‘A Message of Peace’ (2004)

Written by Rob Hogendoorn

Less than a minute

During his visit to Canada in 2004, Vancouver Sun reporter Douglas Todd asked the Dalai Lama about his views on homosexuality and same-sex marriage (Vancouver Sun, 20 April 2004, pp. B2-4):

“Douglas Todd (TD): I have two more questions. You are meeting Bishop Michael Ingham, He approves of blessing same-sex relationships, and I do not know what you think about that?

Dalai Lama (DL): I look at the issue at two levels. One is as a religious believer. | think that we should follow one’s holy teachings. For a Buddhist, the same-sex union is engaging in sexual misconduct,

DT: For Buddhists?

DL: Yes. And even in the heterosexual marriage, anal sex is considered sexual misconduct.

DT: In Buddhism?

DL: So if you are a genuine believer, then you must avoid this. If you are a non-believer, then two persons, male or female, they get maximum joy through this technique, they do not create violence (laughs).

One thing I would like to express, sometimes due to that kind of behaviour, there is discrimination in jobs or within the family, this creates some problem. If people discriminate based on sexual orientation, that is extreme and it is wrong. Whether same-sex marriage is okay or not is dependent on each country’s law.” (pp. B2-3).

Todd - Dalai Lama-A Message of Peace (The Vancouver Sun 20-04-2004 pp. B2-3)

About the author

Rob Hogendoorn

Investigative reporter and academic researcher Rob Hogendoorn (b. 1964) began researching the reception of Buddhism in Western society and culture in the early 1990s. His modus operandi remained the same ever since: independent, inquisitive and provocative.