Buddhist Beliefs on Homosexuality

Homosexuality and Theravada Buddhism

Buddhist religion believes that one should refrain from sexual misconduct. According to the Theravada tradition of Buddhism, sexual misconduct includes rape, coercive sex, sexual harassment, child molestation, adultery and unfaithfulness to one’s spouse. Obviously, there are not explicit reference to homosexuality in Buddhist religion.

Buddhist beliefs don’t perceive that one’s orientation of sex is related to one’s message, so homosexuality is not a barrier to one’s moral and spiritual growth. On the other hand, Buddhism views no value on procreation, since it neither encourages nor prohibits marriage. That means homosexuality which is necessarily attached to being single and childless is not a stigma.

However, cultural norms and the notion of karma are not open to homosexual practice. One’s sexual orientation is a result of past sins and good deeds. From this point of view, homosexuality seems to be the punishments for heterosexual misconduct in the previous life.

Buddhist Depictions of Same Sex Relationships

Buddhism adopts deep affectionate relationships between members of the same gender. Some Buddhist texts extol love and devotions of same sex relationships. The lifetime friendship between Buddha and Amanda is one example of a close male companion.

Homosexuality and Tibetan Buddhism

All monks are expected to stay celibacy, an abstinence from sexual misconduct. Dalai Lama, the leader of Tibetan Buddhism, says that homosexual desires is one of people’s sexual desires, so it is natural, but one should not indulge oneself in homosexual desire.
Dalai Lama is not a representative of all Buddhist Schools, but only the Tibetan one.
In Western Buddhism, a growing acceptance of same-sex sexual activity appears. In Asian countries, cultural norms and moral influences make many Buddhists consider homosexual behavior as sexual misconduct.

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