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  #1  
Old 04-20-2005, 09:26 AM
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Default Baha'i and homosexuality?

How does the Baha'i faith view homosexuality?
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  #2  
Old 04-20-2005, 10:01 AM
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Hi, Sunstone,

I have taken some writings from:-
http://bahai-library.com/unpubl.comp...lity.comp.html, which I have saved as an adobe acrobat file, for which the link is here.
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Old 04-20-2005, 10:13 AM
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Thank you, Michel. Your source is very helpful.
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  #4  
Old 04-20-2005, 12:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sunstone
How does the Baha'i faith view homosexuality?
Greetings, Sun! :-)

Briefly, the Baha'i position can be summed up in two statements:

First, as in the teachings of ALL the great religions (with only a few nonconformist groups differing), sex is to be restricted to heterosexual marriage ONLY. All non-marital sex, heterosexual or homosexual, is thus prohibited.

But second, that said, in every other respect homosexuals have the same rights and prerogatives as anyone else and so must not be discriminated against. (And indeed, there are Baha'i homosexuals.)

Regards,

Bruce
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Old 04-24-2005, 12:28 PM
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Thank you, Bruce. That's very helpful.
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Old 04-24-2005, 01:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BruceDLimber
First, as in the teachings of ALL the great religions (with only a few nonconformist groups differing), sex is to be restricted to heterosexual marriage ONLY. All non-marital sex, heterosexual or homosexual, is thus prohibited.
I have before me an article on the Buddhist attitude towards homosexuality which states, in part:
Quote:
As homosexuality is not explicitly mentioned in any of the Buddha's discourses (more than 20 volumes in the Pali Text Society's English translation), we can only assume that it is meant to be evaluated in the same way that heterosexuality is. And indeed it seems that this is why it is not specifically mentioned. In the case of the lay man and woman where there is mutual consent, where adultery is not involved and where the sexual act is an expression of love, respect, loyalty and warmth, it would not be breaking the third Precept. And it is the same when the two people are of the same gender. Likewise promiscuity, license and the disregard for the feelings of others would make a sexual act unskillful whether it be heterosexual or homosexual. All the principles we would use to evaluate a heterosexual relationship we would also use to evaluate a homosexual one. In Buddhism we could say that it is not the object of one's sexual desire that determines whether a sexual act is unskillful or not, but rather the quality of the emotions and intentions involved.

However, the Buddha sometimes advised against certain behaviour not because it is wrong from the point of view of ethics but because it would put one at odds with social norms or because its is subject to legal sanctions. In these cases, the Buddha says that refraining from such behaviour will free one from the anxiety and embarrassment caused by social disapproval or the fear of punitive action. Homosexuality would certainly come under this type of behaviour. In this case, the homosexual has to decide whether she or he is going to acquiesce to what society expects or to try to change public attitudes. In Western societies where attitudes towards sex in general have been strongly influenced by the tribal taboos of the Old Testament and, in the New Testament, by the ideas of highly neurotic people like St. Paul, there is a strong case for changing public attitudes.

- see Homosexuality and Theravada Buddhism
I particularly appreciate the last sentence.
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Old 04-24-2005, 02:12 PM
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Quote:
First, as in the teachings of ALL the great religions (with only a few nonconformist groups differing), sex is to be restricted to heterosexual marriage ONLY. All non-marital sex, heterosexual or homosexual, is thus prohibited.
so can a seme-sex couple be in a relationship if there's no sexual contact involved?
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Old 05-14-2006, 09:47 PM
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From some of the posts I've read recently I get the impression that perhaps there has been a change in Baha'i policy regarding gay Baha'i's who seek civil unions. Would there no longer be sanctions imposed upon such Baha'i couples?

lunamoth
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Last edited by lunamoth; 05-14-2006 at 09:54 PM..
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  #9  
Old 05-14-2006, 10:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lunamoth
From some of the posts I've read recently I get the impression that perhaps there has been a change in Baha'i policy regarding gay Baha'i's who seek civil unions. Would there no longer be sanctions imposed upon such Baha'i couples?
I'm not sure what posts you're referring to, unless you're referring to something I wrote.

The guidelines haven't changed, nor are they likely to, considering the contents of the writings on the subject.

If you were referring to anything I wrote, as you know, the Baha'i Faith doesn't allow drinking alcohol, but we're not out trying to close down bars. Similarly, while same-sex relationships are not ok in the faith, that means nothing about what happens in the secular realm. I haven't heard anyone within the faith, at any level, address the topic of demands for civil unions outside the faith.

I'm trying to find that statement on the subject from the Universal House of Justice. When I do, I'll post the link.
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Old 05-14-2006, 10:09 PM
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OK...no link yet, but there's this short summary. The italics are mine, and address lunamoth's earlier post.

Treatment of Homosexuals

Bahá'ís are taught not to treat homosexuals as condemned outcasts, and are told not to apply the Bahá'í teachings to people who have not accepted Baha'u'llah.


The Bahá'í writings teach people to treat everyone, including homosexuals, with love, respect, and dignity.

Gay Bahá'ís

Individuals who are openly homosexual are not prevented from entering the Faith and joining in community life. This acceptance is not an endorsement of their personal conduct, rather it is a recognition that becoming a Bahá'í is not conditional on their complete and strict compliance with all Bahá'í standards and laws. Homosexuality is seen as one of many tests and difficulties every individual must face, which can be discussed openly and sympathized with.


Homosexual Bahá'ís have been reprimanded for being flagrant in their presentation to the public. There are many examples of situations where an individual's administrative rights were taken away when their actions were decided by a Spiritual Assembly to be damaging to the image of the Bahá'í Faith. This response is also applied to alcoholism, heterosexual promiscuity, and anything that is considered flagrant immorality. As a general rule, the Spiritual Assemblies do not get involved in the private lives of believers, unless their actions are causing some harm to the community.


The Bahá'í Faith has received criticism in the gay community. The Baha'i administration has reminded followers of the religion not
to single out homosexuality over other transgressions of the religious code, and to be very tolerant of what is perceived to be immoral behaviour.
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