OUT AND PROUD: Daayiee Abdullah
AN IMAM has faced significant criticism from fellow American Muslim leaders over his decision to perform same-sex marriages.
Daayiee Abdullah, said to have been born as Sid Thompson in 1954 to Southern Baptist parents, lost a few friends when he took the decision to perform the funeral rites for a gay Muslim who died of AIDS.
The imam who has been reported to be the first openly gay black imam caused outrage with his decision to perform same-sex marriages though it is legal in the US. Some imams have refused to greet him.
However, Abdullah believes he has “a slightly different vision of Islam".
He told Washington Post that it "may take a while for the world to catch up."
“I believe every person, no matter if I disagree with you or not, you have the right as a Muslim to have the proper spiritual [rites] and rituals provided for you.
"And whoever judges you, that will be Allah's decision, not me,” he said in an interview with America Tonight.
But, the controversial leader was slammed by several imams who believe gay marriage is unacceptable within the Islamic faith.
"Anyone who has an inclination that is not acceptable, they have to control themselves," said California imam Muzammil Siddiqi told Al Jazeera when the network asked about Abdullah.