Gay Marriage: What Would Buddha Do?

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Gay Marriage: What Would Buddha Do?

Postby sraddha » Mon Jul 20, 2009 10:29 pm

http://www.buddhistchannel.tv/index.php?id=70,8365,0,0,1,0

New York, USA -- A lot of people ask me what the "Buddhist take" on gay marriage is. Well, it depends on who you talk to. A few years back, in an interview with the CBC, the Dalai Lama rejected same-sex relationships to the surprise of many convert Buddhists, who sometimes too easily assume that Buddhist ethics are consistent with their typically progressive views.

As the Canadian interview bounced around the internet, some people were shocked and perplexed, but the Dalai Lama's position shouldn't have come as a surprise to anyone who has followed the issue. After all, he has been consistent. At a conference some 12 years ago, when gay leaders met with him in San Francisco to discuss the Tibetan Buddhist proscriptions against gay sex, he reiterated the traditional view that gay sex was "sexual misconduct."

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Re: Gay Marriage: What Would Buddha Do?

Postby Dazzle » Tue Jul 21, 2009 12:18 am

The Tibetan centres I 'm familiar with (Kagyu and Nyingma) have no discrimination against gay practitioners.

Why would someones sexuality have anything to do with achieving higher levels of realisation and then enlightenment anyway? Enlightenment is nothing to do with male /female/ gay/lesbian/ transsexual etc. It's beyond conditioned thoughts and actions.

I read somewhere that HHDL has said more recently that the situation should be reviewed and I think it might possibly be more of a cultural issue rather then a religious one with someTibetans. It's probably difficult for HHDL to address the subject if its a cultural one.


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Re: Gay Marriage: What Would Buddha Do?

Postby David N. Snyder » Tue Jul 21, 2009 4:46 am

The Theravada is usually considered the "conservative" school, yet paradoxically does not have any issue with gays, LBGT in the Buddhist community. Monks and nuns are celibate, but orientation before ordination is of no concern in Theravada.
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Re: Gay Marriage: What Would Buddha Do?

Postby Ngawang Drolma » Tue Jul 21, 2009 4:49 am

It is true, that HHDL has identified gay sex as sexual misconduct.
I believe this is based on wrong orifice so it's reasonable to assume this would apply to certain kinds of straight sex too. But there's so many rules about this, such as the proper time of day for sex.

I too, have heard that he says it should be reviewed.

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Re: Gay Marriage: What Would Buddha Do?

Postby retrofuturist » Tue Jul 21, 2009 5:12 am

Greetings,

Ngawang Drolma wrote:I believe this is based on wrong orifice


Does anyone know the origins of this "wrong orifice" edict?

Metta,
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Re: Gay Marriage: What Would Buddha Do?

Postby sraddha » Tue Jul 21, 2009 11:15 pm

Here is a wonderful article on the use of right and wrong bodily parts :emb: :lol: for, ahem, sexual interaction!


"According to Buddhist Tradition": Gays, Lesbians and the Definition of Sexual Misconduct

http://www.shambhalasun.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1977
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Re: Gay Marriage: What Would Buddha Do?

Postby clw_uk » Sat Jul 25, 2009 6:27 pm

In response to the OP i dont think the Buddha wouldnt care that much about gay marriage, he wasnt even that concerned with marriage between straight people




Is homosexuality unwholesome? As a gay man my answer is of course no :lol:


However this isnt coloured by my own personal view, on reading the suttas i have never come accross something that says that being gay is unwholesome, from what i understand sexual misconduct (for lay people) is rape etc

This was one of the things that surprised me about Buddhism since i was used to every other religion taking the "gay is evil" line


Lets think about the idea of it being unwholesome:

A man and woman who are in a relationship and love each other have sex, this is ok, in Theravada (in terms of morality)

A man and man who are in a relationship and love each other have sex, this unwholesome (in some buddhists eyes)


Where is the evil intent here? Both situations are practically the same there is just a slight difference in terms of gender. Both situations have people who are in a relationship and both love each other yet one is morally superior to the other


In reguards to gay marriage generally i dont see what the problem is, the only reason people think its for a man and woman is because of what a few old books say. Most of the arguments against it take the line of "God said so" or "this book says so"


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Re: Gay Marriage: What Would Buddha Do?

Postby Dazzle » Sat Jul 25, 2009 6:57 pm

In reguards to gay marriage generally i dont see what the problem is



Me neither . One of the happiest and longest of the marriages I know of myself, is between 2 gay men.

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Re: Gay Marriage: What Would Buddha Do?

Postby clw_uk » Sun Jul 26, 2009 4:23 am

Ngawang Drolma wrote:It is true, that HHDL has identified gay sex as sexual misconduct.
I believe this is based on wrong orifice so it's reasonable to assume this would apply to certain kinds of straight sex too. But there's so many rules about this, such as the proper time of day for sex.

I too, have heard that he says it should be reviewed.

:namaste:



Hey Drolma

Sorry to be crass but why does it matter "where you put it"?


Why is one place wholesome and the other unwholesome? Surely its the intent behind the act itself that decides if it is unwholesome or not, not "geographical" locations?

metta friend
Those who are lust-infatuated fall back to the swirling current (of samsara) like a spider on its self-spun web. This too the wise cut off. Without any longing, they abandon all dukkha and renounce the world

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Re: Gay Marriage: What Would Buddha Do?

Postby David N. Snyder » Tue Jul 28, 2009 2:49 pm

retrofuturist wrote:Does anyone know the origins of this "wrong orifice" edict?


I know it is a Mahayana Sutra, not in the Theravada Pali Canon. I think it might be the Shurangama Sutra, but not sure.
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Re: Gay Marriage: What Would Buddha Do?

Postby Ngawang Drolma » Tue Jul 28, 2009 10:24 pm

TheDhamma wrote:
retrofuturist wrote:Does anyone know the origins of this "wrong orifice" edict?


I know it is a Mahayana Sutra, not in the Theravada Pali Canon. I think it might be the Shurangama Sutra, but not sure.


Thanks TheDhamma, I have no idea where it came from :namaste:
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Re: Gay Marriage: What Would Buddha Do?

Postby Ngawang Drolma » Tue Jul 28, 2009 10:26 pm

clw_uk wrote:Hey Drolma

Sorry to be crass but why does it matter "where you put it"?


Why is one place wholesome and the other unwholesome? Surely its the intent behind the act itself that decides if it is unwholesome or not, not "geographical" locations?

metta friend


Trying to not be crass myself, I can say that it certainly doesn't matter to me! :lol:

Please be aware that I love HHDL and I'm not trying to disrespect him.
Just answering your question honestly :)

Best,
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Re: Gay Marriage: What Would Buddha Do?

Postby jacx » Wed Jul 29, 2009 1:07 am

TheDhamma wrote:
retrofuturist wrote:Does anyone know the origins of this "wrong orifice" edict?


I know it is a Mahayana Sutra, not in the Theravada Pali Canon. I think it might be the Shurangama Sutra, but not sure.


It is not in either Shurangama Sutra. It must be from a Tibetan-only text.

As far as I know, the only condemnation of homosexuality in the (non-Tibetan) Mahayana canon is found in the "Happily-Dwelling Conduct" chapter of the Lotus Sutra. And even that just says that a bodhisattva shouldn't be overly familiar with "widows, maidens or unmanly men." Which basically means that it doesn't look quite right for a monk to be making house calls on pretty widow Douglass and her two teenaged daughters.
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Re: Gay Marriage: What Would Buddha Do?

Postby clw_uk » Wed Jul 29, 2009 8:39 pm

Ngawang Drolma wrote:
clw_uk wrote:Hey Drolma

Sorry to be crass but why does it matter "where you put it"?


Why is one place wholesome and the other unwholesome? Surely its the intent behind the act itself that decides if it is unwholesome or not, not "geographical" locations?

metta friend


Trying to not be crass myself, I can say that it certainly doesn't matter to me! :lol:

Please be aware that I love HHDL and I'm not trying to disrespect him.
Just answering your question honestly :)

Best,
Drolma



:rolling: :jumping:


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Those who are lust-infatuated fall back to the swirling current (of samsara) like a spider on its self-spun web. This too the wise cut off. Without any longing, they abandon all dukkha and renounce the world

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Re: Gay Marriage: What Would Buddha Do?

Postby David N. Snyder » Thu Jul 30, 2009 11:04 pm

jacx wrote:
It is not in either Shurangama Sutra. It must be from a Tibetan-only text.


Okay, thanks. I have not found the exact sutra yet, and the usually good old Google is not cooperating. But I think you could be right as it seems to be mostly coming from Vajrayana teachers, such as HHDL and others. I remember Namdrol over at e-sangha also referring to some sutra about orifices, but don't remember which sutra it was. And he is a vajrayanist.
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Re: Gay Marriage: What Would Buddha Do?

Postby jacx » Fri Jul 31, 2009 4:07 am

The "wrong orifice" edict is from Vasubandhu's Abhidharmakosabhasyam. But I don't know whereabouts in that massive text to find it. Nor do I have access to a copy.

So, neither a Tibetan nor a Mahayana text I suppose!

Also, I never want to perform that particular Google search again! :emb:
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Re: Gay Marriage: What Would Buddha Do?

Postby sraddha » Sun Aug 02, 2009 1:43 pm

I think the restraint from sexual misconduct for lay people means -- not two timing people. I know in it's most basic form, it means not cheating.

I think the average person thinks of sex as being "natural" -- in Buddhism it is held to be wierd, but it's obviously there as OUR CONDITIONING dictates -- almost like decaying mortals on the verge of death having their last hurrah -- akin to necrophilia. :jawdrop: And of course, women take birth control (that's so natural :roll: ) to try to stop the :quoteunquote: natural outcome -- i.e. babies (in Buddhism remember, as sons and daughters of Buddha, we are born through the purified heart/mind which is also called the Tathagatha garbha)

So in Buddhism, we are deconditioned from conventional beliefs and roles:

If you see an orifice (this goes for heterosexuals and homosexuals)-- NO, it's not natural that you should stick something in it -- okay! :mrgreen:
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Re: Gay Marriage: What Would Buddha Do?

Postby Ngawang Drolma » Mon Aug 03, 2009 5:30 am

Thank you all for continuing to try to find the source of this. I am very interested to know. Without an actual sutra for reference, I feel tempted to assume this is a cultural thing. I think we can all agree that to some extent Buddhism has taken on some cultural adaptations as it's spread throughout the world.

Also, there are more rules that define sexual misconduct, such as time of day, etc. I can't remember the others offhand. Please correct me if I'm wrong, but I think HHDL has said something to the effect of, it's not sexual misconduct to be homosexual. But the sex acts that homosexuals engage in are sexual misconduct. (Sorry, I don't like the word 'homosexual' but it's the word he used).

That's why I brought up the fact that this applies to straight couples too, because HHDL is identifying it as the behaviors involved, not people's choice about who to love.

Anyhow, I hope we find a sutra for reference. It would clear this up for me a lot.

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Re: Gay Marriage: What Would Buddha Do?

Postby sraddha » Tue Aug 04, 2009 12:18 am

I think the subject is simply not covered in any major Mahayana sutras -- gay sexuality is not found in tantric paintings either.

However, I found this reference :
http://www.reversespins.com/buddhismandgays.html

Padma Sambhava had some pointed instruction for Yeshe Tsogyal on the subject of sex and homosexuality. The following quotes are taken from one of the most important termas ever transmitted by Guru Rinpoche or Padma Sambhava. It is known as the Dakini Teachings and it is a treasure map to the salvation of one's soul.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


"Sexual Misconduct ...

There are also occasions on which it is unsuitable to have intercourse even with your rightful companion. ...

3. It is unsuitable to have intercourse in an inappropriate orifice, such as engaging in the manner of animals.

Tsogyal, ... As before, the act of sexual misconduct is consummated by means of the four completing aspects, and again there are three types of results.

1. Through the result of ripening you will be reborn in the three lower realms. Even if you do take rebirth in the higher realms, you will have fights with your spouse and so forth.

2. The dominant result is that even in future lives your helpers, spouse, and so forth will be unresponsive and show various acts of ingrattitude.

3. The result corresponding to the cause is that your unwholesome habitual tendencies will cause you to take pleasure in sexual misconduct.

Tsogyal, if you give up these acts and refrain from engaging in them, you will obtain the opposites of their results, so abandoning them is of great importance. ..."

(Dakini Teachings, pp. 39-40)

-------------------

This is really not a part of any sutra.
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Re: Gay Marriage: What Would Buddha Do?

Postby Dazzle » Tue Aug 04, 2009 12:36 pm

.
.

The complete passage from 'Dakini Teachings' has not been included above, Sraddha. It is as follows:

Sexual Misconduct

"The essence of the third physical nonvirtue, sexual misconduct, is the act of engaging in intercourse with an object of desire with whom one has no authority to do so.

When divided, there are the following kinds.


1. It is unsuitable for a commoner to have intercourse under the guardianship of a king, such as his queen.

2. It is unsuitable to have intercourse with someone prohibited by the law.

3. In India, it is unsuitable to have casual intercourse with someone under the guardianship of parents, since men and women not in their own household are protected by parents.

4. It is unsuitable to have intercourse with someone protected by "civilized principles", which means someone with whom it is shameful, such as a mother or a sister.

5. It is unsuitable to have intercourse with someone under the guardianship of the sacred Dharma, such as the guru's consort, an ordained person, and so on.

Lustful people do not enter the path of liberation. Tsogyal, apply the antidote.
There are also occasions on which it is unsuitable to have intercourse even with your rightful companion
.

I. It is unsuitable to have intercourse at an inappropriate time such as the full moon, new moon, and the eighth day.

2. It is unsuitable to have intercourse in an inappropriate location, such as in the presence of a shrine for the Three Jewels.

3. It is unsuitable to have intercourse in an inappropriate orifice, such as engaging in the manner of animals.

Tsogyal, in general people who have not abandoned the life of householders are trapped in the prison of Mara.
As before, the act of sexual misconduct is consummated by means of the four completing aspects, and again there are three types of results.


1. Through the result of ripening you will be reborn in the 3 lower realms. Even if you do take rebirth in the higher realms, you will have fights with your spouse and so forth.

2. The dominant result is that even in future lives your helpers, spouse, and so forth will be unresponsive and show various acts of ingratitude.

3. The result corresponding to the cause is that your unwholesome habitual tendancies will cause you to take pleasure in sexual misconduct.

Tsogyal, if you give up these acts and refrain from engaging in them, you will obtain the opposite of their results, so abandoning them is of great importance."



Just as an additional observation, in 'Advice from the Lotus Born' (which also contains advice given to Yeshe Tsogyal by Padmasambhava) there is the following passage:


"Your mind is nonarising, no thing whatsoever is seen.
Thoughtfree, forming no concepts, don't follow your thinking!
So don't affirm or deny, but remain, released in yourself!
In this state, the flow of thought is cut
And wisdom unfolds, drawing the line between samsara and nirvana!"



.
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