Arooj Zahra is a journalist and a documentary filmmaker from Pakistan. She was 2015 Daniel Pearl Fellow in the U.S. As part of her fellowship, she worked with The Washington Post and The Pulitzer Center for Crisis Reporting.
Sitting comfortably in their living room, heads covered with white scarves, Iman and Dulce, both 27, have agreed to talk with me via Skype. They live in Florida with their 9-year-old son and they are one of the few married gay Muslim couples in the United States. I wanted to ask them about the historic June 26, 2015 Supreme Court decision that legalized same-sex marriages in all 50 states.
”The Supreme Court’s decision is a good thing, but a lot needs to be done before gay Muslims can fully enjoy this lifestyle,” said Iman. “So many are still afraid of revealing themselves as their families and friends do not accept them the way they are.”
In the gay community and in much of America, the Supreme Court decision was celebrated as a triumph of love over intolerance. But many of the largest U.S. religious institutions have remained firmly against allowing same-sex marriage, including the Roman Catholic Church, the Orthodox Jewish movement, the Southern Baptist Convention and other evangelical Protestant denominations as well as the Mormon Church. A majority of the Muslim religious leaders in the U.S. also weighed in against same-sex marriages.
But for Iman, “the biggest opposition came from my own family.”