SEATTLE, March 7 (UPI) -- The Dalai Lama took his first official stance on gay marriage last night. In an interview with Larry King, set to air Mar. 10, the spiritual leader said same-sex marriage is okay.
When asked about homosexuality he said, “that, I think, is a personal matter.” He encouraged people to follow the beliefs and traditions of their faiths, and to avoid sexual misconduct, adding that so long as two people fully agree and are safe, different forms of sex are okay. He also condemned bullying and abuse of LGBT people as wrong, calling it “a violation of human rights.”
The Dalai Lama is the exiled spiritual leader of Tibet and the most prominent living leader of Buddhists worldwide. The Nobel Peace Prize recipient delivered the opening prayer Thursday to the Senate, suggesting a “purity of thought” should guide humanity’s actions.
His visit to the U.S. this week to meet with President Obama to discuss his continuing struggle for Tibetan autonomy from Beijing and the human rights violations Tibetan’s are suffering under Chinese rule angered China’s government.
Today, speaking amid protests at the National Cathedral, the Dalai Lama encouraged people to “Practice compassion and eliminate anger, hate and fear. It is a strong force, compassion, just like love. It is a hard practice, but it is not impossible."
When asked by Larry King about same-sex marriage, the Dalai Lama said, “that’s up to the country's law,” and when pushed for his personal feelings, he replied, “that’s okay. I think it's the individuals’ business.”
His Holiness’ support of gay marriage comes just one day after Pope Francis reiterated the Vatican’s position against same-sex unions.