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August 21, 2004Top

* Shiites and gay marriage

In his article, "Immoral and illegal", Slater Bakhtavar laid out his opinion on legality and morality of gay marriage. I will leave the question of morality of gay marriage to the moral, and instead concentrate on the legal aspect of it. Although Mr. Bakhtavar makes a convincing argument on illegality of gay marriage, his argument falls apart when you look at it from a constitutional point of view.

You see, Moslems have a practice of temporary marriage called Seegheh, although my understanding is that Sunnis do not practice this tradition. The practice of temporary marriage was introduced as a way of controlling pre-marital sex. A kind of a try it before you buy it.

It works like this. The man will utter a certain verse to ask for godís blessing and then asks the woman if she agrees to the terms of the temporary marriage. If the woman says "yes", then they are set for a few hours of perfectly legitimate hanky panky. The problem was that creative women used it as a way of getting away with prostitution. And creative men have been known to mumble the compulsory verse and then in a loud clear voice surprise the woman by asking "Do you?".

The unsuspecting woman who is wondering what the man is mumbling about politely says "Yes!", and technically it is a done deal. Now what if a gay Shiite man pulled a stunt like that on yours truly. To follow any anti-gay marriage laws I would have to violate this manís first amendment right, freedom of religion. As you can see any anti-gay marriage law is clearly unconstitutional.

Truly yours,

Reza Safarnejad

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