I was wrong. So very wrong.
I’ve been reviewing the Quran and the Hadith on this matter. I’ve also been reading your comments on the post. And the clear message I’ve received is that Islam does not recognize homosexual relationships.
Here’s some textual evidence:
“And (remember) Loot (Lot)! When he said to his people, ‘Do you commit Al‑Faahishah (evil, great sin, every kind of unlawful sexual intercourse, sodomy) while you see (one another doing evil without any screen)
Do you practice (sic) your lusts on men instead of women? Nay, but you are a people who behave senselessly.’
There was no other answer given by his people except that they said: ‘Drive out the family of Loot (Lot) from your city. Verily, these are men who want to be clean and pure!’
So We saved him and his family, except his wife. We destined her to be of those who remained behind.
And We rained down on them a rain (of stones). So evil was the rain of those who were warned”
[al-Naml 27:54-58 – interpretation of the meaning]
It is pretty clear from these verses that Allah condemned the people of Prophet Lot (alaihis salam, peace be upon him) because they practiced homosexuality. Yes, the word lust is used here and one could argue that there is a difference between being attracted to men and lusting after men. But the common sense interpretation of this passage is that homosexuality has no place in Islam.
Here’s a Hadith that really made me open my eyes:
G – It was narrated that Jaabir (may Allaah be pleased with him): “The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: ‘There is nothing I fear for my ummah more than the deed of the people of Loot.'”
(Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, 1457; Ibn Maajah, 2563. This Hadith was classed as saheeh by Shaykh al-Albaani (may Allaah have mercy on him) in Saheeh al-Jaami’, no. 1552).
Prophet Muhammad (salla allahu alaihi wa salam, peace be upon him) said that there is nothing he dreaded more for the sake of his followers that homosexuality. That is stunning. He did not say shirk, kufr, or adultery, but homosexuality.
Furthermore, Islam recognizes two types of relationships – familial and marital. The bond between parent and child as well as between brother and sister are sacred in Islam. Also, when a man and woman choose to commit to a lifelong relationship through marriage, that is held sacred as well. Islam does not recognize boyfriends, girlfriends, or common-law (living together) spouses.
As for living in a secular state, I believe we have no right to compel non-Muslims to practice Islam. However, when one chooses laws for one’s society, one must take ethics and morals into account. Also one must consider the effects that an action will have on society. Even in the U.S., a Muslim politician should choose the laws that will be best for society. Take alcohol for example. If there were a law forbidding ads for hard liquor on network TV, I would expect a Muslim politician to support it because he or she knows that Allah forbade alcohol because its harms outweigh its benefits. Even atheists support or oppose legislation based on morality. Just because one’s morality is based on one religion does not mean one should ignore morality in secular contexts.