Dalai-Lama_2623353bInternational: The Dalai Lama, spiritual leader of Buddhism, has said that he approves of gay sex, homosexuality and same-sex marriage.

In a sit down interview for “Larry King Now,” he says same-sex marriage is fine—it’s really bullying and homophobia that is morally wrong and against human rights, reported instinctmagazine.com.

The Dalai Lama is currently on a three-week visit to the United States where he gave his interview for the TV show “Larry King Now” in Los Angeles on February 26.

When asked about homosexuality in general and gay rights, the Dalai Lama responded: “That’s a personal matter. People who have a special tradition, you should follow according to your own tradition. … But non-believer, that’s up to them. Different form of sex? So long as it’s safe, okay! And fully agreed, okay! Bullied? Abused? That’s what is wrong. That’s a violation of human rights.”

When asked about same-sex marriage rights, the Dalai Lama said: “That’s up to the countries’ laws. It’s okay, I think individual business. If a couple really feels that way, practical, satisfaction … if both sides fully agree, then okay!”

The Dalai Lama is head and spiritual leader of the largest and most influential Buddhist tradition in Tibet. He is recognized as the world’s leading religious figures with influence far beyond his community.  He belongs to the Gelugpa tradition of Tibetan Buddhism.

Buddhism is a major religion founded in India about 450 B.C. by the Buddha. Buddha means awakened one, and was the name assumed by Siddhartha Gautama.

Most of Buddhism’s followers are in South and East Asia, with growth in many Western countries. It is the dominant religion in Burma (Myanmar), Cambodia, China, Japan, Korea, Laos, Mongolia, Sri Lanka, Taiwan and Thailand.

Buddhists believe that a path of ethics, meditation, and wisdom will enable the individual to attain nirvana, the release from suffering. Until nirvana is attained, believers wander in the cycle of death and rebirth (samsara).

The Dalai Lama is the second world religious leader to recently speak favorably on homosexuality.  Earlier in July Pope Francis, head of the Catholic Church, told reporters, “If a person is gay and seeks God and has good will, who am I to judge?”

Also, when asked if he approves of homosexuality, Pope Francis said: “How does God look at someone who is gay? Does God look at his existence as something that should condemn him to eternal damnation?”

Pope Francis has been named 2013 Person of the Year by The Advocate, a prominent LGBT magazine and America’s oldest gay rights magazine.

It described Pope Francis as the “single most influential person of 2013 on the lives of LGBT people” despite the church’s longstanding conflict with the LGBT community, homosexuality and opposition to same-sex marriage.

You can watch an excerpt of the Dalai Lama’s interview with Larry King here:

Source: instinctmagazine.com, AP stylebook