In the Baha’i Writings, it clearly states that homosexual acts are forbidden, as Baha’u’llah wrote, “Ye are forbidden to commit adultery, sodomy and lechery. Avoid them, O concourse of the faithful.” (CC, p. 57). Shoghi Effendi is reported to have clarified this when his secretary wrote on his behalf that, “”No matter how devoted and fine the love may be between people of the same sex, to let it find expression in sexual acts is wrong.” (On behalf of Shoghi Effendi, SCKA, p. 64)
Baha’is do make a distinction between those who feel a homosexual orientation and the actual acts of sexual relations between members of the same gender. The Baha’i Faith does not condone sexual relations between people of the same sex. To act in this way is to break a Baha’i Law and means that a person is cut off from the Divine Bounty, as anyone is who breaks any of the Baha’i Laws.
Of course, many people in today’s permissive age feel that since homosexual relations are between consenting adults, no one is getting hurt. They have friends who are homosexuals that are often the kindest and most sensitive people they know. While Baha’is do not have to accept unconditionally all the ways people live, Baha’is can still strive to show unconditional love to everyone.
Baha’is believe that the only proper use of the sex instinct is between a husband and wife. This is clearly stated in the Baha’i sacred texts, and is not something that can be compromised or changed. Baha’is often look to nature, where male and female come together to reproduce in all multi-cellular species of the world, in a perfectly balanced manner. Baha’is believe God intended man to be with women to balance each other. They believe that people may have many instincts in life that must be controlled for the sake of nobility and spiritual development. For example, married people must learn to not act on their lusts for other partners in order to be faithful to their spouses. In a similar vein, people who lust after people of the same gender can learn to control themselves. Whether these desires are caused by experience or by genetics, whether they are something a person is born with or that he/she learns; Baha’is still see homosexual inclinations as tests to be overcome in order to be faithful to their Lord. As the Baha’i Holy Writings state, “Whether deficiencies are inborn or are acquired, our purpose in this life is to overcome them and to train ourselves in accordance with the pattern that is revealed to us in the divine Teachings.” (UHJ Letter 11/23/95).
Those who want to be part of the Baha’i Faith, but choose not to live in heterosexual relationships often chose a life of celibacy, just as Baha’is who never marry are expected to do.