The Subject of Boys

Sex Does Not Define Us

We are constantly reading in the news about sex.

Young gays killing themselves, gay bashers killing gays, assaults over preference, rapes, child porn, child sexual abuse, athletes chasing women and trying or having affairs, gays in the military, celebrity leaked porn videos, gay rallies, straight rallies, harassment real and imagined, laws being passed, laws being repealed, referendums, etc…

Monday, I read that in Uganda a major newspaper prominently printed the names, photos and addresses of 100 gays in Uganda urging the general population to kill them. These people have been attacked and most are now in hiding fearing for their lives.

Most sex acts are done in private and are private; why attack, persecute or humiliate individuals over a private act between consenting adults? Why can’t everyone have legal rights and protection? Of course, non-consentual, abusive or sex with a minor is wrong and should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law, but why are we getting into peoples bedrooms?

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What happened to that believer?

The current Universal House of Justice and many Bahais use the quotes from secretaries of Shoghi Effendi to justify opposition to same sex relationships as the Bahai way. But I've always been curious about one such letter written in the 1950's. It's as follows:

Regarding the question you asked him about one of the believers who seems to be flagrantly homosexual-- although to a certain extent we must be forbearing in the matter of people's moral conduct because of the terrible deterioration of society in general, this does not mean that we can put up indefinitely with conduct that is disgracing the Cause. This person should have it brought to his attention that such acts are condemned by Bahá'u'lláh, and that he must mend his ways, if necessary consult doctors and make efforts to overcome this affliction, which is corruptive for him and bad for the Cause. If after a period of probation you do not see an improvement, he should have his voting rights taken away.

Letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi,
letter dated 6/20/53 to NSA of Canada.

I have to wonder, what happened to this flagrantly gay Bahai in Canada back in 1953. Did he just leave the Faith? Did he have his voting rights removed? Did he pretend that he was now straight so he could remain in the community? Or worse, did he actually listen to this advice? That is what scares me. It is so immoral and irresposible for a the head of a world religion that claims to be the voice of God on earth today, to offer such a quote as an eternal truth -- as God's word. Did the UHJ, or any Bahai for that matter, stop and think -- what happened to this guy? Let's assume he actually went to a "competent doctor" in his day to overcome his homosexuality. Would you all like to know what some of the prescriptions were in those days in the West to help gays get over their sickness of being gay? Here are just some I'd like to share:

  • Electric shock therapy (one of the most common treatments)
  • Oestrogen treatment to reduce libido; and other methods such as chemical castration
  • Injections of apomorphine which could have serious side effects
  • And worse case scenario, if the individual was desperate, a lobotomy

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The Earth is but One Country and Mankind its Citizens (Except Gay People!)

I would like to respond to some notes I’ve read recently from a presentation given at the Vancouver conference of the Association for Baha’i Studies (ABS). The ABS invited Ms. Lynne Schreiber to present a talk on “Re-thinking Same-Sex Attraction,” and lists many Baha’i quotes on the issue of homosexuality. The list can be read here.

{josquote}Man is not intended to see through the eyes of another, hear through another’s ears, nor comprehend with another’s brain.{/josquote}

I’m particularly interested in #2 on the list, for a couple of reasons: first of all, I fail to understand how it supports her point; and secondly, it seems to contradict the statements made by the Universal House of Justice that are quoted so frequently on the list. Every quote given here from both Shoghi Effendi and the Universal House of Justice demonstrates the intolerance and hatred the Haifan Baha’i Faith has for their homosexual brothers and sisters, and the hypocrisy of the organization who preaches the unity of mankind and the elimination of prejudice, while perpetuating the outdated and prejudiced view that homosexuality is a disease which must be cured.

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The Baha'i Faith is Homophobic

The following was a handout at an Association for Baha'i Studies conference:

Re-thinking Same-Sex Attraction: And the General Principles of How to Overcome It
By Lynne Schreiber

Lynne Schreiber • Rethinking Same‐Sex Attraction and General Principles of How to Overcome It

The fact that some people experience same-sex attraction as unwanted and take measures to overcome it remains somewhat hidden from society, including much of the mental health profession. Shedding light on this process may be encouraging news to those who struggle with such attraction. Understanding the complex factors that commonly shape same-sex attraction unlocks the possibility to conceptualize a new framework for growth.

Lynne Schreiber’s expertise comes not through academic study or professional years of service, but through 20 years of struggle and spiritual transformation. The presenter has also gained much learning through extensive study of the Bahá’í guidance, Christian materials and cutting edge research on overcoming same sex attractions.

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Is there homophobia in the Baha'i community?

Is there homophobia in the Baha’i community? In April this year Korey started a discussion on a Bahai Facebook group called “homophobia”. This is what he posted:

First Lessons in Relativity - an installation by Sonja van Kerkhoff

If you are gay or not, you should forward this as a support of your friends and loved ones that are. Love is not defined by color, belief, or gender.

I am the mother that is not allowed to see the children she gave birth to, took care of and raised. The courts say that I do not fulfill the requirements to be a mother now that I live with another woman.

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