On a Web site for gay South Asians, 27-year-old Syed Mansoor uploaded the following message last summer:
"Hi, I am looking for a lesbian girl for marriage. I am gay but I would like to get married because of pressure from parents and society. I would like this marriage to be a 'normal' marriage except for the sex part, please don't expect any sexual relationship from me.
"Being an Indian gay person, I believe it is so much worth it to give up sex and have a nice otherwise normal family. We can be good friends and don't have to repent all our life for being gay/lesbian."
Across the globe and especially in America, hundreds of other gay Muslims have started to pursue marriages of convenience--or MOC, as they are known-- in which gay Muslims seek out lesbian Muslims, and vice versa, for appearances' sake.
"Marriages of convenience are the result of gay Muslims wanting to avoid emotional and physical harm to themselves," says Muhammed Ali, a board member of Homan, a Los Angeles-based support group for gay Iranians.
Homosexuality is a crime punishable by death in much of the Islamic world. In Iran last year, two gay teenagers were publicly executed, while in Afghanistan, the Taliban government would torture homosexuals by collapsing walls on them.
Though gay Muslims in America don't have such fears, they still seek out marriages of convenience as a way of staying in the closet. Many of them worry about being ostracized from their families if their secret is revealed.
Muslim authorities around the world have repeatedly emphasized that homosexuality is not permissible. Muzammil Siddiqi of the Islamic Society of North America said there is no flexibility on this topic.
"Homosexuality is a moral disorder. It is a moral disease, a sin and corruption... No person is born homosexual, just like no one is born a thief, a liar or murderer," he said. "People acquire these evil habits due to a lack of proper guidance and education."
What a senseless waste. Because of some thousands-year-old book that says homosexuality is an abomination, people in America in 2006 have to lead lives of secrecy and keeping up appearances. At least America's better than most of the Muslim world and the rule of the Bible -- we don't kill people simply for loving people of the "wrong" gender.
I'm sure this happens among "ultra-Orthodox" Jews as well.