They are two communities that often find themselves exposed to vitriol and hate masquerading as respectful debate. Muslims and gays, unlikely bedfellows in some circumstances, know the battle scars of discrimination and prejudice.

On Monday night, in the offices of the AIDS Council of NSW, a campaigning outfit called Muslims for Marriage Equality celebrated its official launch. Its footprint is modest - founder Fahad Ali estimates 250 people have expressed interest in volunteering nationally, and the group has 1500 followers on Facebook - but its goals are somewhat grander: to shirk the conservative cloak that surrounds Islam and show the flock does not necessarily follow the leader.

Mr Ali, who is gay and a practising Muslim, concedes there is tension between his sexual identity and faith.

Read the complete original version of this item...