Gay Gay Gay Gay Gay

Dec 2011
219
Maryland
Cool

Glad to see my thread was reborn...(thanks to reborn et. al).
Loved the commentary on the same ole same ole.

The more I think about it, the more I also see how the Baha'i Administration, even if it wanted to, couldn't reverse it's reputation on this issue.

I have been doing some more thinking. I have to say, that in terms of priority and emphasis of certain laws and teachings in the Baha'i Faith, since there are clearly some laws and teachings that are being given emphasis and others being given less priority, I have to ask myself, why should this issue be of any importance to anyone? What I mean is, yes, there are some serious issues regarding discrimination going on in the world today, but to worry about what goes on in my bedroom while there are much more serious issues that the Faith's Administration and Community should be concerned about is quite ridiculous.

Seriously, my bedroom activities are really that big of a deal? I think not. I think the Faith's Administration should focus on eliminating prejudice, discrimination, bias, persecution of homosexuals, and leave the sexual activities, gay marriage, voting rights bs alone. Or at least be fair, start sanctioning the heterosexuals who are playing romper room in the community across the board and then OK, but you know as well as I do, the answer to that would be that that would be petty and trivial.. but somehow my activities are next to the end of the world.

Unfortunately, truth be told, the Bahai community and administration has not reached a point where eliminating prejudice has become a stellar capability. I think some of the secular organizations like NAACP, etc do a much better job and can teach the Baha'is a few things.
 
Nov 2012
601
United States
Glad to see my thread was reborn...(thanks to reborn et. al).
Loved the commentary on the same ole same ole.

The more I think about it, the more I also see how the Baha'i Administration, even if it wanted to, couldn't reverse it's reputation on this issue.

What "reputation" would that be? Not living up to Ellen Degeneres' standards? ;)

I have been doing some more thinking. I have to say, that in terms of priority and emphasis of certain laws and teachings in the Baha'i Faith, since there are clearly some laws and teachings that are being given emphasis and others being given less priority, I have to ask myself, why should this issue be of any importance to anyone? What I mean is, yes, there are some serious issues regarding discrimination going on in the world today, but to worry about what goes on in my bedroom while there are much more serious issues that the Faith's Administration and Community should be concerned about is quite ridiculous.

Firstly, those who decide to take up gay rights activism, or identify themselves as a minority group according to being "gay" (which is really just a kinder, gentler way of saying predisposed to homosexual attractions) face a quandary. You (as in the collective you) can't define yourself according to sexuality, campaign for the redress of supposed grievances accordingly, and then turn around and say "why is everybody so hung up on our sex life?"

I've suggested to you before, the real issue is, increasing subtle -- and not so subtle -- pressure on religion, and society in general, to mainstream and normalize homosexual relations and relationships. Not everybody is going to want to play along, and for good reason.


Seriously, my bedroom activities are really that big of a deal? I think not. I think the Faith's Administration should focus on eliminating prejudice, discrimination, bias, persecution of homosexuals, and leave the sexual activities, gay marriage, voting rights bs alone. Or at least be fair, start sanctioning the heterosexuals who are playing romper room in the community across the board and then OK, but you know as well as I do, the answer to that would be that that would be petty and trivial.. but somehow my activities are next to the end of the world.

On the secular, legal level, the administration has done just that -- as in suggesting Baha'is just keep the heck out of the current raging debate over gay marriage as an issue of civil, secular law.

Personally -- while I understand the moral objections to making gay marriage legal -- I don't give two hoots if the civil/secular definition of marriage is changed to include same-sex couples.

Hence, while those fighting tooth and nail against including same-sex couples in the legal/civil definition of marriage (which under secular United States law, is essentially a contract between two consenting adults) might be barking up the wrong tree, it's really not my place to judge them, or to make that fight my concern.

Likewise, on a personal level, I couldn't care less what you or anybody else does in their bedroom. But on the other hand, as a Baha'i, I don't expect my faith to just turn a blind eye toward something that blatantly runs counter to or values in relation to sexuality, marriage and family.

As far as sanctioning, years ago, when I was openly engaged in a live-in relationship with a woman to whom I was not married, I voluntarily gave up my voting and LSA service rights, and did not expect them back, until I had re-alinged my personal life with Baha'i principles.


Unfortunately, truth be told, the Bahai community and administration has not reached a point where eliminating prejudice has become a stellar capability. I think some of the secular organizations like NAACP, etc do a much better job and can teach the Baha'is a few things.
Depends upon what you mean by "prejudice." On the whole, it has been my distinct observation over the years that gay rights tends to label as "hate," "prejudice" or "bigotry," anything and everything that does not align with complete approval and affirmation. That's not only lazy, it's also immature.

So, while I find abhorrent such things as calling gay people by disparaging slurs or in any way, shape or form leveling hatred or threats against them -- it would also be refreshing to see gays take full ownership of their own decisions and sexuality, instead of expecting everybody else to conform to affirmation.

It's not my place to treat you poorly, but it's also absolutely not my job to affirm and support a form of sexual expression within my religious faith that runs directly counter to the standards of my faith.
 
Last edited:
Sep 2010
4,522
Earth
The thing I see occuring in these threads is more the issue than the individual subject matter.

UNITY

This one word says it all. Abdul'baha has warned us that if we do not have unity then we do not have a Baha'i Faith.

So this is a big word with far reaching implications

UNITY

It is up to us to achieve this. The way to achieve this is to remain loyal to the Covernant of Baha'u'llah and follow thre example of Abdul'Baha.

We have to take our guidance from the Universal House of Justice on all matters. This guideance once given is the infallable guidance of Baha'u'llah Himself.

If our opinions break this unity then we must put them aside and pray for guidence.

Regards Tony
 
Nov 2012
601
United States
These are the usual replies gay people get on Baha'i chat sites. Same ole same ole. Your answers are wrote. We've all heard them before. Not just from this religion -- from many -- so gay people everywhere are used to these statements, which mainly accuse of of selfishness, immaturity and focusing only on sex. Again, I ask, look at your own predictable responses here. And look at the Baha'i community. Where are the gay people? Are other people on this site at all bothered by these responses? Anyone?

I'll take snippets from the responses in this reply...which are all quite normal in these sites:

self-absorbed and immature (yes -- all openly gay people are this way)
The Baha'i Faith isn't about following societal standards. (or current science)
It's entirely possible for an opposite-sex marriage to work, if one -- or both -- of the parties has a predisposition to homosexual desires. (I've tried this; works for VERY few)
One hallmark of a mature adult, is being able to take full ownership of one's choices (gay people are mostly immature)
I'm sure, others predisposed to homosexual desires decided to stay in the Baha'i Faith, and are just as happy as you are. (I see them at feast and conferences all the time)
Not everybody hinges everything upon unfettered sexual expression (only gay people are always obsessed with nothing but sex...it's all we care about, and the whole reason we become gay is for that unfettered sexual expression)
Open-mindedness works both ways. (we should be more open-minded about the people in Iran who are persecuting Baha'is and stop publishing how bad they are -- because open mindedness works both ways)
Folks also need to stop expecting that standards must be manipulated to stroke self-esteem (gay people lack self esteem and need constant stroking and they need to grow up)
Yes, I'm sure, many gays and others -- especially in increasingly sexually permissive Western societies -- will be turned off and not join the Baha'i Faith because of our sexual standards -- at least in the short term. But, the Baha'i Faith is taking the long, long-term view. (eventually, there will be no gay people if we just wait long enough and all of this will go away because its all just because of the moral breakdown today and weak moral people, like gay people)
Well, who you are banging (gay people bang anyone anywhere)
All sex, in a way, is "in the closet." (yes straight relationships are kept hush hush and straight people never tell anyone about their partners, or kiss or hold hands in public, or put a picture of their partner in their office, or have public weddings; and sex is nasty and should be hidden)
You're showing your own narrow-mindedness (gay people really are narrow minded because for us, it's only about sex; our relationships, if we can even maintain them, are shallow)
Either, evidently, much of what I said went over your head, or you're just being obtuse, because you just pounded the crap out of a whole bunch of straw men.

And, again, what I'm seeing here is quite a lot of insisting that others affirm your point of view and desires, or accusations that they are being mean if they don't.

I'm sorry, but that doesn't reflect the attitude of a mature adult.

The Baha'i Faith is quite clear regarding its standards relating to marriage and sexuality. And I, and many others, consider them to be good, solid standards.

Standards that are going to work for everybody? No. Standards to be forced on the unwilling or uninterested? No.

But nor is there any reason to change those standards, to suit the fancy of currently popular ideas, in a society that is already fairly awash in sexual permissiveness.
 
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Dec 2012
15
Atlanta, GA
A gay "friend of Baha'u'llah"...

I would disagree with Reborn. The Baha'i faith does attract openly gay people. I am one of them. I've been associating with my local Baha'i community for over 2 years. And I would say at this point I am a Baha'i in my heart. However, at this time, I think it's probably better for me to remain unenrolled.

But I am drawn to the faith not only by the teachings of Baha'u'llah but also by the community. While I don't wear a purple triangle on my sleeve I am not in the closet in within the community. On the contrary, I have discussed the contradictions of the baha'i community on gay issues quite openly with my Baha'i friends, both from a theological and a sociological point of view. And those closest to me know that it is the largest factor holding me back from enrolling. But they have been nothing but supportive and understanding. And many express personal difficulty with the tension this creates within the community and the bad PR it causes outside the community. This kind of communal engagement is what gives me hope. We don't all agree on the answer. But we know that the current situation needs to change. This is much more than you get from most faith communities.

I agree with Noexalt that this issue will eventually be resolved in a way that will relieve the tension. Personally I believe there is room to work theologically when one differentiates between what was said on behalf of the Guardian and what he said himself, among other things. But that is another discussion entirely. Even if the theology never changes the UHJ has the power to legislate in a way that will fully incorporate committed gay couples into the community. But that decision may be a long way off, as there is still much work to do within the community to prepare it to accept such a decision and still maintain the unity that defines the community.

In the meantime I feel it is my responsibility to continue deepening myself spiritually, but also to continue engaging with the community and contributing in the ways that I can. If religion is truly to serve the purpose that Baha'u'llah says it can and be the unifying, life-affirming, civilization-advancing force it has been in the past then it behooves me to work towards that. For me that involves working to re-incorporate GLBT people in the religious life of the community. As painful as it can be to engage with those who view us as "disordered" or somehow defective, things won't change if we just walk away and seal ourselves away in a gay ghetto somewhere. We fight for full inclusion in civil society. It's time for us to start fighting for full inclusion in religious society as well. The techniques are necessarily different. But the importance of the struggle is the same.
 
Dec 2012
15
Atlanta, GA
Addressing Noexalt's questions more directly...

On a separate note, here are some more direct experiences related to Noexalt's original questions:

In the local community I know of one openly gay 2nd gen bahai. We went to university together and hearing about his experience with the community and his family and how he manages those relationships is what initially gave me hope that this could be a community I could be part of - even with it's imperfections.

I also know an ex-gay Baha'i who is very active in the local community. He's older than me (probably in his late 30's), a convert, and is now married to a woman. And while I may disagree with his personal decisions, I respect them. He's honest with his wife, doesn't claim he's no longer gay, and we have very thought-provoking discussions about how the Baha'i faith has affected us individually and in relation to the wider community. These conversations aren't always comfortable. He is, after all, the person I tried to be growing up as a Jehovah's Witness. And it's difficult sometimes to not take his life example as a rebuke to my own perspective. But we both are serious about the theology and come about our differences honestly and therefore still respect each other.

I also have a close friend who is Baha'i and bisexual. She chose to only date men and is now married. However, because of her personal experience she is quite sensitive to gay issues when I need someone to talk to. She is also quite active in the community and is currently on our LSA. She was so sensitive to my concerns that she personally brought my situation to the assembly and conveyed their response to me. She truly has been invaluable to my investigation into the Faith.

The closest thing I can think of to discrimination I experienced was when I was first starting to attend Baha'i devotionals. I was approached by a guy after the service who asked about my impressions and if I had any questions. I mentioned my problems with their stance on gay marriage. He was of a more conservative bent in his position. But he got my number and said he would arrange a fireside to discuss things further. I never heard back from him. But I would say that is more a cultural discomfort with the issue and perhaps an assumption about whether I really had a place in Baha'i life rather than homophobia. It was discrimination. But it wasn't malicious and I don't hold it against the guy.

The most hurtful things I've experienced have been on Baha'i forums and the excerpts from the Writings on bahai-library.com. Reading some of the stuff written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi has been quite painful at times. But when I compare that to the rest of the Writings and remember the cultural context of the time it's easier to see those texts for what they are rather than what they mean emotionally to me with my particular history. But this has certainly made valuing and engaging with the writings of Shoghi Effendi a challenge for me. But my faith in the love and scientific harmony of the Writings keeps me going back to engage with his writings. Plus there was so much more he wrote about that I can learn from. Whenever my negative emotions get the best of me I remember Abdu'l-Baha's advice on focusing on the 10 positive qualities even if you feel there is 1 negative, and vice versa.
 
Oct 2011
4,213
Quilimari,Chile
It's disgusting how the Bahá'í Faith teaches tolerance but two people can't express their love, tsk tsk
Dear friend, I was feeling very gay today, until I saw you trying to resurrect old issues.
Gay according to the dictionary is being happy, or was. sigh

You can say the faith is intolerant if you wish, but according to God's wish people are not to have sex outside of marriage.

I express my love for my friends gay or otherwise all the time, this is not banned.

But to speak ill of a person who is deceased and cant speak in their own defense, what is that?
Now backbiting is banned in the faith. Wow eh!
 
Jan 2014
88
it's too cold
On a separate note, here are some more direct experiences related to Noexalt's original questions:

In the local community I know of one openly gay 2nd gen bahai. We went to university together and hearing about his experience with the community and his family and how he manages those relationships is what initially gave me hope that this could be a community I could be part of - even with it's imperfections.

I also know an ex-gay Baha'i who is very active in the local community. He's older than me (probably in his late 30's), a convert, and is now married to a woman. And while I may disagree with his personal decisions, I respect them. He's honest with his wife, doesn't claim he's no longer gay, and we have very thought-provoking discussions about how the Baha'i faith has affected us individually and in relation to the wider community. These conversations aren't always comfortable. He is, after all, the person I tried to be growing up as a Jehovah's Witness. And it's difficult sometimes to not take his life example as a rebuke to my own perspective. But we both are serious about the theology and come about our differences honestly and therefore still respect each other.

I also have a close friend who is Baha'i and bisexual. She chose to only date men and is now married. However, because of her personal experience she is quite sensitive to gay issues when I need someone to talk to. She is also quite active in the community and is currently on our LSA. She was so sensitive to my concerns that she personally brought my situation to the assembly and conveyed their response to me. She truly has been invaluable to my investigation into the Faith.

The closest thing I can think of to discrimination I experienced was when I was first starting to attend Baha'i devotionals. I was approached by a guy after the service who asked about my impressions and if I had any questions. I mentioned my problems with their stance on gay marriage. He was of a more conservative bent in his position. But he got my number and said he would arrange a fireside to discuss things further. I never heard back from him. But I would say that is more a cultural discomfort with the issue and perhaps an assumption about whether I really had a place in Baha'i life rather than homophobia. It was discrimination. But it wasn't malicious and I don't hold it against the guy.

The most hurtful things I've experienced have been on Baha'i forums and the excerpts from the Writings on bahai-library.com. Reading some of the stuff written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi has been quite painful at times. But when I compare that to the rest of the Writings and remember the cultural context of the time it's easier to see those texts for what they are rather than what they mean emotionally to me with my particular history. But this has certainly made valuing and engaging with the writings of Shoghi Effendi a challenge for me. But my faith in the love and scientific harmony of the Writings keeps me going back to engage with his writings. Plus there was so much more he wrote about that I can learn from. Whenever my negative emotions get the best of me I remember Abdu'l-Baha's advice on focusing on the 10 positive qualities even if you feel there is 1 negative, and vice versa.
This is great. Thanks for sharing! ;)
 

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