From the Washington Post. I like it. When I was younger I would think about getting married and then getting divorced fast just so that people would stop pressuring me to get married. My parents never did, but EVERYONE else around you does. Plus, when boys come over with their parents to meet you, that sucks ass. I hated going through that, which I did. Doesn't happen now but I'm not really home and not really a viable wife with the piercings, tattoos and traveling that I do. People would tell my parents to stop my elder sister from getting a PhD since she would then be too smart for any good proposals.
Another perspective below. Like I say, sometimes you have to decide what to expend your energy on. For these people fighting their norm, society, culture and religion is just too much. Perhaps later on in life. I got through that and did fight and am comfortable with me being me and everyone else just has to suck it up and deal. Now I have time to get to the career part.
Not sure about the title. Why does a marriage of convenience have to be sexless? You just have sex with other people. Tada. Isn't that the point? Duh.
THE WASHINGTON POST
Muslim Gays Seek Lesbians For Wives
Social Pressures Push Some Into Sexless Marriage
By Ayesha Akram
Religion News Service
Saturday, June 24, 2006; B09
On a Web site for gay South Asians, 27-year-old Syed Mansoor uploaded
the following message last summer:
"Hi, I am looking for a lesbian girl for marriage. I am gay but I would
like to get married because of pressure from parents and society. I
would like this marriage to be a 'normal' marriage except for the sex
part, please don't expect any sexual relationship from me.
"Being an Indian gay person, I believe it is so much worth it to give
up sex and have a nice otherwise normal family. We can be good friends
and don't have to repent all our life for being gay/lesbian."
Across the globe and especially in America, hundreds of other gay
Muslims have started to pursue marriages of convenience--or MOC, as they are
known-- in which gay Muslims seek out lesbian Muslims, and vice versa,
for appearances' sake.
Mansoor works as an accountant in New York and is a devout Muslim. He
abstains from drinking alcohol or eating pork and is particular about
offering early morning prayers.
To his friends on Wall Street, he is a financial whiz; to his parents,
a devoted son. But Mansoor is also part of a burgeoning trend of gay
Muslims adopting marriages of convenience. Hard statistics are hard to
come by, but on a single Web site for South Asian gays and lesbians
seeking such marriages, almost 400 requests had been uploaded.
They ranged from a desperate plea from Atlanta ("I just finished
medical school, and the pressure for me to get married is becoming
ridiculous. I can't have a conversation with my parents without them pressuring
me") to a straightforward one from Texas ("I will not object to her
having sex with other women").
Mansoor credits the Internet for making these marriages a real
possibility for gay Muslims. Gay activists agree and say that in recent years
they have seen a rise in such marriages among Muslims.
Jack Fertig, a co-coordinator for al-Fatiha, a national advocacy group
for gay Muslims, says he comes across at least one such e-mail request
"It's obvious that this is becoming a viable option," he said. "People
are seeking, looking and trying to make connections that could develop
into such marriages."
Other activists say gay Muslims are resorting to these unions for
reasons of self-preservation.
"Marriages of convenience are the result of gay Muslims wanting to
avoid emotional and physical harm to themselves," says Muhammed Ali, a
board member of Homan, a Los Angeles-based support group for gay Iranians.
Homosexuality is a crime punishable by death in much of the Islamic
world. In Iran last year, two gay teenagers were publicly executed, while
in Afghanistan, the Taliban government would torture homosexuals by
collapsing walls on them.
Though gay Muslims in America don't have such fears, they still seek
out marriages of convenience as a way of staying in the closet. Many of
them worry about being ostracized from their families if their secret is
A marriage of convenience is the perfect solution, Mansoor said. "It's
a great option," he said. "I get married to a lesbian, we sleep in
different rooms and remain friends. Meanwhile, I can have a boyfriend."
Mansoor is also willing to throw a financial incentive into the deal. A
year has passed since he posted his request on an online discussion
board, and, as yet, he has received no replies. But he continues to hope.
"Now that I have a good job and earn handsomely, my family keeps
asking, 'Why don't you find a wife?' " he said. "I plan to have a marriage of
convenience just to satisfy the world."
Muslim authorities around the world have repeatedly emphasized that
homosexuality is not permissible. Muzammil Siddiqi of the Islamic Society
of North America said there is no flexibility on this topic.
"Homosexuality is a moral disorder. It is a moral disease, a sin and
corruption. . . . No person is born homosexual, just like no one is born
a thief, a liar or murderer," he said. "People acquire these evil
habits due to a lack of proper guidance and education."
Mainstream Islamic scholars also take an unfavorable view of MOCs. The
face of Imam Omar, a scholar at the Islamic Cultural Center of
Manhattan, crinkled with laughter when he was asked about this phenomenon.
"These people are Muslims?" he asked.
Omar receives all sorts of inquiries and is now rarely taken aback. But
a query about marriages of convenience stunned him. "What kind of
marriage is this?" he asked. "A nikah [marriage] in Islam needs to be
consummated. There is no concept of marriage in Islam without sexual
Although some gay men feel a union of convenience is the best option,
Rachel Sussman, a marriage counselor in New York, said they may not know
what they are getting into. "It's opening up a Pandora's box," she
said. "What happens if his partner falls in love with someone? What happens
if he falls in love with someone who is not okay with him being
Sussman says that arrangements can potentially lead to depression,
anxiety and severe marital distress.
But Ali of Los Angeles disagrees. He doesn't think MOCs are any
unhealthier than other arrangements.
"If you look at our traditional culture, marriages were usually
marriages of consensus and convenience and not necessarily emotional
marriages," he said. "If two people care enough about each other to help each
other out, who is to say they won't have a good marriage?