Taiwan's first 'Gay & Guddhist Wedding'

What will reportedly be Taiwan's first gay Buddhist wedding shall be held in Taoyuan County next month, according to the Taipei Times:

“We are not only doing it for ourselves, but also for other gays and lesbians,” Fish Huang said in a telephone interview.

The 30-year-old ... said that marriage never crossed her mind until she saw a movie last year.

The film portrayed two lesbians whose ill-fated relationship concluded after one died and the other was left heartbroken over the denial of spousal benefits.

“It’s so sad,” Huang said, who plans to wed her partner of seven years on Aug. 11 at a Buddhist altar ...

There shall be blessings, chants, and lectures from Buddhist masters on marriage. The ceremony won't be legally binding.

Despite the profound Buddhist-ish-ness of the marriage ceremony, Fish Huang tells the Taipei Times that many of her Buddhist friends were initially wary of attending the event, worrying that doing so might conflict with their vows. She wrote to a Buddhist master, asking for the party line on homosexuality, and the master not only told her that Buddhism, as she knew it, was a-okay with lesbian weddings -- the master offered to perform Fish Huang's lesbian wedding. From the Taipei Times:

“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 (釋昭慧), who is also a professor at Hsuan Chuang University, said Buddhist teachings do not prohibit homosexual behavior.

... “It’s difficult enough to maintain a relationship ... how could you be so stingy as to begrudge a couple for wanting to get married, regardless of their sexual orientation,” she said in a telephone interview.

Shih Chao-hwei acknowledged that her views were not universally shared among her co-religionists.


(Soruce: 9 July 2012)
 



Taiwan to stage 1st same-sex Buddhist wedding

Two women plan to tie the knot next month in Taiwan's first same-sex Buddhist wedding, as gay and lesbian groups push to make the island the first society in Asia to legalise gay marriage.

Fish Huang and her partner You Ya-ting, both 30, will receive their blessings from Master Shih Chao-hui at a Buddhist monastery in north Taiwan's Taoyuan county on August 11.

"We decided to get married last year," Huang told AFP Wednesday. "After being together for six years, we feel we need to make a life-long commitment to each other."

As a group of Buddhist monks and nuns chant sutras, the couple, both wearing white gowns, will declare their love for each other in a ceremony expected to be witnessed by dozens of close friends.

Huang, a social worker at a Buddhist cultural foundation, said her mother had promised to attend the event but her father remained undecided.

"My father likes Ya-ting, and he says the marriage will make him feel like he has one more daughter," Huang said.

"Still, time and again, he has voiced his hope that I marry a man... In fact, my decision to marry Ya-ting is also meant to make him drop the thought."

Taiwan is one of the most culturally liberal societies in East Asia, and gay and lesbian groups have been urging the government for years to make same-sex marriage legal.

In an event aimed at creating awareness about the issue, about 80 lesbian couples tied the knot in August last year in Taiwan's biggest same-sex wedding party, attracting about 1,000 friends, relatives and curious onlookers.

The island's cabinet in 2003 drafted a controversial bill to legalise same-sex marriages and allow homosexual couples to adopt children.

However, President Ma Ying-jeou has said public consensus was needed before the government can move ahead with the law.

(Source: 11 July 2012)
 

 



 


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