Speak Up Against Baha'i Discrimination Against Homosexuals

  • by: Amanda Respess
  • target: The Universal House of Justice [Baha'i supreme administrative body]

The Baha'i Faith, a world religion that espouses many beautiful, forward thinking ideas, also unfortunately overtly condemns homosexuality and teaches that it is a spiritual "handicap."  Gay Baha'is face the loss of their Baha'i administrative rights if they are open and honest about their sexual orientation and lifestyle.

Recently, the Baha'i community of Uganda participated in an interfaith effort to deport an American journalist for covering a LGBTI  human rights event called, "Let Us Live in Peace."  The Baha'is of Uganda also advocated the arrest of all LGBTI individuals in Uganda for their "immorality."  Please see the following links for more information:

http://commentisfree.guardian.co.uk/peter_tatchell/2007/09/ugandan_gays_demand_freedom.html

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/6952157.stm

http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2007/aug/07082103.html


Baha'is who disagree with this blatant discrimination face administrative and spiritual "sanctions" from their religious authorities.

It is time to speak up.

If you find the Baha'i position on homosexuality offensive and discriminatory, please sign this petition.

If you are a Baha'i, and you sign, please be aware that you risk administrative sanctions from the Baha'i institutions.*  But ask yourself why you should have administrative rights, when they are denied your gay brothers and sisters.  Perhaps it is time to demonstrate your commitment to justice, fairness, and the oneness of humanity by risking your own administrative rights in a stand for justice.  Do not let the type of actions that happened in Uganda be done in your name.  Take a stand.

For more information about the Baha'i Faith's stance on homosexuality, please visit:

http://www.religioustolerance.org/hom_bah.htm

If you are a Baha'i and receive warnings, counseling, or sanctions due to your voicing your disaggreement with Baha'i discrimination through this petition, please consider informing us so that we might inform the media, anonymously if you prefer.  Consider the words of Martin Luther King, Jr:

"I submit that an individual who breaks an unjust law must do so openly, lovingly, and with a willingness to accept the penalty.  I submit that an individual who breaks a law that conscience tells him is unjust, and who accepts the penalty of imprisonment in order to arouse the conscience of the community over its injustice, is in reality expressing the highest respect for the law." (Why We Can't Wait, Page 83)

We, the undersigned, find the Baha'i teachings and policies regarding homosexuality morally unacceptable on the following grounds:

- Homosexuality is not a handicap, spiritually or otherwise
- To malign or attempt to eradicate a natural, healthy, and unchangable part of a human being is abusive and wrong
- The denial of full Baha'i administrative rights, including the right to marry, based on sexual orientation is blatant and unacceptable discrimination
- The Baha'i condemnation of homosexuality perpetuates the spiritual and physical abuse of LGBTI individuals across the globe
- Baha'i institutional backing of homophobic, discriminatory and abusive agendas, as in Uganda, is antithetical to regard or human rights, justice, and equality

In the modern world, all organizations should be held accountable to public scrutiny and opinion.  The Baha'i position on homosexuality is unscientific, promotes fear and loathing of homosexuals as persons, and denies homosexuals their basic human right to marry and live free of censure and discrimination based on who they are and who they love.

The world is watching.  Any further action by the Baha'i community that promotes a hate-filled, homophobic agenda either at the level of the individual believer or at the community level, as in Uganda, will not be tolerated and will be put to public scrutiny.

We invite you to change your ways and join with the people of good will across the globe in fully embracing and enfranchising the LGBTI community.

Thank you for taking the time to review our concerns. 

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