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Sex versus God

June 2, 2013

A lesbian couple from Pakistan married in Leeds, then immediately applied for asylum in the UK, due to the harsh penalties in Pakistan against homosexuality, and the harassment they would face there.

Nigeria’s House of Representatives has passed a measure that bans gay marriage, and also imposes stiff prison sentences for forming groups to support gay rights, or even public displays of homosexual affection. The bill was supported by Nigeria’s Christian majority, by its Islamic minority, and by right-wing preachers in the US.

I would not go so far as to say that masturbation is at the root of the culture wars. But I agree that many religions, especially the Abrahamic ones, attempt to turn sex into something sacred, and to partition off as out of bounds so much of human desire that it is little surprise how many adherents slip from the narrow path they have drawn for themselves. Which is why both the hijaab and Femen’s topless protests — as recently made in Tunis — are such powerful symbols in the fray. Nor will it come as any surprise to feminists that women in the religious nations of the mideast are highly concerned about personal appearance, and when wealth allows, good customers for plastic surgeons.

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