Response to Amara
Posted May 22, 2008
In response to Amara dasa's article, "Gay Vaishnavas Welcome CA Supreme Court Ruling," following is an excerpt from my forthcoming book Vaishnava Viewpoint, copyright 2008 by Jeff Ratner, due to be released by August 1.
"Other issues may be commented on, also, from a Vaishnava viewpoint. The issue of homosexuality is certainly front and center on a regular basis. For Vaishnavas, one of our four prohibitions is no illicit sex, meaning no sex outside of marriage, and sex within marriage only for the purpose of procreation. This is done to minimize sensual entanglements in order to aid in maximizing spiritual attainment. Thus, for Vaishnavas, even recreational sex for heterosexuals is out of the question. For homosexuals, there is no sanction in any known religious system, unless certain self-styled contemporary religious "authorities" are willing to water down their teachings. Furthermore, because homosexuals cannot reproduce and can only gain adherents through exploitation, they incur negative karma in doing so. Having said all that, we can certainly respect the fact that homosexuals ultimately are jiva-atma, although their homosexuality is perhaps a denser form of entanglement (conditioning) within the material confines than that of heterosexuals. But there is still no restriction on who may practice Krishna consciousness, so if a homosexual person is interested, he is encouraged, although he should also be encouraged to either give up homosexual behavior altogether or, if unable to do so, remain loyal to one partner."