Although Homosexual are a part of the entire society, they also form a community of their own that have similar characteristics to other gay communities around the world. What distinguishes the gay community in Syria, and other conservative countries, is that it has evolved more than the society it belongs to on many levels.
It is difficult, in a conservative society like ours, to have an inter-sectarian romantic relation, and the difficulty increases as the couple try to formalise the relation and legitimately marry. A difficulty the gay community almost does not have at all.
Gays have already broken the traditional rules and thus will not be observing other rules they may see as less important. They have altered their standards of choosing a partner to fit their needs, not the pre-set qualifications made by society. By doing so, they have made a step forward towards personal freedom, which many heterosexuals work hard to make.
Some might say that a same-sex commitment is not legitimate in the society, and barely legitimate for gays themselves. They don’t consider it a binding contract, but rather an agreement between with the labels of “boyfriends” or “girlfriends”. This may be the case with many gays, but others created new ways to manage their lives threwing away the rulebook. They noticed that the morals that the heterosexual society demands are the very same reason for its backwardness, and thus ignored them and made the human their only criterion.
Some homosexuals look at themselves as lesser citizens; they do not think they have the right to a formal union, and think that it is unnatural for two men or two women to make such a step. True, gays are different from others, but that doesn’t mean that they can’t or won’t commit to each other or have a healthy relationship. And when a gay relationship doesn’t succeed, homosexuality is not to be blamed, for not all relations are meant to last.
However, one must not ignore facts. It is a plain simple fact that homosexuals cannot reproduce, and can’t have kids, at least not legally in Syria, and thus do not have the responsibility of “Dogma transfer” that is essential in almost all faiths and beliefs. They do not see their commitment as an institution like the heterosexual marriage, nor an investment of time and effort into recreating one’s dreams, as some would see having kids. This might be the case now, but one day, gays will have the same rights as everyone and will have to make the decision of having kids, and must bear full responsibility to do so.
Legalising same-sex marriage would reinstate the reality of the commitment, and reinforce its moral state. A legal contract is a biding one, and a lawful act is viewed with much more respect, even by the eyes of those participating in it.
When homosexuals override the obstacles heterosexuals face when romancing with someone, they declare the state of the relationship. Commitment to gays is less a material union and more a unification of two souls, a companionship to walk the path of life. It is a partnership and an offer of support between two people deeply in love with each other. They differ from some heterosexual marriages in this country where a wife sees the husband as a life insurance policy, or a means of reproduction in order to have kids that can support her in her older days. Some husbands see a maid in their wives, a mistress to enjoy nights with. These are facts in our society, and stating them should not be considered dispraise to the heterosexuality, but merely an observation.
When two men or two women call themselves partners, they have decided to be chaste and virtuous, at least emotionally in some relations. Not having a ceremony or a legal contract doesn’t make it a lesser commitment. If gays respected these commitments between each other, it is because they respect themselves. Only through self-respect and mutual understanding can gays embrace the sanctity of a union, and have the joys of a long lasting relationship.
written and translated by: Sarmad al-Assi