A group of Muslims is encouraging people to vote “yes” on marriage equality in Australia, while hoping to erase some of the stigma that gay people face in the religion.
Muslims for Marriage Equality was established to build support for same-sex marriage ahead of the upcoming postal plebiscite scheduled in Australia, and group founder Fahad Ali says that Muslims have more diverse beliefs than many think.
“The notion that all Muslims are opposed to equal rights for same-sex couples is absolutely incorrect,” Ali said in a statement. “There is a strong thread of egalitarianism and social justice within the Qur’an and we think that it is very applicable to the question of same-sex marriage.”
Despite his optimism, he acknowledges that gay Muslims face a lot of hardships in their communities due to their sexuality—something he hopes the campaign can help to eliminate.
“A lot of people have to endure violence from their families; they have a lot of fear,” he told Sky News. “There’s also the feeling of not being able to find a place within their community of faith, which can be quite troubling for a lot of people who want to be practicing Muslims.”
Ali joins many Australians in thinking that the plebiscite is a waste of time and should have been handled by parliament instead.