Alex Sangha: It’s time for world’s religions to embrace sexual and gender diversity

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      Life experience has taught me that homosexuality is a part of nature and God’s plan. It is not an illness or something that needs to be treated or changed. I am writing this because I feel it is time for the major faiths of the world to embrace gays and lesbians and welcome them in their place of worship. My reasons for coming to this conclusion are detailed below.

      Homosexuality exists in hundreds of species in nature but homophobia is only a problem among the human species. The human species is a part of nature and we are all a part of God’s creation.

      Why would God create lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people if he did not like them and wanted to make their life miserable? A heterosexist society can make life challenging for many gay and lesbian people, especially for youth who are at high risk of suicide and bullying by their peers.

      Homosexuality is no longer considered a mental illness by psychiatrists and psychologists, and there is no need for treatment—especially “reparative therapy”, which can do a lot of damage to a person’s spirit and self-identity.

      Everything in life is diverse. It is not surprising therefore that sexuality is diverse. Diversity is a part of the miracle of creation. We should embrace this diversity as it has been with us since the beginning of time.

      Homosexuality flourished during ancient Greek and Roman times and the aboriginal people of Canada still today accept gay and lesbian people as two-spirited. Two-spirited means a gay and lesbian person has a male and female spirit within them. They have special roles in the community such as healers, setting up arranged marriages, counsellors, and creating costumes.

      Furthermore, gay and lesbian people have contributed a huge amount to society despite the marginalization, discrimination, and alienation they experience.

      Alexander the Great, Marlon Brando, James Dean, Ellen DeGeneres, Megan Fox, Lady Gaga, John Maynard Keynes, Yves Saint Laurent, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Suze Orman, and Tchaikovsky were or are all either gay, lesbian, or bisexual.

      It is unfortunate that the major western and eastern religions are generally not supportive of sexual and gender minorities. This does not mean that these religious views have any more authority in the eyes of God. These are just the times we live in.

      In fact, the God that I have come to know loves everyone especially the marginalized and oppressed equally. Those in positions of power should recognize how fortunate they are and try to make a difference for those struggling for equal rights and acceptance in our society.

      It is important to remember that the only person who has the right to judge anyone is the Creator. Perhaps, one day we will all be held accountable for our actions at a divine level. We can choose to try to break people’s spirits with discrimination, hatred, and ignorance or promote universal love, acceptance, and equality.

      It’s time for the leaders of the major world religions to find a place for their gay and lesbian adherents in their place of worship. This includes the major religions of the Middle East and South Asia whether Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Sikhism, Buddhism, and Hinduism.

      No place of worship should be exclusionary and no place of worship should judge one group of people over another. A place of worship should welcome everyone who wishes to be embraced by God’s universal message of love.

      The fact that gays and lesbians can still be put to death in many countries around the globe demonstrates how critical it is for people to act. The recent “Kill the Gays” legislation that was being debated in Uganda is a reminder that some cultures, civilizations, and people will exploit their dominance and power to oppress a vulnerable minority. This is an example of “tyranny of the majority”.

      Gays and lesbians need special protections enshrined in law and international treaties. The political leaders need to send a strong message that homophobia, heterosexism, and human rights abuses against sexual and gender minorities will not be tolerated. Those responsible for such crimes must be held accountable at the highest levels.

      In addition, new cultural, legal, political, and religious policy needs to be drafted to encourage the citizens of the world to treat everyone, including gays and lesbians, equally and as a part of God’s family!

      Alex Sangha is the founder of Sher Vancouver.

      Comments

      15 Comments

      kiddaa magazine

      May 30, 2011 at 4:39pm

      KiDDAA Magazine salutes Alex Sangha who we interviewed over a year ago about his life as gay Punjabi and his views on the world. KiDDAA has also interviewed other notable Canadians such as Daniel Igali, Jay Sean, Erwin Singh Braich, Ranj Dhaliwal.

      Larry Behrendt

      May 31, 2011 at 4:00am

      God created sex for two purposes; first for procreation and second for pleasure. It is very clear in the Bible that God created a man for a woman. Genesis 2:23-25, Genesis chapter 19 shows God's displeasure for deviant sexual behavior. Leviticus 18:22, 23 prohibits deviant sexual relations as well as bestiality. Jesus also confirmed the sanctity of marriage between a man and a wife. (Matthew 19: 1-10) In Romans 1: 18-32, but particular attention to 24-27, Paul delivers a clear denouncing of deviant sexual behavior. See also 1 Corinthians 6: 1-11, in verse 9 the word for homosexual could be rendered male prostitute. Finally, the marriage union is a symbol of Christ's relationship to the church. A man must love his wife as Christ loved the church.
      There is nothing is the Bible that vaguely condones sexual behavior outside of what God initially pronounced in the Garden of Eden. What we see today is the effects of sin, it corrupts everything and this includes God blessed sexual activity. We live in a post modern society that promotes relativism and this allows truth to be construed in any way people like; the problem with relativism is self defeating since it makes no truth claim that is absolute. This is part of the underpinning to the promiscuity that plagues our society today.

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      RonS

      May 31, 2011 at 6:39am

      There is no god and quit eating so much processed soy!

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      KMack

      May 31, 2011 at 12:56pm

      lol @ Larry

      Leviticus also bans shellfish too, numbnuts! Let's face it, religion isn't rly the problem. There are a lot of wacky homophobes out there like Larry that like to pick and choose certain bible verses to justify their violence and hate. You don't hate promiscuity, Larry. You hate freedom.

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      Trans, Intersex, Bi, Queer

      May 31, 2011 at 1:22pm

      This article makes good points and has good intentions however trans, intersex, bisexual, and queer people were not emphasized. Also, in a few instances sexuality was mixed up with gender. These are not the same.

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      Tom Joad

      May 31, 2011 at 2:38pm

      Something tells me that the Religion of Peace isn't up for this challenge.

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      Vicky

      May 31, 2011 at 11:45pm

      It's time that people finally got over their silly superstitions and allowed "world religions" to fade into well-deserved oblivion. That would do infinitely more for the emancipation of humanity - regardless of sex, gender, race, eye colour or sexual preference - than lobbying a bunch of delusional sects to be more tolerant of difference (by definition not something religions do well). For the life of me I could never understand why so many in the queer community have tried so hard over the years to be accepted by people who obviously consider their very existence an error, at best, or an abomination, at worst. It's easy: There is no god, there is no sin, so just get on with your life.

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      R U Kiddingme

      Jun 1, 2011 at 9:02pm

      Larry, does your Bible have the Song of Solomon in it?

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      Remy Taupier

      Jun 2, 2011 at 2:43pm

      Sengha says: "Homosexuality exists in hundreds of species in nature". I wonder where he saw that! I don't even know one species that is homosexual !! When you observe the nature from the infinitely small to the human realm, there is always a complementarity + and -.
      Electron - with protons; anions with cations; basic/acid; pistil/stamen; male/female in the animals; in electricity too or in magnetism it's + and -.
      Always two + reject each other; always two - reject each other.

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