- Published on Friday, 11 May 2012 07:17
President Obama's support for same-sex marriage was inevitable. During its three years in power, the Obama administration has ordered a "cease to defend" the Defense of Marriage Act, while totally dismantling Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. Will Obama’s statement concluding his personal acceptance and affirmation of the legality of same sex marriages make a difference in LGBT lives on the ground?
No. After all, laws are not written by the Executive Branch. What Obama has done is come out as a supporter of compassion and justice for same sex couples.
Ironically, it took a Christian man like Obama, to remind us Muslims of compassion and justice for all.
Islam emphasizes compassion. “In the name of God the most Gracious, the Compassionate,” is a phrase before every verse in the Quran. As Muslims we are taught to utter these words before any action, before we drive, eat, and speak. The problem for many of us is, we don’t mean it. We utter those words out of pure habit without reflection or conviction. What is the conviction? If God can be the most gracious and compassionate then why can’t we human beings do the same? Why are we the judge and prosecutor of God’s creation, in this case, our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters? If we call ourselves Muslims, we need to live by it.
Marriage in Islam is simply a contract between two consenting adults. The stipulation is that they must be mature enough to make that decision, of sound mind, and not coerced into marriage. It is not gender specific, nor is it stipulated to be between a man and a woman. Instead, the Quran 24:32: “AND [you ought to] marry the single from among you… “, clearly highlights marriage has to be between single individuals, male or female!
Too often Muslim talking-heads claim, “Islam means peace.” Well how exactly is peace defined or attained? Peace can only be obtained by way of justice. Justice is a universal right and it cannot be selectively applied.
Going back to marriage as a contract, marriage in our society comes with privileges beyond the initial intent of contract in Islam. It is not just an “I do.” Attached to a marriage license are social and financial benefits which, in America, only apply to heterosexual marriages. How does this skewed and biased law promoting the superior status of heterosexual-only marriage equate to justice?
Finally, regardless of whether any individual agrees or disagrees with the religious acceptance of homosexuality, America is about justice for all. If you consider yourself a proud American, then same-sex marriage is a no brainer.By Ani Zonneveld, Aslan Media Contributor