by Dr Ransome
While many practicing Muslims strongly reject homosexuality, this year Britain celebrated one of its first same-sex Muslim marriages.
Jahed Choudhury, 24 – who identifies as both gay and Muslim – married his partner in an Islamic ceremony, even though his family refused to attend.
The newly married couple said they are hoping “to show the whole world that you can be gay and Muslim” after their wedding ceremony in the West Midlands.
Jahed Choudhury and Sean Rogan married in Walsall, in one of the UK’s first same-sex marriages involving a Muslim partner.
Footage showed the couple dressed in traditional Bangladeshi attire to say their vows while surrounded by loved ones at the town’s registry office.
Mr Choudhury, 24, told the Express and Star he felt like the “black sheep” of his Bangladeshi Muslim family, being bullied at school, attacked by other Muslims and banned from his local mosque.
He said he attempted to change his sexual orientation and went on religious pilgrimages to Saudi Arabia and Bangladesh but became suicidal and attempted to kill himself before meeting Mr Rogan.
They started living together in 2015 and Mr Choudhury proposed on his husband’s birthday last year.
Mr Choudhury said: “This is about showing people I don’t care, my family doesn’t want to come on the day, they just don’t want to see it, it’s too embarrassing for them.
“They think it’s a disease and can be cured, some of my family still call it a phase.
“I want to say to all people going through the same thing that’s it’s okay – we’re going to show the whole world that you can be gay and Muslim.”
Mr Rogan, 19, told the Express and Star he would stand by his husband “every step of the way”.
“Being gay’s not wrong, it’s not ‘a phase’,” he added. “People just need a bit of support.”
A spokesperson for the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said the religion of spouses was not routinely recorded at non-religious ceremonies.
The number of same-sex religious marriages recorded in 2014, the most recent year of available data, was too small for a breakdown to be made available.
The Muslim Council of Britain, which represents more than 500 organisations and mosques, was among the religious bodies including the Church of England opposing the legalisation of same-sex marriage in England and Wales in 2013.
Many argue that to be gay and Muslim is an utter irreconcilability – the phrase “no Muslim is gay” is a remark very often seen on Twitter today.