The Subject of Boys

Baha’i Faith & Homosexuality: It’s Getting Better

On January 3rd, the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of the United States sent out a letter to the American Baha’i community, quoting parts of a letter from the Universal House of Justice to an individual:

…With respect to your question concerning the position Baha’is are to take regarding homosexuality and civil rights, we have been asked to convey the following.

The purpose of the Faith of Baha’u'llah is the realization of the organic unity of the entire human race, and Baha’is are enjoined to eliminate from their lives all forms of prejudice and to manifest respect towards all. Therefore, to regard those with a homosexual orientation with prejudice or disdain would be against the spirit of the Faith. Furthermore, a Baha’i is exhorted to be “an upholder and defender of the victim of oppression”, and it would be entirely appropriate for a believer to come to the defense of those whose fundamental rights are being denied or violated.
(Letter from the UHJ to an individual, 27 October 2010)

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A gay Bahai couple in the Hague, 1956

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This story is interesting in that it is one example of how a homosexual partnership was addressed in the time of Shoghi Effendi, and because it gives the context and full text of a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi which is otherwise published only in part.

This is not my research: it is published by Jelle de Vries in The Babi Question you mentioned (2002), a history that covers reports about the Babi and Bahai religions written by Dutch expatriates in 19th century Iran, and also the early history of the Bahai Faith in the Netherlands up to 1962. The title of the book is a reference to one of the letters written from Iran, in which the Dutch correspondent begins, “As for the Babi question you mentioned…”

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Homosexuality and Civil Rights

{josquote}We need to be able to distinguish the moral points from the social points.{/josquote}

A recent letter was sent by the Universal House of Justice to an American Baha'i regarding the issue of homosexuality and civil rights. It was brought to my attention when someone sent me a link to an article about it. They knew of my interest in the subject, had presumably read an earlier piece I had written, and let me know. Whoever that was, thanks. (I'd give you a tip of my hat, but I'm not wearing one.)

As the person who wrote that article said, it seems to be the issue of our generation, and so I find myself, once again, addressing it.

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New guidance regarding homosexuality

{josquote} Baha'is caught in the line of fire between a polarized pro- and anti-gay society, this message seems to authoritatively address several recent issues.{/josquote}

The below letter was recently sent from the US National Spiritual Assembly to the American believers. It quotes from a letter to an individual on behalf of the Universal House of Justice, and directly clarifies what is perhaps the greatest social issue of my generation. It clearly encourages Baha'is to fight against discrimination and work for social justice, while leaving intact the clear moral guidelines around marriage. The prominent reference here is that with regards to homosexuals, "freedom from discrimination" can be actively supported, while "opportunity for civil marriage" would neither be promoted nor opposed.

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