Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 20 September 2014

Dalai Lama says 'okay' to gay marriage

WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 06:  The Dalai Lama speaks during a meetng with U.S. Speaker of the House John Boehner at the U.S. Capitol March 6, 2014 in Washington, DC. The Dalai Lama is scheduled to meet with members of the U.S. Senate later in the day.  (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 06: The Dalai Lama speaks during a meetng with U.S. Speaker of the House John Boehner at the U.S. Capitol March 6, 2014 in Washington, DC. The Dalai Lama is scheduled to meet with members of the U.S. Senate later in the day. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 26:  His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama and Larry King attend a Q&A With Ann Curry courtesy of the Lourdes Foundation at the California Science Center on February 26, 2014 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Chris Weeks/Getty Images for The Lourdes Foundation)
LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 26: His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama and Larry King attend a Q&A With Ann Curry courtesy of the Lourdes Foundation at the California Science Center on February 26, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Chris Weeks/Getty Images for The Lourdes Foundation)
LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 26:  Actress Sharon Stone, His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama and Ann Curry attend a Q&A With Ann Curry courtesy of the Lourdes Foundation at the California Science Center on February 26, 2014 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Chris Weeks/Getty Images for The Lourdes Foundation)
LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 26: Actress Sharon Stone, His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama and Ann Curry attend a Q&A With Ann Curry courtesy of the Lourdes Foundation at the California Science Center on February 26, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Chris Weeks/Getty Images for The Lourdes Foundation)

The Dalai Lama has voiced his support for gay marriage and condemned homophobia, saying that sex is fine as long as it is consensual.

Speaking during an interview with American talk show host Larry King, the Buddhist monk said that gay marriage was “okay” and a “personal matter”.

 

He said: "If two people, a couple, really feel that way, it’s more practical, more satisfaction, and both sides fully agree, then okay!”

 

On whether same-sex marriage should be universally accepted, he said: "That’s up to the country’s law.”

 

And the Dalai Lama added that people should still follow their own religions’ rules on spirituality.

 

“People who have belief or who have special traditions, then you should follow according to your own tradition. Like Buddhism, there are different kinds of sexual misconduct, so you should follow properly.

Further reading

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Majority in Northern Ireland support same-sex marriages: survey 

 Gay marriage: Northern Irish opinion poll shows wide generation gap

“But then for a non-believer, that is up to them. So there are different forms of sex - so long (as it is) safe, okay, and (if both people) fully agree, okay,” he said.

 

He added that homophobia was “wrong.”

 

“It is a violation of human rights,” he said.

 

The Dalai Lama is Tibet’s exiled spiritual leader and won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989.

 

His visit to the US saw him risk the wrath of China, who have named him an enemy of the state, who is determined to seek Tibetan independence.

 

The Dalai Lama has long denied these claims, saying that he wants only enough autonomy to protect Tibet's Buddhist culture.

 

The full interview will be aired on 10 March.

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