What is the view on Homosexuality and Buddhism? Is it condemned or accepted or just something they don’t want to talk about? Hope your nor offended by me asking you to answer this topic.
Offended? Nope. Actually, I’m surprised no one asked before the election. As you might imagine, opinions are all over the place on this topic.
First of all, the monks:
Monks living within a monastery are expected to be celibate. That means both men and women and partners of any kind. No sex. Period. There is no distinction between regular heterosexual sex and homosexuality. It’s all bad. That being said, over a 2500-year history, there have been plenty of exceptions and behind-the-scenes stories that scholars speculate upon.
Next, for laypeople:
We are supposed to follow the five precepts, which includes the promise not to engage in sexual misconduct. What exactly is sexual misconduct?
(from religionfacts.com see source links below):
Right and wrong behavior in Buddhism is generally determined by considerations such as the following:
* Universalibility principle – “How would I like it if someone did this to me?”
* Consequences – Does the act causes harm and regret (in oneself or others) or benefit and joy?
* Utilitarian principle – Will the act help or harm the attainment of goals (ultimately spiritual liberation)?
* Intention – Is the act motivated by love, generosity and understanding?
“Sexual misconduct” has thus traditionally been interpreted to include actions like coercive sex, sexual harassment, child molestation and adultery. As Homosexuality is not explicitly mentioned in any of the Buddha’s sayings recorded in the Pali Canon (Tripitaka), most interpreters have taken this to mean that homosexuality should be evaluated in the same way as heterosexuality, in accordance with the above principles.
The above seems to point to the acceptability of homosexuality. There are plenty of opposition opinions on this, and there are even some important people who don’t seem fully committed either way. The Dalai Lama, for one, commented, “the purpose of sex in general is for procreation, so homosexual acts do seem a bit unnatural.‚Äù He said, “sexual desires in themselves are natural, perhaps including homosexual desires, but that one should not try to increase those desires or indulge them without self-control.‚Äù He added, “From a Buddhist point of view, [gay sex] is generally considered sexual misconduct.” But he did note that this rule is for Buddhists, and from society’s viewpoint, homosexual relationships can be “of mutual benefit, enjoyable, and harmless.” His spokesman has added, “His Holiness opposes violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation. He urges respect, tolerance, compassion, and the full recognition of human rights for all.”
The bottom line is that there really isn’t an answer. Some schools of Buddhism are more or less accepting of it, but there is no single across-the-board answer. Overall, Buddhism is more accepting of gays than most of the other “big” religions. My own point of view is that consensual sexual activity by a committed couple, whether engaged in by a heterosexual or homosexual couple, is not sexual misconduct, and this is a point of view shared by many others. It really all hinges upon whether or not harm is being done and the motivations behind the relationship, and the same goes for heterosexual relationships for that matter!
Here are a few sites that discuss the issue more fully. I have quoted from a few them above.