were serial rapists, who drank heavily, attacked visitors in gangs, lusted after the power of angels, knew first hand of God but refused morality and cheated and lied and thieved. And raped. RAPED. Over and over. In mobs.
Do you mean to tell me that God destroyed them for sexual orientation?
They weren’t even gay. They had wives.*
“Lot said: Your wives, who are like my daughters, are better for you!” (Qur’an 15:71)
*Yes, I realize gay men can be married to women. But why the hell would they want to be married to women if they were openly gay and didn’t have to be married to women? Because they weren’t actually gay. (The same way prison rape is executed by heterosexual men with the intent to “lower” the victim’s status to that of a woman.)
That same verse (15:17) is the reason everyone concludes that the tribe was destroyed because of sexual orientation: Lot clearly points out, of all the sins the people were committing that he could have chosen from, the sin of anal sex. Anal rape, to be clear.
But that’s because the sick bastards were nearly tearing down his door in attempt toanally rape the visitors at that very moment. What else would you be thinking about?! Mentioning any other sin would be preposterous.
*angry disgustingly lustful mob of rapists about to tear down Lot’s door*
Lot: You know, y’all are cheaters and liars. You should really stop.
Notice that in the verse Lot did not say women. He specifically said YOUR WIVES. There is a verse in which he says women, but because every other verse says YOUR WIVES we can safely assume that in that verse by women he meant your wives. (Because he obviously wasn’t telling them to rape women instead of men. He was telling them to have consensual sex with their wives.) They weren’t just rapists, they were adulterers. That is an inversion. Correction: they weren’t just adulterers, they were rapists. And in his moment of desperation he was looking for anything–anything!–to make them stop, and so he cried, why are you doing this when you have wives at home to fulfill your sexual desires?
Most Muslims will actually acknowledge that being gay is not a sin: anal sex is a sin. For hetero couples also. It’s forbidden. In fact, you’ll find legal opinion implying that lesbianism isn’t really a violation of anything, because supposedly there’s no anal sex involved. Supposedly.
And they ask thee concerning menstruation. Say, ‘It is a harmful thing, so keep away from [sexual intercourse with] women during menstruation, and go not in unto them until they are clean. But when they have cleansed themselves, go in unto them as God has commanded you.’ (Qur’an 2:222)
This verse speaks of all sexual intercourse, or else it would have specified that anal sex is still permitted (because menstruation is vaginal.) Because it didn’t make specifications, there is an implication that anal sex is always prohibited, and hadith to confirm this.
But according to the definition of a lot of Muslims, you can’t really be gay unless you have anal sex. Or you’re not really gay or something. This is deeply problematic, because in addition to being untrue, the whole “being gay is a sin!” comes from there. And annoying, because every time it comes up there’s always a need to explain the difference before we can move on with the discussion.
They’ll agree that simply being gay–and not engaging in anal sex–is not a sin, because its understood in Islam that sinful thoughts =/= sin. A sin must be an action. In fact, if you think about sinning, but you don’t actually sin, in some cases it counts a good deed, since you’ve avoided a temptation. Thinking a good thought, however, also counts as a good deed–and carrying out a good thought counts as two.
That being said, even if one interprets this verse to mean that anal sex itself is haraam, there are like a quadrillion ways to have sex.
Recap: Being gay is not a sin. Having anal sex–between anyone, including a man and a woman–is a sin. The people of Sodom were destroyed for a number of things, the main sin being rape–which, yes, happened to be anal rape–but “homosexual activity” (it feels offensive to use this term but I can’t think of anything else to describe how they view this) itself was not among the sins that ultimately destroyed them, because–if you recall–the women were destroyed as well. Lot’s wife was specifically mentioned to have been destroyed. Had God destroyed the tribe for “being gay” (which they weren’t) or even for anal sex rather than for being serial gang rapists who lusted after the power of angels and defied morality despite having full knowledge, the women would have remained.
Should an Islamic community write and enforce laws penalizing a man for having anal sex with another man? Only if they’d do the same for a man having anal sex with a woman. But the latter doesn’t happen, does it? You know why it doesn’t happen? Because it’s none of your business what anyone does in their bedroom. But, like, that only applies if you’re straight, apparently.
The emphasis Muslims place specifically on gay people having sex is highly questionable. Why are straight people allowed to transgress sexual limits of permissibility in a Muslim community, but not gay people? Why aren’t there Muslims who are like YOU SHOULD BE KILLED when a man reveals that he’s been having anal sex with his wife? The proper response in either situation would be to look at the guy like, dude, does your partner know you’re telling me this?
I’ll tell you why: because it has nothing to do with religion and everything to do with homophobia. How else does a supposedly righteous person conclude that it is permissible to rape a woman to “cure” her lesbianism? Where would you get this? Other than out of your ass, which no, is not a very scholarly place despite what you may believe. Have you not seen that God has destroyed civilizations for the crime of rape?
Some people still believe that having anal sex it is not a sin, and they have their own reasons for concluding this, and I don’t really care either way. It’s the same disinterest I have with other things that don’t affect me and don’t affect anyone other than the person who actually practices it, or–in this case–are completely irrelevant in relation to whether we should allow people their right to privacy and other human rights. It’s like the nature vs. nurture debate when it comes to homosexuality. I don’t care if you think they were or weren’t born gay–that has nothing to do with my argument that you should not be policing their sex lives or violating their human rights. Similarly, I don’t care if you think anal sex is halaal or haraam–that also has nothing to do with my argument that you should not be policing their sex lives or violating their human rights.
Edit: Interestingly, studying Greek literature in which men take other men as “true” lovers gives another perspective to the story of Lut: the men may have not in fact genuinely loved men with sexual desire like gay people, but instead hated women and viewed women as tools to deliver babies, not as equals to genuinely love. Another angle of misogyny in a town of rapists.