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.