Buddhist Views on Homosexuality
Buddhism is a path of spiritual development and practice that leads to insight into truth of the reality’s nature. Buddhists engage in various practices including meditation as a way of changing self in order to cultivate qualities of kindness, awareness and wisdom. On the other hand, homosexuality is a condition of sexual behavior or desire being directed towards persons or person of a person’s own sex. Buddhist views on homosexuality vary. There are those who believe that homosexuality is prohibited by Buddhism while others teach that homosexuality is an acceptable practice. There are numerous factors that cause homosexuality. These are the factors that influence the ultimate origination of homosexuality in individuals.
Buddhist views on homosexuality
When Delai Lama, was asked about Buddhism and homosexuality, he said that Buddhism does not allow homosexuality. In the interview that was published in 1994, Lama said that if two females or two males voluntarily concur about having mutual satisfaction without the implication of causing harm to others, then homosexuality is okay. However, Delai Lama also stated in the Beyond Dogma: Dialogues and Discourses, that a sexual act is seen as proper if organs that are meant for sexual intercourse are used and nothing else. Lama added that whether it is between women or between men, homosexuality in itself is not improper. Using organs that are defined as being inappropriate for sexual contact is what is not proper.
A Buddhist monk, A.L. De Silva, in an Article “Homosexuality and Theravada Buddhism” states that since homosexuality has not been mentioned explicitly in any discourse of Buddha, it can only be assumed that it is meant to be subjected to evaluation like heterosexuality. De Silva adds that if there is no adultery involved and a lay woman and man have mutual consent, and the sexual act entails the expression of respect, love, warmth and loyalty, it would not be considered immoral. This is also the same when individuals are of a similar gender. On a different context, a former Bay Area Reporter, Dennis Conkins, wrote an article entitled, “Delai Lama Urges “Respect, Compassion, and Full Human Rights for All,” which includes gays. In this article, Dennis notes that the sexual proscriptions of Buddhist prohibit heterosexual sex via orifices apart from the vagina and homosexual activity. This implies that masturbation is prohibited. However, the viewpoint of Buddhist of gay and lesbian sex is that it is a sexual misconduct.
How Buddhist defend their views on homosexuality
To defend their views on homosexuality, Buddhists use the teachings of Buddhism and Buddhist monks. For instance, some Buddhists use Vinaya or the Buddhist monks’ regulations. They also use various teachings like those of Siddhartha Gautama. This was an original Buddha, who is also considered as the Buddhism founder. They also cite the basic classical teachings of Buddhism, Theravada Buddhism. These are found in Four Noble Truths as well as the Eight Fold Paths.
Why Buddhist views on homosexuality vary
One of the major causes of the variation of the views of Buddhists on homosexuality is the fact that it is not mentioned explicitly in the major teachings of Buddhism. Some Buddhists interpret the teachings of Buddhism by saying that homosexual behavior is simply a senses’ pleasure. They argue that even those engaging in homosexuality are striving to enjoy senses pleasure. On the other hand, Buddhists that oppose homosexuality argue that it harms others. This is because there are many health problems that are associated with the acts of homosexuals both mental and physical problems. These provide overwhelming evidence of the health problems that are associated with homosexuality including hepatitis and Human Papillomavirus among others. This serious harm is what makes them consider homosexuality as a violation of Buddhist teaching against causing harm to living creatures.
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