Shambhala Sun Space recently noted His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s support for gay marriage (and denunciation of violence against and harassment of LGBTQI people) during an interview with Larry King (see below). Additionally, Barbara O’Brien at Barbara’s About Buddhism Blog reminds us that His Holiness’ past comments on homosexuality have not always read as supportive.
His Holiness has also made it a special point in recent years to include the LGBTQI community in his comments about universal human rights. In 2006, for example, his office sent a special message to the XXIII World Conference of the International Lesbian and Gay Association (ILGA), saying:
His Holiness welcomes the special attention given at this conference to religious tolerance and respect for diversity.
His Holiness is greatly concerned by reports of violence and discrimination against gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people.
His Holiness opposes violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity and urges respect, tolerance, and the full recognition of human rights for all.
In light of such statements and affirmations, His Holiness’ recent, explicit support for gay marriage is not at all out of character or inconsistent.
More needs to be said by His Holiness about Buddhism and homosexuality — absolutely. To be fair, though, we should make sure to note that when it comes to speaking broadly about LGBTQI people and their rights, he’s been supportive for a long time and is growing steadily into a very fine ally.