Comments by Srila Hridayananda das Goswami when asked to review the article “A Hindu Response to Gay Rights” (Huffington Post):
A) The notion of a ‘trtiya prakrti’, or ‘third gender’ tends to distort the Shastra view. The Shastras do not explicitly speak of a 3rd gender/prakrti. The term is not traditional.
B) Interestingly, the Manu-samhita states that homosexuality is not a big sin. The text is overwhelmingly concerned with varna-sankara, varna-mixing that produces mixed progeny. Since gays don’t reproduce, there is not much concern with them.
C) I understand the militant gay response to oppression. At the same time, there is something unfortunate about identifying oneself by sexual orientation. Bodily-identification, with any orientation, is illusory, and further identifying oneself not merely with the body, but with the body’s sexuality, is clearly not ‘the way.’
D) The abused become the abusers. I know of several cases, among my acquaintances, where gays discriminated against straight people. One case occurred with my disciple who is a straight, modern dancer. He was fired from his job, despite his qualifications, because the other dancers found out he was straight.
Conclusion: I believe we should support spirituality, and support gays within that framework.
With best wishes,
Hridayananda das Goswami
Click here to see an earlier essay on a similar theme.