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In Did all of Germany's Muslim MPs voted in favor of same-sex marriage? on Skeptics.SE, someone was surprised by a claim that Germany's Muslim MPs voted in favour of gay marriage.

I wasn't that surprised, as I'd previously heard a claim that Muslim MPs or senators voted in favour of gay marriage in Australia.

However, is it just Germany and Australia? In Muslim-minority countries, is it unusual for Muslim MPs / senators / lawmakers to vote in favour of gay marriage or related legislation?

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    Democracies with muslim minorities tend to have secular leaning voters and few elected muslim officials to begin with, so it's not a big stretch to imagine most of the latter voting based on party conviction much more than on religious conviction. – Denis de Bernardy Jul 22 '17 at 12:11
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    I'm not too familiar with specific MPs in other countries, but if you look at US, the only Muslim congressperson (Ellison) is far less religious and far more socially liberal than an average observant Muslim voter would be. I'd not be surprised if the pattern was similar in AU and Germany. The pattern is similar with Jews, for that matter, outside Israel - there are almost no orthodox Jews who are elected officials, far far less than they are represented in actual population; and their social views are far to the left of what religion teaches. Good question! – user4012 Jul 22 '17 at 12:11
  • @user4012 Correction: "far to the left of what their religion teaches". Not all religions are, by your metric, socially conservative relative to secular norms. British (ex-)MP, Tania Matthias is often featured in lists of Quaker MPs. But being a member of the Conservative Party (albeit on the left of it) would make her an outlier (party-)politically speaking, among (British) Quakers -- her views must presumably be to the right of her co-religionists. – owjburnham Aug 6 '17 at 13:26
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France had MPs from Muslim or mixed families (one or both parents being Muslim) in 2013, when the vote on gay marriage took place. I don't think any of them publicly declared themselves to be believers, although I didn't do an extensive search. Some claim to be only from "Muslim heritage", or non-practising, which is quite common (among people declaring themselves Muslims, 31% never go to the mosque, another 31% go only for some yearly events like aïd al fitr).

Anyway, the split during the vote was by party, and all MPs with a "muslim heritage" (Razzy Hammadi, Ibrahim Aboubacar, Malek Boutih, Kader Arif, Chaynesse Khirouni, Pouria Amirshahi, Kheira Bouziane, Boinali Said) did vote in favor of gay marriage, even the one from Mayotte Boinali Said (over-seas department with a Muslim majority). Mr Kader Arif was not present for some reason (presence is not mandatory), but spoke in favor of it. All of these MPs were from the Socialist Party.

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Looking at the UK Parliament, Rehman Chishti (conservative) voted against marriage equality, whereas Sanjid Javid (con) voted in favour. Two Muslim members of the Labour parliamentary party abstained, and the others voted in favour.

This roughly follows the split in their parties: most Labour MPs voted in favour, the conservatives were split evenly. The evidence from the UK is that being a Muslim didn't strongly influence how a member voted.

(Although as MPs are not required to disclose their religous beliefs, this is based on lists of muslim MPs in the media.)

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  • /speculation As this vote only affected civil weddings, a Muslim could still believe that Muslims should only marry people of the opposite gender in a Muslim wedding, while voting in favour of marriage equality for secular weddings. – James K Jul 22 '17 at 18:02
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Consider that muslim MPs (or for example the muslim Mayor of London) are people who managed to convince a majority in some district that they would do things in a way that this majority agrees with. (Maybe not in Germany due to the different election system, but even there these muslim MPs had to convince their party that they should be given a high enough spot on the party election list).

So muslim MPs will tend to be more or less in agreement with what many people in their countries think. A muslim say in Britain who thinks he or she should vote against same gender marriage today just isn't going to become an MP.

There's also the fact (unless I get it very wrong) that muslims who haven't allowed themselves to be brainwashed by extremists will tell you that muslim religious rules apply to muslims, and not to non-muslims. And even for muslims, it's (mostly) their choice to be a good muslim or a bad muslim. So there is no justification to deny same sex marriage to non-muslim men or women, and even for muslims it's their decision to be good muslims following their religion or not.

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