Muslim Politician Saqib Ali Supports Gay Marriage

Saqib Ali is a practicing Muslim who attended high school in Saudi Arabia. It’s very impressive that he was elected to the state legislature in Maryland in the first place.

Even more amazing than that is this:

Now the Democratic delegate has come out in support of gay marriage, a position he announced publicly in an op-ed piece he wrote for a local Maryland publication, The Gazette.

In fact, he wrote this:

My stance on this issue isn’t politically expedient. I am the first Muslim in the legislature. Homosexuality is strictly forbidden in Islam. As such I have evinced much grief from my most conservative supporters.

But I recognize that I represent people of all faiths and no faith at all. If I tried to enforce religion by law — as in a theocracy — I would be doing a disservice to my both constituents and to my religion.

So while he may personally oppose gay marriage — a stance I still find somewhat disturbing — he is putting his own beliefs aside and doing what is right for the people he represents.

That takes courage.

Now why can’t other anti-equal-marriage politicians say the same thing? Either they really believe gay marriage will ruin our society, in which case they’re delusional, or they just don’t want to lose votes (and will deny rights to their constituents in the process), in which case they deserve to get the boot from elected office.

We need more politicians like Ali.

(Thanks to Kaleena for the link!)

  • http://logofveritas.blogspot.com Veritas

    This is what happens when someone who was born in a theocracy comes to the United States and sees the difference between the two systems. Yes, I am aware that technically Saudi Arabia is a monarchy, but it is ruled by Islamic law, if watered down a tiny bit.

  • Valdyr

    Saudi Arabia’s theocratic monarchy would not have seemed out of place in the Middle Ages. It’s good that Mr. Ali was able to break free from the views of his homeland, especially since I’ve been given to understand that they propagandize their children very heavily in Saudi Arabia (and in many other Muslim countries).

  • Ryan

    It may not be much, but’s its progress nevertheless. Only a matter of time.

    “So while he may personally oppose gay marriage — a stance I still find somewhat disturbing — he is putting his own beliefs aside and doing what is right for the people he represents. ”

    Way to set an example for almost every politician.

  • Frank

    If there was a liberal Christian who personally supported gay marriage, but represented a district composed exclusively of conservative Christians who opposed it, and therefor decided to oppose gay marriage, I wonder if you would be so quick to applaud his courage.

    I also find it interesting that he never states his personal view in the excerpt quoted here, he states the view of Islam, and that isn’t necessarily the same thing.

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  • medussa

    That hypothetical liberal christian politician would still be representing atheists, even if conservative christians were the majority.

    The idea is to not undermine the rights of a minority, just because the majority says so.

  • Robyn

    That just made my day.

  • Saint Splattergut

    please, let no one issue a fatwa against this man!

  • Bobby

    @Frank, I think it’s pretty clear that he’s personally in favor of gay marriage, despite what Hemant says. In his op-ed, he states

    I am hopeful that in the long run, it [Prop 8] will be seen as a pyrrhic victory for opponents of equal rights.

    It feels like the nature of the fight for equality has changed. It has gone from being a rather niche liberal issue to perhaps the most pressing civil rights issue of this generation.

    He only states that Islam forbids homosexuality. His personal stance seems to be perfectly in favor (of homosexual marriage, if not homosexuality). But at least he recognizes the disconnect between his religion and worldview and chooses the later. I’m still not sure I know of too many people, certainly no politicians, who think that homosexual marriage is both immoral and personally offensive, yet should be made legal.

    Whether politicians actually believe that gay marriage will destroy society or not, most people agree believe in the superiority of government policy that favor their personal policy preferences.

  • http://arkonbey.blogspot.com arkonbey

    That is entirely awesome.

  • Todd

    Separation of Church and State

    Saqib Ali is doing it right.

  • Justin jm

    Now why can’t other anti-equal-marriage politicians say the same thing?

    That’s a question I’d like to ask Obama’s Dept. of Justice; a few months back they filed a brief arguing to keep DOMA in effect.

  • llewelly

    PROOF that liberals and TERRORISTS are in bed together!

  • medussa

    Hahahahahaha @ llewelly

  • Aj

    Politicians like this, and there seem to be many in the Democratic Party, don’t serve anyone well. However, it could be worse, he could be fighting against gay marriage. I don’t think his views are coherent, perhaps this betrays his lack of belief in the moral authority of Islam.

  • Jim

    His statements are lip-service only. Lets not forget that devoutly religious people often find justification to lie in order to further the cause in the name of their god. Kudos if his actions represent his words.

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  • Wendy

    Fantastic!

  • Jag

    I agree that Church and State separation issues are being supported here but that’s it.

    He is religious and clearly can’t make up his own mind but will let some old book do the deciding for him. Nothing about him impresses me other than his skills at realizing that he can not be the voice of his constituents fairly if he chooses to see through just the perspective of one religion.

    He realized the obvious that most of us on this site already know. He is just not there yet. He is not that impressive comparable to the members of this site, and others like it, as we may make much better government officers than him.

    I would like someone representing me knowing at least what I know about the general understanding of life on this planet.


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