Wedding Bells

Rub The Belly For Luck At Taiwan’s First Same-Sex Buddhist Wedding

A 30-year-old social worker in Taiwan wanted to be an inspiration for other gay Buddhists in Taiwan. So she married her partner in the nation’s first Buddhist gay wedding.

“We are not only doing it for ourselves, but also for other gays and lesbians,” Fish Huang said, hoping to further push the legalization of same-sex marriage in Taiwan.

Huang was inspired by a movie that emotionally struck her. In it, two lesbians faced a doomed relationship when one died, leaving the other heartbroken because she lacked spousal benefits. Sounds a wee bit propaganda-ish but, of course, we support the message.

Even though Taiwan’s first public gay wedding took place in 1996, the country still does not legally recognize same-sex marriage. Huang’s is the first performed in the Buddhist faith.

From the Taipei Times:

While planning for her wedding, Huang found out, to her surprise, that some of her Buddhist friends were hesitant about attending the ceremony.

“They are not sure if it would break their vows and were very anxious,” Huang said.

She messaged a Buddhist master on Facebook, asking her if she could find grounds in Buddhism for condemning the practice of homosexuality.

To Huang’s surprise, the master quickly replied that Buddhism shows no bias toward homosexuality. In a demonstration of support, the master said she was willing to host the ceremony for the couple.

“It is meaningful to us that our wedding can give hope to other homosexuals and help heterosexuals understand how Buddhism views sexuality,” Huang said.

The Buddhist master Shih Chao-hwei, who is also a professor at Hsuan Chuang University, said Buddhist teachings do not prohibit homosexual behavior.

Considering how much fire and brimstone Western religions spew about homosexuality, Buddhism’s acceptance is something worth meditating on.

Photo: Francis Chung