Life experience has taught me that being gay is a part of nature and God’s plan. It is not an illness that needs to be treated or changed.
I am writing this because I feel it is time for the major faiths of the world to embrace and accept gays and lesbians and this includes welcoming them into their place of worship.
My reasons for coming to this conclusion are detailed below.
Homosexuality exists in hundreds of species in nature. The human species is a part of nature and we are all a part of God’s creation.
Why would God create gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people if he did not like them and wanted them to suffer and make their life miserable?
A heterosexist society can make life challenging for many gay and lesbian people, especially for youth who are at high risk of suicide and bullying by their peers.
Homosexuality is no longer considered a mental illness by psychiatrists and psychologists, and there is no need for treatment—especially “reparative therapy”, which can do a lot of damage to a person’s spirit and self-identity.
Everything in life is diverse. It is not surprising therefore that sexuality is diverse.
Diversity is a part of the miracle of creation. We should embrace this diversity as it has been with us since the beginning of time.
Homosexuality flourished during ancient Greek and Roman times and the aboriginal people of Canada still today accept gay and lesbian people as two-spirited. Two-spirited means a gay and lesbian person has a male and female spirit within them. They have special roles in the community such as healers, setting up arranged marriages, counsellors, and creating costumes.
Furthermore, gay and lesbian people have contributed a huge amount to society despite the marginalization, discrimination, and alienation they experience.
Alexander the Great, James Dean, Ellen DeGeneres, Lady Gaga, John Maynard Keynes, Yves Saint Laurent, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, and Tchaikovsky are or were all either gay, lesbian, or bisexual.
It is unfortunate that the major western and eastern faiths are generally not supportive of sexual and gender minorities. This does not mean that these religious views have any more authority in the eyes of God. These are just the times we live in.
In fact, the God that I have come to know loves everyone especially the marginalized and oppressed equally. We are all God’s children and deserve divine blessings.
Those in positions of power should recognize how fortunate they are and try to make a difference for those struggling for equal rights and acceptance in our society.
It is important to remember that the only person who has the right to judge anyone is the Creator.
Perhaps, one day we will all be held accountable for our actions at a divine level. We can choose to try to break people’s spirits with discrimination, hatred, and ignorance or promote universal love, acceptance, and equality.
It’s time for the leaders of the major world faiths to find a place for their gay and lesbian adherents in their place of worship.
This includes the major religions of the Middle East and South Asia whether Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Sikhism, Buddhism, and Hinduism.
No place of worship should be exclusionary and no place of worship should judge one group of people over another. A place of worship should welcome everyone who wishes to be embraced by God’s universal message of love.
The fact that gays and lesbians can still be put to death in many countries around the world demonstrates how critical it is for people to act.
This is a reminder that some cultures, civilizations, and people will exploit their dominance and power to oppress a vulnerable minority. This is an example of “tyranny of the majority”.
Gays and lesbians need special protections enshrined in law and international treaties.
The political leaders need to send a strong message that homophobia, heterosexism, transphobia, and human rights abuses against sexual and gender minorities will not be tolerated. Those responsible for such crimes must be held accountable at the highest levels.
A society and civilization will be judged by history by how it treats its most marginalized and vulnerable members.
We need to treat everyone including our gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender citizens equally and as a part of God’s family!
Alex Sangha is an award-winning social worker based in Surrey, B.C. He was recently awarded the Meritorious Service Medal (MSM) from the Governor General of Canada for founding Sher Vancouver which is a social, cultural, and support non-profit organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender South Asians and their friends and families. For more information check out https://alexsangha.com/