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Tibet was once an independent kingdom but today is part of the People's Republic of China following an invasion in 1959. Some of Tibet's diplomatic allies, as well as sympathetic scholarly and non-governmental bodies, are based in India, including the government-in-exile headed by the Dalai Lama.
In short, homosexuality is not illegal in Tibet because it was not specified as illegal in the country. But the Chinese invasion brought strong prohibitions against homosexauslity. In Buddhist Tibet there is a long cultural tradition of considering same-sex behavior to be sexual misconduct. Buddhism is most concerned with whether an action is helpful, based on good intentions, and freedom from harm. Thus, a specific act can sometimes be either permissible or not permissible, depending upon its context. There is no special limitation here that applies uniquely to homosexuals. Following a devotional path of Buddha, persons of all sexual orientations are to remain celibate.
Authorities Increase Surveillance and Abuses Against Refugees (Kathmandu) – Nepal has imposed increasing restrictions on Tibetans living in the country as a result of strong pressure from China, Human Rights Watch said in a new report published today. The new Nepali government should make it clear to China that it will accept Tibetans who flee… Read more »
Sexuality, Magic and Politics in Tibetan Buddhism CONTENTS Introduction: Light and Shadow Plato’s Cave Realpolitik and politics of symbols Part I – Ritual as Politics 1 – Buddhism and Misogyny (historical overview) The “sacrifice” of Maya: the Buddha legend The meditative dismemberment of women: Hinayana Buddhism The transformation of women into men: Mahayana Buddhism 2 – Tantric Buddhism… Read more »
Dorfgemeinschaft Bordo, Italy, 1995 -lightly edited transcript- I’ve been asked to speak today about Buddhist sexual ethics. Sexuality is obviously a topic that is of great interest to a lot of people. Especially when living in a close community in the countryside, as you are here, there can be a lot of confusion about sexuality… Read more »
The Dalai Lama is the spiritual and temporal head of the exiled government of Tibet, and is a member of the leadership of the Gelug – the largest of the four sects of Tibetan Buddhism. He is revered by millions of Buddhists and non-Buddhists worldwide. His comments on homosexuality have been very widely reported –… Read more »
“I am a 26-year-old woman from Shanghai, and I am looking for a boyfriend to marry in a year.” Yes, yes, we’ve heard all this before. Chinese women over the age of 27 can kiss their marriage plans and their future away because a 27-year-old woman is too old for any sensible Chinese man to… Read more »
An increasing number of gay men in the country are conforming to traditional social norms — by marrying lesbians. Every time Benjamin Zhang talks about marriage, he uses the following words in abundance: “job,” “duty,” “my parents,” “problem,” and “urgent”. “The most urgent matter for me now is to find a spouse. I’m not young… Read more »
Headlines of the current decade reflect significant interest toward various kinds of emancipatory politics and their effects, with a particular gravitation toward LGBTQ rights and democratization in non-Western nations. An interesting feature emerges when contrasting the notions of LGBTQ rights and democratic values– the latter represents a majority-rule paradigm, while the former calls for minority… Read more »
Originally posted on tricycle July 20, 2009 A post which Tricycle editor James Shaheen recently wrote at the Huffington Post blog has picked up a good bit of attention around the internet. James’s subject was the Dalai Lama’s views on gay marriage, which, as he rightly discussed, are quite a complicated matter. In part this… Read more »
A post which Tricycle editor James Shaheen recently wrote at the Huffington Post blog has picked up a good bit of attention around the internet. James’s subject was the Dalai Lama’s views on gay marriage, which, as he rightly discussed, are quite a complicated matter. In part this stems from the utterly different cultural and… Read more »
This essay is a shorter version of a talk given to GBF When I agreed to speak to the Gay Buddhist Fellowship in February, I hoped for a topic which offered listeners support for their Buddhist practice. I told my teacher, Geshe Yeshe Phegey, that I’d decided to pose the question, “Do monks have sex… Read more »
Leaving the Fairmount Hotel in San Francisco, having just met with the Dalai Lama, the words, “according to Buddhist tradition” reverberated in my head. Stepping out into the June sunlight, I felt tired, calm, enormously grateful-and disappointed. I was grateful for the Dalai Lama’s willingness to meet with gays and lesbians to discuss their concerns… Read more »