Can Gay and Lesbian people train in Buddhism?

This is a revision and extension of an article which first appeared in the March-April 1978 issue of The Journal of Shasta Abbey, which was devoted to sexuality in religious training. “Responsible training within a relationship of love” was the theme of that issue. At that time we had been requested, both by trainees with homosexual orientations and those with heterosexual orientations, to offer a perspective on Buddhist practice as it might be done by gay and lesbian trainees. About two years before her death in 1996, Rev. Master Jiyu had occasion to discuss this topic further with the author in the course of helping him to write a chapter that had been requested for a book on Buddhism and HIV. While the book was never published, Rev. Master Daizui’s contribution is available here: What About Karma? Since some of the participants at the November 2001 “Nothing Special, Everything Buddha” retreat for gay and lesbian trainees said that they had found the original of this article to be helpful, it seemed good to revise and extend it.

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