The Dalai Lama has said that same-sex couples should have the freedom to marry and commented that gay sex is fine as long as it’s safe and consensual.
The exiled Tibetan Buddhist spiritual leader made the comments while speaking with US talk show host Larry King for an online interview to be broadcast next week on Ora TV.
In somewhat broken English, he said that the issues of homosexuality and gay marriage are “a personal matter.”
While he argued that religious people should live according to their beliefs “…for a non-believer, that is up to them. So there are different forms of sex. So long [as it is] safe, okay. And if fully agreed, okay.”
He insisted, however: “Bully, abuse… that’s wrong. That’s a violation of human rights.”
The Dalai Lama said that the issue of gay marriage should be left up to each country. When asked how he personally feels about the matter, he replied, “That’s okay. I think it is individual business.”
“If two people – a couple – really feel that way is more practical, more sort of satisfaction, both sides fully agree, then okay,” he told King.
The 78-year-old Tenzin Gyatso is the 14th Dalai Lama. He fled Tibet in 1959 and has been forced to live in exile by the Chinese government, which controls Tibet.
In addition to advocating for his people’s welfare, he has spoken out about issues including the environment, economics, women’s rights, non-violence, interfaith dialogue, physics, astronomy, reproductive health, and sexuality.