Sam Ghandchiسام قندچي Homosexuality and Islam

Sam Ghandchi

همجنسگرایی و اسلام

P.S. 01/28/21: Today I read the news that Mr. Emad Baghi's twitter was blocked. Here are some related Persian twitter posts (and more). I do not know what goes on in Mr. Baghi's brain; but, maybe his intention was to express what this author has stated 27 years ago in the last paragraph of this article! SG



Preface 2019

The following article was first written and published 25 years ago on May 12, 1994 in soc.culture.iranian Usenet Newsgroup on the Internet. In those days Iranians wrote on the Internet in English and this is why the Persian translation has not been available till today January 29, 2019. I should note that BBB was an extremist Islamist like Daesh of today who posted frequently on SCI in those days. Also in those days meaning 25 years ago I did not see the chance to change regime to a secular democratic government in Iran and therefore in my writings of that time on the Usenet my efforts were focused on finding creative ways to make life easier for LGBT in Iran. Needless to say that the achievements were very little, because a real solution for the issues of LGBT is impossible without changing the regime to a secular democratic state. SG

AAA wrote:
"I don't quite follow... are you saying that if this is the year 2500, and that we can, thru some genetic test, identify those who are more susceptible to homosexuality, we should just kill them? Let me get more specific. Suppose sometime in the future you find that your own child has the above genetic 'defect'. Do you think he/she should be removed like cancer?"
BBB replied:
"Being gay is different from practicing homosexuality. If one gets caught doing it, the punishment is death. I may like to do some stuff, that is not the problem. Problem is when and if I do it! If my own child was caught doing the act, it will be a great pain for me and his mother. Would I approve of his death. I am afraid I have no choice. It will be hard......"

I think you are doing yourself and your hypothetical son/daughter a disservice by thinking you have no choice. You have limited your choices a lot, even within your religious and ideological framework. Actually within your frame of reference, you could have more choices.
According to Borujerdi's Resaaleh, the act of lavaat is *not* punished by execution. So at the future time, depending on the marj-e of the time, the action may not be punished by execution. Moreover, the technology may also be available for gene alteration which can change homosexuality if it is gene-based and if desired. Already some genetic diseases are treated this way. Let me note that by writing this, I am not implying homosexuality to be a disease, which it is not.
But the issue of homosexuality is a very complex issue. In the San Francisco Bay Area where I live [in 1994 that this article has been written, I lived in the SF Bay Area], it is a very popular issue and even blown out of proportion. In some other parts of the world, it is the opposite, no one talks about it and it is a taboo. San Francisco is called the Mecca of the gays. In the San Francisco Bay Area, I have seen prejudice from gays towards the straights too, but overall, worldwide, definitely the gays are discriminated against the most.
I knew a woman who went to Santa Cruz University and was always ridiculed by some lesbians, who said that she is afraid to try *it*. She could not get it thru their head that it was her personal choice to decide what to try and what not to. I believe homosexuality is like how different people relate to cabbage. If you don't like it or if you prefer not to associate with gays, you should have the right to be who and how you are. Not liking something does not mean that you are prejudiced. It is an issue of personal choice.


Basically the prejudices against gays is the cause of the unreal image about their actuality. Actually homosexuality has always been present in the human society. But it has been very marginal. A certain percentage of humans have been homosexual in all societies, whether free to express it or not. As far as I know, it is seen in humans a lot more than among the animals. Why? Because sex and pro-creation are not synonymous for humans as human societies advance more, and thus separation of sex for pleasure from sex for procreation is a reality.
Actually sex for pleasure and not pro-creation is what constitutes the majority of sexual act in *all* human societies in our times, regardless of religious upbringing. Thus if the sexual act is not for procreation, it can find other forms than a woman/man relationship. Most of these forms are *not* natural, meaning that in nature, they are not necessarily found as such and who cares, this is the reality of a technological society and not everything needs to be "natural." Sometimes I think it is so silly why some people who hate homosexuals name-call the homosexual acts as animal acts! It is basically a human behavior and not as much seen among animals as explained above.
Are all forms of sexual pleasure healthy? Well, it depends. The same question can be asked about clothes, food, etc. Wearing clothes is also not "natural" and is kind of artificial. It is just a personal issue. I have the right not to be a gay and the gays have the right to be what they are. Historically, the more advanced societies and higher classes, such as aristocracy, have shown this tendency more. I think it was because, for them, the separation of sex for pleasure from sex for procreation was more true, and thus the Ancient Greek Aristocracy had the luxury to reach this stage of development sooner than many other societies and lower classes. Of course I am just talking of homosexuality out of choice. Homosexuality out of lack of choice, like the cases in Saudi Arabia where because of hardships of availability of relations with opposite sex or situations like jailbirds in a prison, or sailors on ships, or soldiers in the army, etc. are not the topic of my discussion here.
As noted, Ancient Greece is one good example. It is not true that because Greeks wanted to reduce the population, they encouraged homosexuality. That is a myth. The Greek aristocracy simply had the luxury of being free to choose their desired form of sexual pleasure and a small percentage chose homosexuality. Plato definitely had a homosexual tendency (maybe he was bisexual). I know many of Shi'a theologians read Plato, but I do not know if they are aware of this fact. Read Symposium or other works of his and it is obvious. In Iran, read Golestan-e Saadi and it is obvious in many stories that Saadi has homosexual tendencies. In Ghaboos-naameh, the future king is being advised to treat the gholams and kanizes (slave boys and girls) equally and *sleep* with both of them so that they will not feel abandoned. In Hezar-o-Yek-Shab, i.e. One Thousand and One Nights, there are so many stories of gays and lesbians. So Iranians have had this tendency just like any other nation.
I think homosexuality, if free, will always be something peripheral, because although humans have separated from animal nature per se, but as long as we live as humans and procreate in a biological body we cannot go that far from the rest of animal kingdom. So homosexuality will remain the issue of rights for a minority.
Killing people for being homosexual is not really fair. It is like killing people for eating cabbage. If I hate cabbage, I can just desire for cabbage-eaters to have their own restaurant and their own TV channel to advertise cabbage, but how can I hang them for liking cabbage? I really think there are much more creative ways to deal with the issue within the framework of Islam than hanging people or throwing people from the cliff!

Finally gain and again the fanatic Islamist supporters of Islamic Republic of Iran (IRI), when trying to insult the posters on Iranian forums, call them *kooni*, meaning gay in Persian
as a derogatory insult. Why is this term used as an insult by them? Let me first say that not only I am *not* gay, I am even uncomfortable when seeing two gay men kissing. But I think it is their right to be what they are, and I do not have to watch them or watch their TV shows. Maybe they are also uncomfortable seeing a man and a woman kiss! Liking or not liking is different from discrimination. I should note that the issue in the Western democracies is very different from Iran. I have heard that in some Latin American cultures, the gays are insulted in the same way. The subject (faael) and object (m'afool) are differentiated the same way that hezbollaahis on Iranian forums proudly call themselves koon-kon (subject), they despise the koonde (object) and they call their opponents by names like *koondeh* or *kooni*. In the Islamic Republic of Iran (IRI), discrimination against homosexuals is *legal* and is done by law. The law is sexist to a degree that it calls for execution of homosexuals. Some Islamic texts such as Borujerdi's Resaaleh call for throwing homosexuals from the cliff. I think fighting for the human rights of homosexuals is part of the struggle for human rights in Iran.


Hoping for a democratic and secular futurist republic in Iran,


Sam Ghandchi
May 12, 1994



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