Muslim group with Malaysian links praises US court’s decision to legalise gay marriage

People celebrate the United States Supreme Court’s landmark decision that legalised same-sex marriage throughout the country in San Francisco, California June 26, 2015. — Reuters pic
People celebrate the United States Supreme Court’s landmark decision that legalised same-sex marriage throughout the country in San Francisco, California June 26, 2015. — Reuters pic

KUALA LUMPUR, June 27 — A US-based Muslim group with a Malaysian chapter has commended the Supreme Court’s ruling that legalised same-sex marriage throughout America.

The Muslims for Progressive Values (MPV), whose founder and president is a Malaysia-born named Ani Zonneveld, cited a “gender-neutral” verse in the Quran on marriage that read: “And among the signs of God is this: that God created for you spouses from among yourselves, that you may dwell in peace with them, and God has put love and mercy in your hearts, truly in this are the signs of God for those who reflect”.

“Our love for our LGBTQI siblings causes us to rejoice in today’s decision from the highest court of law in the United States, the US Supreme Court, recognising and uplifting the constitutional mandate of equality,” MPV said in a statement yesterday, using the initials for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and intersex community.

“Muslims for Progressive Values recognises the worth of every human being as endowed by our creator. Seeking to enact justice through word and deed, MPV has worked to create inclusive spaces where LGBTQI Muslims could embrace both their faith and their sexual orientation and/or gender identity,” the Los Angeles-based group added.

The Supreme Court ruled yesterday by a 5-to-4 vote to uphold the right to same-sex marriage throughout the US, where gay people could already get married in the majority of states before the historic decision.

“No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice and family. In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were,” Justice Anthony M. Kennedy was quoted by the media as writing in the majority opinion.

According to MPV’s website, MPV, which seeks to build a progressive Muslim community, has established communities in several countries, including Malaysia, and Australia.

The website also lists Zainah Anwar, co-founder of local Muslim women’s rights group Sisters in Islam (SIS), as a member of MPV’s activist advisory board.

American religious scholar Dr Reza Aslan, who has criticised the Malaysian Court of Appeal’s decision to prohibit the Catholic Church from referring to God with the Arabic word “Allah”, is listed on MPV’s scholar advisory board.

Malaysia’s Islamic authorities and conservative Muslim groups have repeatedly condemned the gay and transgender community, with news website Gay Star News reporting in 2012 assaults on transsexuals in the country.

 

* We apologise for an error in the earlier report which had mistakenly stated that the MPV had a charter in Egypt.