Homosexuality and Theravada Buddhism

by A. L. De Silva Buddhism teaches to, and expects from, its followers a certain level of ethical behaviour. The minimum that is required of the lay Buddhist is embodied in what is called the Five Precepts (panca sila), the third of which relates to sexual behaviour. Whether or not homosexuality, sexual behaviour between people of the same sex, would be breaking the third Precept is what I would like to examine here. Homosexuality was known in ancient India; it is explicitly mentioned in the Vinaya (monastic discipline) and prohibited. It is not singled out for special condemnation, but rather

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