Exiled Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, has used his high moral backing to talk about and openly support gay marriage, condemning homophobia and the bullying of LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) people. He said that same sex marriage was “OK” and that sex of that nature was fine as long as it was of mutual consent.
The leader shared his views on the controversial social issue while visiting different places in the U.S. In a rare online interview hosted by the veteran American talk show host Larry King, he said that gay marriage was under the purview of its particular government, and was essential an individualistic matter.
He said that if two people, as a couple, felt such a way that gay marriage was practical and would bring them satisfaction; it was “OK” as long as both parties agreed. However, he said that same sex marriage would be enacted depending on the country’s law, which meant it could not be forced as universal.
The Lama stated that people who believe in specific religions or special traditions should make it a point to follow their own religion’s opinions and rules on spirituality. He compared this to Buddhism, which he said had different kinds of sexual misconduct. But he said that a non-believer had to make his own decision, though as long as the sex was safe and of mutual consent, it was fine.
However, when the leader was asked to comment on the issue of Russia’s infamous anti-gay law, in comparison to the increasing number of same-sex marriage laws in states in the US, the Lama said that he felt traditions should be protected, and that it was, in his opinion, a personal matter.
The Lama specifically said that bully and abuse of an anti-LGBT nature was wrong, and a violation of basic human rights.
The Dalai Lama is popularly known as a Buddhist spiritual leader from Tibet, who was exiled from his homeland in the year 1959 since it was ruled by the Chinese. China named him an enemy of the state, determined to seek independence of Tibet. However, he has always denied this, saying that all he desired was enough autonomy to protect Tibet’s rich Buddhist culture.
He then went on to win the Nobel Peace Prize in the 1999. He is known for taking progressive stands on hot-topic issues, and describes himself as a feminist. This very visit to the US was a potential risk at igniting China’s wrath.
Though the interview portrays him as forward-thinking, his Western audiences have been concerned by some of his earlier comments on gay rights. While not specifically pointing out at homosexuality, the Dalai Lama states that sexual intercourse should only involve those organs intended for it, in one of his books.
Gay marriage is a topic that has received widespread acceptance, especially in the Western world as well as Latin America, however no predominantly Buddhist country permits it. Even so, many Buddhism-influenced and practicing countries like have debated the issue to a large extent.