Holy Moly

Larry King Talks Gay Marriage With The Dali Lama

Screen Shot 2014-02-27 at 3.49.44 PM Larry King recently questioned The Dali Lama on gay rights, and here’s what His Holiness had to say.

Larry asked:

“What do you make of the whole emerging gay question — Russia banning homosexuality, in the United States we now have growing gay marriage — what do you think?”

The Dali Lama:

“That, I think [is a] personal matter…Of course, you see, people who have belief[s]…or have spiritual tradition, then you should follow according [to] your own tradition. But non-believer[s], that[‘s] up to them.”

When asked about gay marriage, he starts to say he feels it’s up to individual nations to decide, but Larry cuts him off to ask how he personally feels about the subject.

“That’s ok. I think [it’s] individual business.”

It’s a bit of a cop out, and not exactly an inspiring show of support. Persecution of gays based on “spiritual tradition” has been and remains a hurdle for LGBT people born into communities where being gay isn’t an acceptable option. And how about dreaming of a future world where gay marriage is legal everywhere?

That said, it’s nice to know he supports love, even if he does appear a bit squeamish discussing the matter.

Here’s the full clip:

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33 Comments

  • Mezaien

    His Holiness, say what in every Buddhist, heart and mind. Thank you Holiness.

  • Harley

    When all these tea party neo-cons keep screaming that the majority’s rights are being trampled by activist judges and that their religous rights should be respected, maybe we should ask a few of the “witches” that were burned at the stake in Salem.

  • SnakeyJ

    I don’t know why people go crazy over this guy. He’s basically saying he doesn’t care what “non-believers” do. So he’s not supporting it. I’m tired of people holding him up as a beacon of tolerance and spirituality.

  • Zekester

    The Dalai Lama has made anti-gay statements in the past. When he was pressed to back up his statements with the Suttas (teachings of the Buddha) he admitted that the opinions were his own and not the Buddhas. As much as I think it sucks that a man of his status, and a Buddhist, would make anti-gay statements, AT LEAST he doesn’t try to wrap his ignorance in, and justify his homophobia with, his religion and he is willing to admit that his opinion is based on personal animus. It’s still very disappointing that such a learned man chooses to remain so ignorant about gay people and our issues and what the Buddha has to say about us.

  • Rad

    So much for peace for humanity. A very lack-luster (and disappointing) response.

  • MK Ultra

    Very disappointing. Very, very disappointing.
    Uhhh, thanks for nothing?

  • tallskin2

    I’m still waiting to meet someone, anyone, who’s achieved enlightenment.

    Or to meet anyone who’s returned from the dead

    Anyone know anyone?

    Nah, didn’t think so

  • Charlie in Charge

    @SnakeyJ: But, hon, that IS tolerance. Saying it is up to the individual to decide for themselves.

  • HirsuteOne

    If you want a different answer, ask a different Lama. What did you expect he would say?

  • balehead

    No Gay love from the B’s?? Buddhists are an organized religion too…cue the surprise…

  • robirob

    Why do we need support in the first place? Because people do force their own beliefs onto others like the LGBT community and active support is supposed to prevent that. In a perfect world nobdy would get his or her nose into other people’s business and instead leave others be. And what does the Dalai Lama aim for?

    In a way the Dalai Lama leads by example by not caring and not forcing his beliefs onto others and letting or suggesting others to decide for themselves.

  • rickhfx

    He is a ignorant homophobe anyone at all surprised? What he knows or understand could fit on the head of a pin.

  • the other Greg

    Buddha himself left his wife and child in order to go “seek enlightenment” – the original deadbeat dad? – so maybe that’s why Buddhists just aren’t that impressed by marriage in general.

    Buddhists tend to consider it a problem with “attachment” that Westerners are so culturally awestruck by the whole concept of marriage.

    Celibacy is highly valued in Buddhist countries, while to us Westerners celibacy usually looks slightly nuts – something to see a psychologist about.

    @Charlie in Charge: Yeah, maybe the advancement of gay rights in traditionally Buddhist countries makes a lot more sense on the individual basis. In the West, by contrast, we’re used to marriage being a sort of “spearhead” pushing everything before it. (Which is kind of odd when you consider that relatively few gay people actually want to get married!) We’ve just gotten so used to the marriage “cart” pushing the gay rights “horse” that any other way looks unusual.

  • ChefMac

    I watched the clip and understood the Dali Lama’s personal position on gay marriage is that it is the individual’s business. He also believes that homosexuality is a personal matter. While he respects that people may follow their own traditions about homosexuality, what he is against is bullying and abuse. Isn’t this what the gay community ultimately wants – the individual right to marry and to be free from bullying and abuse.

  • barkomatic

    I think some people look up to the Dali Lama as some type of spiritual being — even more so than the Pope. His statements are so clearly political–hedging his answers so as not to offend those on either side of this issue. Definitely not the enlightened leader some think he is.

  • Spike

    What a silly question to ask the Dali Lama. Might as well ask him his opinion of the queens on the new season of RuPaul’s Drag Race.

  • Menestratos

    In Buddhism, marriage has always been a secular affair that monks kept out of, so his stance is not surprising. While his statements aren’t exactly supportive, at least he remains neutral about it.

    Then again, I don’t understand the West’s fixation on the Dalai Lama. After all, he only really speaks for one group in Tibetan Buddhism (the Gelug-pa), a tradition that follows a slightly homophobic and sexist commentarial tradition. Ask other monks in other traditions and you will get widely different answers to this question.

  • Kieran

    How do you say “wishy-washy” in Tibetan?

  • Bobby Christina Crawford

    BTW, I have the very same blanket he is wearing. I got it at Nordstrom’s on sale for $29.99. I wonder how much he paid for it. It is very warm but collects a lot of dog hair. So it will be fine for him if he doesn’t have any dogs. I would never wear it out and especially with a yellow halter top. It is just a bit too USC for me. But what do I know, there is nothing holy about me.

    Truth is…there is nothing holy about him either. Don’t believe me….go to Nordstrom’s with $29.99.

  • tada-no

    It has been customary for LGBTs in Western countries to attack and harshly criticize their Judeo-Christian religions due to historic intolerance to butt sex. So they shift to new religions and “spiritual” journeys in non Western religions. If you dig deeply, you’ll see that cultures with Buddhism and similar religions are not as homo friendly as your yoga instructor wants you to believe. Dalai Lama is a skilled politician just like the Pope is. Lama has been marketed in Western Media as some saintly, charming, all encompassing tolerant, kumbaya being.

  • Sweet Boy

    As far as I am concerned the Dalai Lama can come and clean my windows…his opinion amounts to zilch…nada

  • the other Greg

    @Menestratos: Friends of mine were excited about having a wedding at a Buddhist center… I guess they imagined some kind of “big fat Buddhist wedding.” To their disappointment, they learned that Buddhists don’t care much about weddings. (Although they are definitely into big fat Buddhist funerals!)

    @tada-no: hmmm… I wonder why no one tries to bring back the old-time Greek “mythology”? It’s homo-friendly, and hardly seems sillier than any other religion.

  • tricky ricky

    the dali lama is just another purveyor of supernatural based bullsh*t. his opinions are meaningless just like anyone else who pushes a load of religious nonsense. if he had his druthers he’s have his own little kingdom and his slaves. didn’t know the dali lamas had slaves did you.

  • Ambrose

    Maybe life-long celibate monks shouldn’t be our go-to guys on sexuality. Just sayin’.

  • kevininbuffalo

    @Ambrose:
    Who better to go to for advice on sex and relationships than an elderly, life long celibate? The Dalai Lama, the pope or any other religious leader are just preachers, no wiser or closer to God than anyone else. They’re all like the Wizard of Oz, “Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!” If you look behind the curtain, the robes and grand titles they’re just people like anyone else. And usually rather silly people at that.

  • Fighter

    @Charlie in Charge: Tolerance? this is also tolerance of HOMOPHOBIA. What he is saying is that religious people have the right to be homophobic or against gay rights if it’s in their tradition to do so, and that gay people are therefore “non believers”. Nothing more, nothing less.

  • Fighter

    @Ambrose: being gay is not just about sexuality.

  • Fighter

    @tada-no: ” intolerance to butt sex.” you’re an idiot.

  • Fighter

    @Spike: it is a humanist issue. unless of course it’s just about getting the d and showing off your body for you… wouldn’t be too surprising.

  • SteveDenver

    This article should be headlined: “Dalai Lama Chickens Out.”

  • sashaqueenie

    He is absolutely right.
    As long as it’s consensual, the Dalai Lama says it’s none of his business.
    And this goes for everyone else.
    Stay out of my business.

  • Dibber

    @SnakeyJ:
    He IS a beacon of tolerance and love. Learn about him and I dont think you would have said that.

  • Dibber

    Wow… cant believe what a bunch of vicious queens live in here… FYI, the Dalai Lama is one of the greatest humanitarians of our time. He is up there with MLK and Ghandi. Learn about him before you judge. I am upset that Larry King asked such stupid questions. Its like asking Stephen Hawking what he thinks about soy futures, or speculating on what Jesus would say. It really was a demeaning line of questions, and I am surprised over and over again that His Holiness tolerates such ignorance by interviewers who do not know or understand their subject.

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