Gay Muslim Imam To Perform Same-Sex Muslim Marriages

By Franco Folini from San Francisco, USA via Wikimedia Commons

The recent same-sex marriage ruling has cleared the way for many, including gay Muslims, to marry. But over the years, homosexuals who identify as Muslims found it difficult to have an Imam perform the ceremony. Now, they have a place to get married, complete with an Imam who will marry them. Imam Daayiee Abdullah of Washington, D.C., is available to perform gay Muslim marriages.

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Abdullah might be the only gay Muslim imam in America, with the other openly gay Imam being Muhsin Hendricks of South Africa. Abdullah founded The Light of Reform Mosque in the D.C. area, a mosque which claims on its website to promote "theologically sound frameworks for Islamic liberalism."

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The Same Sex Marriage Rulings

Earlier this week, the United States Supreme Court ruled on the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). Under this ruling, the Supreme Court struck down a key provision of DOMA that stated that marriage was between a man and a woman. Under this ruling, same sex couples can now be afforded the same state sponsored benefits as heterosexual couples.

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In another case this week, the Supreme Court took on the case of California same sex marriage law, saying that the people who were contesting it had no standing to challenge California's same sex marriage laws.

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Imam Daayiee Abdullah

Abdullah converted to Islam at the age of 29, while studying in China, reports the Religion News Service. He was born to a Baptist family with seven siblings, he told Metro Weekly in an in a 2006 interview. According to Salaam Canada, Abdullah studied Shari'ah Sciences and Quranic Interpretation, although where exactly he studied is unclear. Abdullah claims that there is no mention of homosexuality being "haraam," or forbidden, in the Quran, according to his interview with Metro Weekly.

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Of course, most prominent Muslim scholars would dispute Abdullah's ideas, saying that homosexuality is a sin in Islam-- but not necessarily making "gay" and "Muslim" mutually exclusive.

Although Abdullah performs Muslim same sex marriages, he himself indicated to Religion News Service that he has no plans to marry his long-term partner, although Abdullah clarified to ILLUME that he had already obtained a religious marriage, i.e. a nkkah, with his partner.

Editorial note 8:29 PM PST 6/27/2013: Final line  "although Abdullah...partner" was added, upon further clarification from the subject.

Other Reading:

Being Out and Being Muslim (Muslim Voices)

Pakistani Muslim Lesbians Wed in UK Despite Threats (ILLUME Magazine)

5 Tips on How to Help a Friend With Depression (ILLUME Magazine)



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