A wonderful post from Ajahn Sujato:
Archive for the ‘Gender & Sexuality’ Category
Recently there was a forum organised by one of the Buddhist society in Malaysia on the topic of homosexuality. A summary is reported here:
I have copied here for archival purpose:
The Young Buddhist Association of Malaysia (YBAM) and Buddhist Research Society of Malaysia (BRSM) held a seminar titled “Homosexuality: The Controversy in the Midst of Morality and Social Value” on Aug 19 in Kuala Lumpur.
about 200 people attended the open forum which had three panelists: Venerable Miao Jan, the coordinator of Prajna Meditation Association of Kuala Lumpur and Selangor; Datuk Ang Choo Hong, the president of the Buddhist Research Society of Malaysia; and Yap Hock Heng, a registered and licensed counsellor. The forum was emceed by YBAM secretary general See Chan Wing.
The news of the traditional Chinese wedding of Malaysia’s first lesbian couple and the upcoming same-sex marriage of Malaysian Christian Pastor, Rev. Ouyang Wen Feng to be celebrated in Malaysia has caused a stir in Malaysian society, drawing criticisms particularly from Christian groups. However, the coordinator of Prajna Meditation Association of Kuala Lumpur and Selangor, the Venerable Miao Jan, encouraged gay people to face their own sexual orientation honestly and openly, urging them to come out bravely and not live in the closet [literally dark corners]. (more…)
Homosexuality is the tendency to be sexually attracted to persons of the same rather than the opposite gender. According to the ancient Indian understanding, homosexuals were thought of simply as being ‘the third nature’ (trtiya prakti), rather than as perverted, deviant or sick. With its emphasis on psychology and cause and effect, Buddhism judges acts, including sexual acts, primarily by the intention (cetana) behind them and the effect they have. A sexual act motivated by love, mutuality and the desire to give and share would be judged positive no matter what the gender of the two persons involved. Therefore, homosexuality as such is not considered immoral in Buddhism or against the third Precept, although this is not always understood in traditional Buddhist countries. If a homosexual avoids the sensuality and licence of the so-called ‘gay scene’ and enters into a loving relationship with another person, there is no reason why he or she cannot be a sincere practising Buddhist and enjoy all the blessings of the Buddhist life. (more…)
A same-sex marriage is a legally recognized union between two people of the same gender, i.e. two homosexuals. Same-sex marriages have only of late become legal in several European countries and in a few states in the United States. However, such unions may have existed in some parts of the ancient world, including in India. The Kama Sutra (II, 9, 36) says; ‘There are citizens who love each other and with great faith in each other, who take each other as a husband.’ The word for husband here is parigraha and the Pali equivalent is patigaha. In his commentary on his verse Yasodhara says; ‘Citizens so inclined, reject women, willingly do without them and get married, bound by a deep and trusting friendship.’ It is not clear if these marriages, if this is the right word for such unions, were performed by Buddhist monks or Hindu priests or were recognized by the state, probably not. (more…)
The Third Precept
Sexual behaviour (kama or methuna) is any actions motivated by erotic desire and usually involving the genital region. This includes all forms of coitus, intercrural sex, masturbation, sexual fondling and perhaps even voyeurism. The third of the five Precepts, the basic principles of Buddhist ethics, says that one should avoid sexual misconduct (kamesu micchacara). What would make a sexual (kama) behaviour (cara) wrong (miccha)? (more…)
The article was recently posted on Ven. Dhammika’s blog. Bhante is currently the spiritual advisor of Buddha Dhamma Mandala Society.
Note: Not all gay male like to dress up in women’s clothes. This is only one aspect of some gay males. In fact, some straight man loves to cross dress themselves.
A Gay Tragedy
Occasionally someone, usually a young man but sometimes a young women or an older man or women, will approach me and after a few minuets of hesitation or beating around the bush, ask me what the Buddhist position on homosexuality is. When they do I tell then that intentional actions (kamma) modify consciousness and that our kamma conditions our future. Positive intentional acts have positive effects (vipaka) and negative intentional acts have a negative effect. Sexual acts motivated by the usual intentions, feelings and emotions which exist between two people who love each other, would have a positive effect and would not infringe the third Precept, whether they be homosexual or heterosexual. I underline this point by saying that Buddhist ethics about sex are primarily concerned with the motives behind out sexual behavior, rather than the gender of our partner. This being so, if two people of the same gender express their love for each other physically there is no good reason why the kamma this creates should be any different from when two people of the opposite gender do the same. Having said this I then try to change the subject, not because I am embarrassed talking about homosexuality, but because I do not like the ‘single issue’ approach to Dhamma. However, a few years ago I had an encounter which made me realize that inquiries about homosexuality, whether from gays themselves or their families, should be given my whole attention. However theoretical or marginal this issue may be to me it is likely to be of considerable import to the people who ask such questions. (more…)
This article was sent to me many years back when Heartland just started. I have managed to look it up and got permissions from Alan to publish this.
Why Do Gay Men Practice Together?
by Alan Oliver-The Gay Men’s Buddhist Sangha
Many people over the past eight years of gay practice have asked why we believe it is important for gay men to practice together. There are many other Buddhist centers and traditions in the world so why create a separate practice environment for gay men? This is a healthy question which raises important issues of dualism, separation and interdependence. I believe the following seven reasons help to explain why gay men choose to practice together.
1. Affinity groups with similar interests, backgrounds or visions have been a common model for people to create meaning in their lives. By knowing on multiple levels what your fellow practitioners have experienced and by sharing common life experiences you have a powerful base of understanding to work with and learn from. This can be a significant source of insight and growth. Women’s groups, African-American groups and Jewish groups are just three types of affinity groups that have proved worthwhile and successful. (more…)
Except from A guide to Buddhism A to Z. by Ven Dhammika.
H – Homosexuality
Homosexuality is the tendency to be sexually attracted to persons of the same rather than the opposite gender. Today male homosexuals are called gays while females are referred to as lesbians. According to the ancient Indian understanding, homosexuals were thought of simply as being ‘the third nature’ (trtiya prakrit), rather than as perverted, deviant or sick. With its emphasis on psychology and cause and effect, Buddhism judges acts, including sexual acts, by the intention behind them and the effect they have. A sexual act motivated by love, mutuality and the desire to give and share would be judged positive no matter what the gender of the two persons involved. Therefore, homosexuality as such is not considered immoral in Buddhism or against the third Precept. If a homosexual avoids the sensuality and licence of the so-called ‘gay scene’ and enters into a loving relationship with another person, there is no reason why he or she cannot be a sincere practising Buddhist and enjoy all the blessings of the Buddhist life.
Below quote is taken from Straits Times and here is a reply from People Like Us.
Straits Times, April 5, 2007
PROPOSED CHANGES TO PENAL CODE
Law Society: Give judges leeway to set aside death penalty
It also wants homosexual acts among consenting men decriminalised
By K.C. Vijayan
THE Law Society wants the mandatory death penalty for crimes such as murder, drug trafficking and firearms-related offences scrapped.
Instead, it wants judges to be given the discretion to either sentence offenders to death or to a jail term.
This is a key plank in the Law Society’s response to proposed changes to the Penal Code by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA). (more…)