Tag Archives: gay

Q&A with Srila Hridayananda das Goswami on Gay Couples Having Children

Question by a lesbian devotee in a monogamous relationship who wants to have her own child: I want to raise my own child and not adopt. The only literature I have read on the topic of gay parenting is academic psychology articles and journals. I am a masters level student in clinical mental health counseling, and have done research and learned in my classes that when two parents of the same sex raise a child together there are no correlated sexual dysfunction issues or psychiatric issues. Oddly enough, in fact, a few studies that followed children of lesbian parents actually found that the children fared better than those that had straight parents. What is your opinion?

 

Answer by Srila Hridayananda das Goswami:

 

Here are a few thoughts:

The desire to bear one’s own child is natural. As far as possible, we try to transcend our human desires, but there are some human needs so deeply rooted in our hearts that ignoring them may cause more harm than good to our spiritual life. Prabhupada always taught us that Krishna consciousness is a gradual process and we often gradually transcend our human needs by engaging them in Krishna consciousness. So if you are dedicated to raising a Krishna conscious child, then you are spiritualizing your human need to raise a child.

ISKCON is a large, global society, and inevitably we find liberals, conservatives, moderates and everything in between. I sometimes say that ISKCON is simply “the world with Krishna.” So whatever our position may be on worldly issues, we must humbly accept that some devotees will disagree, and others will support us.

Your specific issue, raising a child within a lesbian household, is definitely not a fundamental Vedic issue and therefore the scriptures do not specifically address it. Precisely because it is an issue of detail, not basic principle, there will inevitably be different opinions about it. However the basic principle that guides us in such ambiguous or ambivalent areas is that we should do what is best for our own Krishna consciousness and for the Krishna consciousness of the world. So if you are confident that you will be a Krishna conscious mother and help an innocent soul on the path to Krishna, then I would personally support you on this.

With best wishes,

Hridayananda das Goswami

 

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Homosexuality Raises Ethical and Practical Questions – Part II

In Part I I discussed some ethical and practical issues concerning the subject of homosexuality, which I believe ISKCON, sooner rather than later, must deal with so that our Society can have clear, rational, moral guidelines. Here I’d like to add another, purely practical issue.

If we conclude, with the help of empirical science, that homosexuality is a result of the way one is born, and not merely a matter of whimsically deciding to be sexually attracted to people of the same sex, then how should we deal with homosexual sannyasis?

All the current, traditional rules governing proper sannyasa behavior in regards to him never being alone with a woman, never being served too closely by women, etc. render the very opposite result if the sannyasi is naturally NOT attracted to women but to men instead.

In such a case, imagine the situation of that sincere soul – to find himself alone only with the objects of his sexual desires, subdued though they may be. This is, of course, rendered more troublesome if we take into consideration all the personal service a sannyasi may naturally receive from brahmacaris or, if he is a guru, his young brahmacari disciples.

Imagine a heterosexual sannyasi being massaged, in his little gamsha, by young brahmacarini disciples! Scandalous! And what hope would that sannyasi have of keeping his lifelong vow? Yet, that is the exact equivalent of what a homosexual sannyasi may go through with his male servants.

And yet, imagine how even more scandalous it would be if a sannyasi not only openly declared to being gay, but chose to have female personal servants so as to not be sexually tempted.

How is ISKCON to deal with all this?

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