laws and moral system on others. If you are a Baha'i, if I'm a Baha'i, I, we, must submit to the rules. If you, I, want to break them, lets. But lets also keep it to ourselves. If there is any doubt in any one's mind as to what the rules of personal behaviour are, please write the House of Justice. They are not dead, and were not dead, and won't die. They are here to clarify the path, guide the blind, administer the rule of law. They are the last refuge of a tottering civilization, why flee their rule, their canopy, their protection, their patience, their private prayers for everone? Why? What is to be gained from this? a few pleasures? with the passing of time, perhaps with little wine while we are at it, to free the mind and unloosen our inhibition even more, losing our virtue of shame before our Creator, which, Baha'u'llah Himself points to be the only safety of the soul against godlessness? But not everyone has it, as He clearly states. Perhaps, we can gain it with time, just a little, when possible.

As the letter below once again states clearly, emphatically, unequivocally, homosexuality is not permitted, marriage is confined to opposite genders, extra-marital relationships are forbidden. Baha'is, of any standing are bound by these laws. Please read and reread, and reread the letter below. And if there is any misunderstanding, please read it out loud, so that your ears, as well as your hearts, can visibly become better acquainted with its meaning. There is great wisdom in reading out loud. Great wisdom.

Rest assured, as I've previously state, and no one heeded, no one knows their end. So why the worry? why not rest ourselves to the care of the Master and give up the self? There is no hell, no separation, all will join their Lord, enjoy His company, bask in His Grace, orbit around His point, no one will be denied, no one will be held back, no one will be shunned, no one will remain far, no one will be put to grief. Why the insistence to disregard His law? Why the insistence? Why the disregard? Why the circumvention?

The letter follows:

January 3, 2011

To the American Bahá’í community

Dearest Bahá'í Friends,

The National Spiritual Assembly understands that homosexuality is a subject of particular interest and concern to many in this country and is, therefore, moved to share with you a letter dated October 27, 2010, written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice on this topic. A copy of the letter—addressed to an American Bahá’í—was received by our Assembly, and the Supreme Body has kindly granted us permission to share it with you:

...With respect to your question concerning the position Bahá’ís are to take regarding homosexuality and civil rights, we have been asked to convey the following.

The purpose of the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh is the realization of the organic unity of the entire human race, and Bahá’ís are enjoined to eliminate from their lives all forms of prejudice and to manifest respect towards all. Therefore, to regard those with a homosexual orientation with prejudice or disdain would be against the spirit of the Faith. Furthermore, a Bahá’í is exhorted to be “an upholder and defender of the victim of oppression”, and it would be entirely appropriate for a believer to come to the defense of those whose fundamental rights are being denied or violated.

At the same time, you are no doubt aware of the relevant teachings of the Faith that govern the personal conduct of Bahá’ís. The Bahá’í Writings state that marriage is a union between a man and a woman and that sexual relations are restricted to a couple who are married to each other. Other passages from the Writings state that the practice of homosexuality is not permitted. The teachings of Bahá’u’lláh on personal morality are binding on Bahá’ís, who strive, as best they can, to live up to the high standards He has established.

In attempting to reconcile what may appear to be conflicting obligations, it is important to understand that the Bahá’í community does not seek to impose its values on others, nor does it pass judgment on others on the basis of its own moral standards. It does not see itself as one among competing social groups and organizations, each vying to establish its particular social agenda. In working for social justice, Bahá’ís must inevitably distinguish between those dimensions of public issues that are in keeping with the Bahá’í Teachings, which they can actively support, and those that are not, which they would neither promote nor necessarily oppose. In connection with issues of concern to homosexuals, the former would be freedom from discrimination and the latter the opportunity for civil marriage. Such distinctions are unavoidable when addressing any social issue. For example, Bahá’ís actively work for the establishment of world peace but, in the process, do not engage in partisan political activities directed against particular governments.

We felt it important that the friends have access to this guidance from the House of Justice, and trust that you will find it helpful.

With loving Bahá'í greetings,


Kenneth E. Bowers
Secretary
May 1, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSED
I'll answer your last questions SED? Why, why do you ask to we fight to tell the world the truth? Well, besides believing that the Bahai Faith is supposed to be for ALL of humanity and not discriminate in His community, besides believing that the supposed "law" that you speak is no such thing, besides wanting the true community that Bahaullah intended of tolerance and love, not what you have created, here is the reason:

We fight for that Bahai teenager and others who have committed suicide because they were told by the likes of you that Bahaullah gives them a choice- leave the Faith or struggle to your wits end to "overcome" your God-given sexuality. DId you know that's why BNAASA (the sad Bahai Network supposedly to help gay Bahais) was created? It was created cause gay Bahai teens were dropping left and right and the NSA knew it needed to do something.

I was one of those teens that unfortunately thought of suicide in my youth because of fundamentalist nuts like you in the Bahai community that constantly gave me a Black/White version of the Faith.

No buddy, we are not leaving. I actually suggest that you take your sorry intolerant zealousness and leave the Bahai community. You are tainting it and don't belong in his fold. That is not what Bahaullah wanted among His followers. I have not been active in the community for the longest time for various reasons, but I pray it really is not exemplified by the likes of you. I will pray for you.
May 1, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterpeyam
I saw a great bumper sticker on a car yesterday: "God wants spiritual fruits, not religious nuts." :o)
May 1, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterpeyam