The Norman Transcript

Religion

July 3, 2014

Explain your faith’s stand on gay marriage?

NORMAN — As is no single

unified view

A.M. Bhattacharyya, Hindu faith adviser of the Greater Kansas City Interfaith Council: Same-sex marriage has been a subject of bitter debate in different faith traditions. The Hindu views on this subject are also divided.

Those who are in favor of homosexual marriage justify their views by pointing out that it is love that matters in a marriage. Also, marriage is a union of two souls; and soul, which is the inner divinity, has no gender.

Those who are against same-sex marriage raise the point that one of the purposes of marriage is procreation to preserve God’s most magnificent creation, the human race. Same-sex marriage is nonprocreative.

The most authoritative scriptures, Vedas, are not explicit whether homosexuality is a natural law of God or an aberration.

Let’s acknowledge the fact that homosexuality is real and is existent to a degree in every society. Therefore, we should be understanding and tolerant of such behavior. However, in my view, marriage is more than a legal document to give certain contractual rights to the partners. It is one of the holy sacraments of life.

Marriage is a sanctified union between a male and a female to pursue the four goals of life, namely, dharma (social and religious duties, holding on to moral and ethical values), artha (fulfilling the need for livelihood), kama (fulfilling the urge to procreate to preserve the generation) and moksha (ultimate union with God).

What matters more is

what is in one’s heart

Lama Chuck Stanford, Rime Buddhist Center: Within the ancient Buddhist texts and specifically the teachings (sutras) of the Buddha, there is no mention of homosexuality. Recently, His Holiness the Dalai Lama said that gay marriage was ultimately one’s individual business.

Buddhism encourages practitioners to cultivate the virtues of compassion, loving kindness. It is believed that by doing so, one is better equipped to enter into an intimate, committed, loving relationship with another. Such relationships have the potential for us to grow spiritually.

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