Examples: Monday, today, last week, Mar 26, 3/26/04
Welcome home! Please contact lincoln@newbuddhist.com if you have any difficulty logging in or using the site. New registrations must be manually approved which may take up to 48 hours. Can't log in? Try clearing your browser's cookies.

Homophobic Dalai Lama?!?

edited June 2011 in Advanced Ideas
Hello all,
I have heard people mention that the Dalai Lama is anti-gay? Is this true? Or is this just some random rumour? If it is true then I can't believe he would be capable of such a thing! Homophobia is not compassionate AT ALL! I am very confused right now. Oh, say it isn't true!

Comments

  • edited June 2011
    Usually, when the DL speaks to a gay crowd, his position is that if no one is harmed, then gay sex is ok. But the rest of the time he says that only sex that penetrates the vagina is permitted. He's even gone so far as to say that sex is for procreation only. (He said this to a gay audience once, as an opening line. He was met with stone cold silence.) But most people dismiss the Puritanical stuff, and do their best to stick with the relationships-that-aren't-harmful rule. Ahimsa, as Vincenzi has summed it up on occasion.

    The DL isn't being homophobic. Rather, he's going by commentaries on, and an expansion of, the rules for lay people that were written over 1500 years ago.
  • oh, so he isn't anti gay, he just thinks that sex should only be for procreation?
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Somewhere in the UK, Central-Southern.... Moderator
    Oh not this old chestnut again....!:rolleyes:

    HH the DL is constrained by the ethical, moral and traditional teachings of his specific School of Buddhism. He may not agree with everything said, but as representative of his lineage, he has to go by the centuries-old scriptures.
    he once said that thousands of years of teachings cannot be changed overnight by one man.
    he has to be seen to abide by what he stands for, even though personally, he may think it's outdated and archaic.

    Sorry about the "old Chestnut" comment.
    needless to say, we've chatted on this before ! :D
  • Usually, when the DL speaks to a gay crowd, his position is that if no one is harmed, then gay sex is ok. But the rest of the time he says that only sex that penetrates the vagina is permitted. He's even gone so far as to say that sex is for procreation only. (He said this to a gay audience once, as an opening line, and was met with stone cold silence.) But most people dismiss the Puritanical stuff, and do their best to stick with the relationships-that-aren't-harmful rule. Ahimsa, as Vincenzi has summed it up on occasion.

    The DL isn't being homophobic. Rather, he's going by commentaries on, and an expansion of, the rules that were set for secular life, written over 1500 years ago. He says one has to go by the rules, one can't just make them up as one goes along. But the fact is that he's contradicted himself on this score numerous times. He gave a talk once in which he said birth control is ok, since conditions have changed and the world is now over-populated. So, pick the teaching that works for you.
  • (sorry about the repetition. posting glitch.) Yes, AR, there are several threads on this topic that you could look up.
  • Hello all,
    I have heard people mention that the Dalai Lama is anti-gay? Is this true? Or is this just some random rumour? If it is true then I can't believe he would be capable of such a thing! Homophobia is not compassionate AT ALL! I am very confused right now. Oh, say it isn't true!
    The man was taken as a small boy from his home, stuffed into a robe and made to live the life of a celebate monk before he even hit puberty. He is to all accounts a compassionate, highly intelligent man, well versed on the practice and philosophy of the Tibetan Buddhism and takes his role as spiritual and secular leader seriously.

    What he is not, is an expert on sexual matters or romantic relationships.

    Nor is he the Buddhist Pope, in spite of what the media would like to treat him as. He doesn't have the authority to write or rewrite the rules of the church as he wants. The Dalai Lama's official views on homosexual relationships have to reflect what the religion and culture say it should be, and that is a very conservative culture.

    This is pretty much a summary of several threads. The subject does pop up from time to time.
  • edited June 2011
    This horse was named Old Chestnut:

    (sorry about the double attachment- funky signal...)
  • @sherabdorje :lol:" alt=":lol:" height="20" />
  • Yeah, but don't forget what is an old question for us can be a new question for the poster. Also, maybe one of the new members has a few views on the subject they'd like to get out there.
  • edited June 2011
    This horse was named Old Chestnut:

    (sorry about the double attachment- funky signal...)
    LOL!! You've been waiting in the wings for an occasion to post that! or lurking is more like it! :lol:" alt=":lol:" height="20" />

    But cut the newbies a little slack. :rockon:
  • JeffreyJeffrey Veteran
    maybe he isn't anti gay, but rather pro vagina?
  • zombiegirlzombiegirl beating the drum of the lifeless in a dry wasteland Veteran
    maybe he isn't anti gay, but rather pro vagina?
    hahahahaha. sorry, but this gave me serious LOLs. i think compassionate_warrior should have worded that a little more carefully. :)

    as others have said, he represents one sect of buddhism and there are many more that do not share in this opinion. actually, i'm not aware of any others that actively denounce homosexuality, but i assume that there must be some (anyone else know?). my personal feelings are that while i find it quite disappointing, he is just a man and not above error, so perhaps it should be expected.

    i think it is speculation to say that he probably doesn't agree with it, but upholds it anyway because of tradition. personally, i find this concept almost more horrifying. a person should always stand up for what they believe in, popular or not. i don't think he is a coward and i believe HHDL would do this and therefore i think that he does believe that sex is for procreation only. i don't think that he would chose to be so close minded, however, people usually don't. i just hope that he has the good fortune of experiencing something that will open his mind.
  • some buddhist forget about aversion, "procreation only" is getting closer to an aversion.
  • edited June 2011
    maybe he isn't anti gay, but rather pro vagina?
    Nope. If he were, he wouldn't forbid oral sex. There's no way to word things carefully when you get into the nitty-gritty of these rules. HHDL has said you're not supposed to use "holes" that weren't intended for sex. He's said some wild stuff.

  • It's simple, really. HHDL apparently has (or had, maybe he's changed his ideas, but I doubt it) some outdated values from an archaic culture, and that's where he spoke from. But it can't be said that he's anti-gay or homophobic, because he says that compassion for others, no matter their race, color, creed, or sexual orientation, is the most important thing. No non-monk is going to get kicked out for being gay. I think homophobic is far too strong a word. He just doesn't approve from a cultural point of view. That's all. It's just that simple. I know of nothing in Buddhism that expressly or even implicitly prohibits homosexuality. Sexual misconduct is sexual misconduct only if it causes harm. He's speaking strictly from the cultural point of view of old Tibet, and he cannot presume to address this as Dalai Lama.
  • MountainsMountains Moderator
    maybe he isn't anti gay, but rather pro vagina?
    HA!!! Love it :) Put me in that camp!
  • aMattaMatt Veteran
    I think its born from a view that recreational sex increases clinging, which might be true... seeing as it can be a rich sensual experience. Homosexuals perhaps represent recreational sex. I doubt its a moral thing at heart, and certainly not a lack of acceptance of preferences.

    Many buddhist teachers denounce most forms of recreation, including eating, television, surface communication, and sexual activity. Its not a homo vs hetero vs pick-a-hole... just caution on how sensual pleasure introduces complexities into the mind.
  • @aMatt

    beware the icecreams!

    ...not being too serious, but some buddhists take non clinging towards aversion.
  • aMattaMatt Veteran
    edited June 2011
    beware the icecreams!
    Not beware, just look at how the body actually reacts.
    Mmm, good, again
    Gone, awww, crave
  • SattvaPaulSattvaPaul South Wales, UK Veteran
    I've got a question regarding this, particularly to the practitioners of TB: given that Vajrayana works very much on energetic level, could it be that the orthodox position of TB on gay sex is not just a cultural issue, but has something to do with the way male/female energies work and are utilised in tantra practice (I'm not talking about popular "tantra" as in enhaced sex)?

    It seems to me that we in the West are too quick to try and adjust Buddhism to our modern worldview, or dismiss elements we don't agree with. We know a lot about sexuality and gender etc., but we don't know for sure. And if you add the notion of rebirth to the whole debate, it suddenly becomes more interesting.

    What are your thoughts?
  • I've got a question regarding this, particularly to the practitioners of TB: given that Vajrayana works very much on energetic level, could it be that the orthodox position of TB on gay sex is not just a cultural issue, but has something to do with the way male/female energies work and are utilised in tantra practice (I'm not talking about popular "tantra" as in enhaced sex)?

    It seems to me that we in the West are too quick to try and adjust Buddhism to our modern worldview, or dismiss elements we don't agree with. We know a lot about sexuality and gender etc., but we don't know for sure. And if you add the notion of rebirth to the whole debate, it suddenly becomes more interesting.

    What are your thoughts?
    I don't think anyone here knows enough about what you're referring to to answer that since those teachings are secret.

    And views on male/female energies have changed in the modern world as well, such that both men and women have male and female energies within themselves.

    Even in Native American religions, gay people have not only been accepted, but sometimes revered as strongly spiritual people who are gone to for advice and spiritual guidance. I believe it's in Navajo (Dineh) spirituality gay or bisexual people are referred to as "two-spirits", as they have the spirits of both male and female.

    The idea of the need for strictly male-female union in tantric sex may be outdated as well. Who's to say that gay people can't channel their energies in the same way?

  • seeker242seeker242 Zen Florida, USA Veteran
    @aMatt

    beware the icecreams!

    ...not being too serious, but some buddhists take non clinging towards aversion.
    Aversion to things that cause more suffering is a good thing! :)

  • SattvaPaulSattvaPaul South Wales, UK Veteran
    @SherabDorje

    Thanks for your comment. I agree with what you say.

    There's an interesting article on Alex Berzin's site:

    Explanation of Buddhist Sexual Ethics: An Historical Perspective

  • aMattaMatt Veteran
    could it be that the orthodox position of TB on gay sex is not just a cultural issue, but has something to do with the way male/female energies work and are utilised in tantra practice?

    We know a lot about sexuality and gender etc., but we don't know for sure.

    We don't know for sure what?

    In regards to tantra, it would not be much different.
  • SattvaPaulSattvaPaul South Wales, UK Veteran

    We don't know for sure what?

    In regards to tantra, it would not be much different.
    We don't know for sure all the conditions that cause a particular sexual preference.

  • Pick-a-hole! What a hoot! Sort of like Whack-A-Mole - the kids carnival game.

    When HHDL says sex is for procreation - he is overstating the obvious - it is a biological function. Like anything else - including the HHDL's commentary - sex is a fluid topic with obvious variations and permutations. It follows then, that the HHDL desires that the recipients of his teachings realize the truth of the way things are and as long one does no harm they may choose to engage in the permutations of the biological function we know as "sex".

    Reminds me of the story of two masters sitting in a garden in silence for a long time - then one says to the other laughingly - "They call that a tree!"
  • vinlynvinlyn Veteran
    I don't think that someone is "homophobic" just because they don't personally approve of gay sex.
  • I don't think that someone is "homophobic" just because they don't personally approve of gay sex.
    I think homophobic is far too strong a word. He just doesn't approve from a cultural point of view. That's all. It's just that simple.
    Sometimes these discussions get to the point of being repetitious. Maybe now I can drag out my dead horse picture?

  • DakiniDakini Veteran
    I don't think that someone is "homophobic" just because they don't personally approve of gay sex.
    Good point. He's just going by the rules that were set up over 1000 years ago. I think the rules are supposed to apply for Mahayana in general. That Berzin Archive link details it. But when HHDL speaks to gay groups, he takes the compassionate route and says it's ok, so long as the relationship is based on mutual respect.

    If in the Tibetan system people were aware enough to consider the energy exchange involved, the monks wouldn't rape boy novices and use them as sex toys.

    OK, SherabDorje, you can bring out the dead horse! Or maybe a mod will give the thread a merciful death.

  • personperson Veteran
    @SherabDorje

    Thanks for your comment. I agree with what you say.

    There's an interesting article on Alex Berzin's site:

    Explanation of Buddhist Sexual Ethics: An Historical Perspective

    Great link, very helpful, thanks. :thumbsup:
  • SattvaPaulSattvaPaul South Wales, UK Veteran
    @person,

    You're welcome. There's a ton of other good stuff on that site too.
  • @aMatt

    beware the icecreams!

    ...not being too serious, but some buddhists take non clinging towards aversion.


    Aversion to things that cause more suffering is a good thing! :)

    Anything can cause suffering, especially aversion.

    It always strikes me as funny how some Buddhists seem to cling to the idea of non-clinging.

  • OK, SherabDorje, you can bring out the dead horse! Or maybe a mod will give the thread a merciful death.
    :om:
  • zombiegirlzombiegirl beating the drum of the lifeless in a dry wasteland Veteran
    I don't think that someone is "homophobic" just because they don't personally approve of gay sex.
    "homophobic" is an outdated word. it clearly implies fear towards homosexuals, which we still see sometimes, but it's not an accurate word to describe all people who do not support homosexuals. i wish there was a better word. something along the lines of "sexist" or "racist"


    The idea of the need for strictly male-female union in tantric sex may be outdated as well. Who's to say that gay people can't channel their energies in the same way?

    there is a book called "Urban Tantra" by Barbara Carrellas that discusses same sex tantra. it was the first and only book i have ever read about tantra, so i really can't say how "legitimate" it is.
  • edited June 2011

    :om:
    I much prefer this little guy to the dead horse, lol!

  • cazcaz Veteran
    It may well have been more of a tantric reference then anything else coming from a Vajrayanaic background.
  • 1500 years ago there was no word homophobic, and that word was created to spread fear among non-gay people. Kinda like cooties to kids. Buddhist do not judge a person on sexuality or color of skin etc. To me it is something they have to come to accept in their life themselves and if they are fine with it then they are just like everyone else. As for the DL I believe he treats all people the same.

    It is sad that sexual-phobias exist and still instills fear among people.
    Sorry for repeating others opinions above but this is how it flowed out as I wrote it.
  • zombiegirlzombiegirl beating the drum of the lifeless in a dry wasteland Veteran
    1500 years ago there was no word homophobic, and that word was created to spread fear among non-gay people. Kinda like cooties to kids. Buddhist do not judge a person on sexuality or color of skin etc. To me it is something they have to come to accept in their life themselves and if they are fine with it then they are just like everyone else. As for the DL I believe he treats all people the same.

    It is sad that sexual-phobias exist and still instills fear among people.
    Sorry for repeating others opinions above but this is how it flowed out as I wrote it.
    the word homophobic was not created to inspire fear, it was created because it is a very common occurrence for someone to fear homosexuals. imo, an average heterosexual will have no opinion about homosexuals, unless taught some sort of religious dogma to give them a perspective. but even so, these people don't usually tend to believe it unless they have no experiences with a gay person (friend, family, etc.) studies have shown that people who have gay friends are MUCH less likely to oppose gay rights. however, there is a small amount of people that you meet who really do have a deep seeded fear/hatred of homosexuals. typically, these people are gay themselves. it is very hard to hate/fear that which you do not love/know yourself. a lot of people go through this stage before coming out; some come out later in life, some commit suicide, some simply never come out. these are the true homophobics. for the record, i went through this stage. homophobics don't always say the things they do to convince themselves, sometimes they are just trying to convince other people and they think that going over the top will do this. instead of, "i don't support homosexual rights." it becomes extreme like, "all homosexuals are disgusting and undeserving."

    these are the reasons that i say that "homophobia" is an outdated word for someone who is anti-homosexual. it refers to a specific type of person who hates gays, definitely not all. and definitely not HHDL.
  • This is what I found and was referring to.
    I have two gay uncles and harbour no fear of homosexuality. Since I was raised near them and hold them dearly in my heart.


    Etymology

    The term homophobia was formed like the names for many other phobias (e.g. arachnophobia) from homoios (όμοιος, greek for same) and phobia (φοβία, greek for irrational fear') .[6][7][8]

    First documented uses

    George Weinberg, a psychologist, is credited as the first person to have used the term in speech.[9] The word homophobia first appeared in print in an article written for the May 23, 1969, edition of the American tabloid Screw, in which the word was used to refer to heterosexual men's fear that others might think they are gay.[9]
    I will take your opinion and add to what I feel my belief on the subject is.
  • SattvaPaulSattvaPaul South Wales, UK Veteran
    edited June 2011
    But isn't the word "homophobia" used nowadays by some to refer to the attitude of people who even in a slightest way disagree with anything to do with homosexual orientation. For example, back to the original topic, if someone disapproves of homosexual sex in any way, he/she is labelled "homophobic". A kind of reverse discrimination, or perhaps better said prejudice, imo.

  • JeffreyJeffrey Veteran
    Sattva, I think it depends if they dissaprove of homosexual sex. Thats ok. I think a lot of heteros are grossed out if a guy at work talks about how he had a good time at the fireside smooching with his boyfriend.

    Well that might be homophobia too quite literally.

    The point I was trying to make is that if you have a religious belief about proper sex. That is a different thing from not liking homosexual PEOPLE. SEX vs PEOPLE.
  • SattvaPaulSattvaPaul South Wales, UK Veteran
  • I don't have a problem with poeple if they are "turned off" by the idea of homosexual relationships. Everyone is entitled to their opinion. I think that what happens in the bedroom should stay in the bedroom, homo, hetero, or whatever. I don't discuss my bisexuality with my girlfriend, even though she knows I'm bi, because it isn't an important part of our relationship, and I definitely don't purposely throw my sexuality into other poeple's faces. If I feel like someone is being offensive or intolerant I will voice my opinion, but otherwise I don't think it's anyone effing business.

    The Dalai Lama, imho, is not an expert on sexual relations in any regard. He is a monk, a renunciate, a celibate man raised in a conservative atmosphere. Sex is indulgence in sensual pleasure, a hinderance to complete awakening. He doesnt "support" any sexual activity, let alone gay sex which from his point of view serves no purpose except to feed sensual attachment and craving.

    In my opinion, however, sex can serve many purposes for two people sharing a loving and committed relationship, whether its for the purpose of procreation or not. But how is he supposed to understand this having never been in a sexually active relationship? I'm not going to judge him or anyone else for feeling the way they do, as long as they don't impose their beliefs on me and my way of living.
  • aMattaMatt Veteran
    But how is he supposed to understand this having never been in a sexually active relationship?
    We can understand relations between action and reaction without doing them. We know murder is unskillful, even though we've never done it. If HHDL understands sensual craving from reading Buddha's view of the subject, he can speak wisely.

    Buddha was a little more dramatic then HHDL's 'can't approve'.
Sign In or Register to comment.