Wed in the World: Losing Their Religion

Written by | Lifestyle

An Iranian cleric flees after he’s discovered performing gay marriages, while a Scottish move toward marriage equality may have international implications.



Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore, nicknamed the “Ayatolla of Alabama” by a local civil rights group, is back up to his old, unlawful tricks — urging judges to stop issuing marriage certificates to gay couples. Back in 2000 when he was first elected, Moore famously erected an unconstitutional monument to the Ten Commandments. So perhaps it should be no surprise that he continues not to comply with the Supreme Court’s ruling for marriage equality.


Being open about one’s sexuality can be very dangerous in Iran, where homosexuality is an offense punishable by death (as it also is in Mauritania, Sudan, Saudi Arabia and Yemen). Nevertheless, an Iranian cleric known as Taha, often referred to as “the gay mullah,” has been defiantly officiating gay weddings in Iran. When this was discovered, he was forced to flee to Istanbul, from which he hopes to ultimately be resettled in Canada.


Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto called for the legalization of same-sex marriage as part of his country’s National Day Against Homophobia. Currently, same-sex marriage is already legal in eight Mexican states, while in other parts of the country it remains expressly forbidden. If adopted into national law, Mexico would become the fifth Latin American country to legalize same-sex marriage after Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, and Uruguay.

Washington, D.C.

Former NYC mayor Rudy Giuliani officiated his first same-sex wedding ceremony between friend and longtime adviser Scott Segal and Travis Hatch at the Willard Hotel in Washington, DC. This comes after a situation in 2011 when an NYC-area gay couple accused Giuliani of reneging on a promise to officiate their wedding. At the time, political consultants suggested if Giuliani ever did officiate at a gay wedding, it would mean he would never run for President as a Republican again.


The Scottish Episcopal church has voted in favor of taking out a clause in their canon law defining marriage as between a man and a woman. But don’t dust off those wedding kilts just yet. In order for the change to be official, there must be another vote in 2017 that passes their General Synod with a two-thirds majority. If passed, it will put the Scots in conflict with other Anglican churches, who have been deeply divided over issues related to sexuality.

Last modified: August 31, 2017