Across America, gay marriage is becoming a legalized practice, leading to general societal acceptance of the practice. In many Muslim countries, homosexual relationships are practiced secretly, often by men with wife and children. In Kuwait, a judge reportedly ruled that two co-wives were obliged to sleep with their husband as a group if that is what their husband wanted. Apparently the women felt strongly enough about their desire not to see each other naked that they took this issue to court and lost! The issue is so complex that there are even western homosexual men who migrate to Muslim countries because they prefer the privacy to the politics, and because they do not actually wish to disturb the tranquility of the heterosexual family unit and the society that is built upon such stability. They recognize that their behavior is an aberration to the norm and thus threatening to the majority.
Most Muslims feel extremely squeamish about the topic of homosexuality and many have in the past voted Republican in order to support “family values.” However, Republican politicking against Muslims has led to the vast majority of Muslims supporting President Obama and becoming active in liberal circles where Muslims and homosexuals are lumped together as “oppressed people.” Yet Islam is one of the last American religions to uphold the law against homosexual practices.
In the context of “live and let live,” politically active Muslims could choose to push for an even wider acceptance of the concept of marriage to include polygamous marriages. Gay marriage laws could even be used to help co-wives migrate to the United States, perhaps. But ultimately, the debate over gay marriage could probably be ended immediately with universal or perhaps preferably, state-wide health insurance. There is no real practical reason that a person who wishes to engage in a monogamous sexual relationship with someone else would need to get a government-certified piece of paper requiring it, except in order to provide someone else with health insurance coverage.
While genetic theories abound regarding inborn homosexual urges, Islam views homosexuality as something you choose to do, not something you are. A human being is able to find release in various ways, but I've never heard of anyone called a “vegesexual” (for example). One can choose to lead a hedonistic lifestyle, or one can choose the route of procreation and lifelong responsibility. In cases where a person insists on living a homosexual lifestyle, the question is legitimate whether a person should be free to openly confess it – since it might prevent the sorrow of a wife whose husband is not interested in her but is just using her as a smokescreen against society while exposing her to diseases.
Hadith seem to require excluding homosexuals from Muslim society. However, basic politeness also forces us to wonder how to deal with homosexual co-workers, neighbors, and even beloved friends who have chosen to take that path. Many of these people have many positive qualities.
One way to approach the situation is empathy. Most male homosexuals I have been acquainted with have in their early years been molested by an older man. Most female homosexuals that I know have had some bad experience with men or marriage. From an economic standpoint, it makes sense not to procreate, at least in the short-term. This is why the Gay Lobby has become so powerful, because people have money to donate to political causes. There is also some evidence of the Jewish Lobby and mass media producers promoting homosexuality as a way to undermine Christianity.
Another approach is avoidance. Many Muslims will simply avoid dealing with homosexuals the same way as they avoid dealing with alcoholics, and that is a perfectly sane choice to make as well.
The main question remaining is what we are going to tell our children. In my experience when my children observe same sex couples holding hands, the best thing to do is to say nothing. The kids may not even notice. If the question of gay marriage comes up, I explain that this is something other people might do, but Muslims don't do that. So far they seem satisfied with that. Ultimately, it boils down to the concept of premarital chastity. Those young people who give themselves permission to experiment can be drawn down all kinds of paths, while those who choose to wait until the time is right will have time to think about the pros and cons of any given relationship.
Those of us who feel motivated to actively promote heterosexuality should probably focus on the predatory nature of many heterosexual relationships and why some might choose to avoid them.
In Western society, there is an intense need for an increase in same sex bonding. Since the 1970's, it is very difficult for someone to find themselves in a group composed entirely of their own gender. Other than converting to Islam, becoming a lesbian is one of the only ways for women to find themselves in an emotionally supportive group of other women. My friend's husband, who is non-Muslim, attended an evening prayer during Ramadan and exclaimed that he had never been so physically close to other men before.
There is probably a true human need to socialize and be close to people who share our gender. People deprived of such human contact may develop intense emotional needs that could easily be misinterpreted as sexual in some contexts.