Thursday, April 22, 2010

Gay Marriage for Buddhists?

The Pennsylvania Senate is considering an amendment to the state constitution that would ban same-sex marriage. In response, the Rev. Kyoki Roberts, head priest of the Zen Center of Pittsburgh, wrote a letter published Monday, March 24, 2008, in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
The Rev. Roberts writes that the amendment "is in direct violation of my religious beliefs as a Zen Buddhist priest." Further, his "code of ethics guides my actions toward kindness, compassion and generosity and not toward anger, hatred and bigotry. ... It is time we take down (not put up) the signs saying 'No gays allowed.'"

How does Buddhism view gay marriage and homosexuality?
In short, there is no prohibition or judgment specific to homosexuality in the canonical teachings. However, in many Asian countries there is a strong cultural aversion to homosexuality, and this cultural aversion has seeped into the Buddhist institutions of those countries.
Western Buddhists on the whole accept homosexuality without moral judgment, and in my experience western sanghas give same-sex relationships the same respect given to opposite-sex relationships. There may be exceptions, but I haven't heard of them.


No comments:

Post a Comment