Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Way to go! ISNA supports LGBT anti-discrimination bill

by Salman Hameed

It is fantastic that the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) - the largest Muslim organization in the US - has come out in support of employment anti-discrimination act. This must have been a contentious issue, but it is great that they ended up on the more progressive side. Here is the article (tip from Amina Steinfels):
Last week, one of the clearest shifts in the decades-long debate over Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) came into light from the largest U.S.-based Muslim organization, the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), joined a broad interfaith coalition, calling ENDA a “measured, common sense solution that will ensure workers are judged on their merits, not on their personal characteristics like sexual orientation or gender identity.”

In a historic advancement for the LGBT rights movement, the Senate on Thursday approved ENDA, a bill that protects against workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. Despite advances in anti-discrimination in the workplace, Muslims continue to face unfair job discrimination. Our shared experiences of discrimination can provide a common basis to work with one another to mold a more inclusive America.
Commenting on the shift of tone, Dr. Sharon Groves, Director of HRC’s Religion and Faith Program, regarded ISNA's support of ENDA as a major step in right direction.
“LGBT Muslims both in the U.S. and abroad need to hear from organizations like ISNA that their experiences as Muslims are recognized in the spirit of Islam’s emphasis on compassion and respect for all humanity,” said Groves.
The movement for greater acceptance of LGBT people in Islam is growing. LGBT Muslims continue to be at the forefront of cutting edge scholarship at the intersection of Islam and issues affecting the lives of LGBT Muslims. Around the nation and the world, LGBT Muslims and their allies are working to build an inclusive faith — and having some notable success.

And here is is the Pew survey on attitudes of American-Muslims on homosexuality:
 While their levels of acceptance are lower than the general population, the numbers in support are clearly on the rise, and not surprisingly, the youngest group is also the most receptive.

You can find the Pew report on American-Muslims here.

Also see this post from earlier: Muslims for Progressive Values (MPV) and a Washington imam for gay marriage.


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