First Gay Buddhist Wedding In Taiwan

A devoutly Buddhist, lesbian couple will officially wed next month in Taiwan reports the Taipei Times.

30-year old Fish Huang and her partner will be the first gay couple to hold a traditional Buddhist wedding in Taiwan. The couple have been together for 7 years and plan to tie the knot at a Buddhist altar in Taoyuan County on Aug. 11.

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

According to Towelrod, Huang hadn't thought of getting married until she was inspired by a film which showed the difficulties faced by gay partners who are denied spousal benefits.

As a result the couple decided a traditional Buddhist wedding was important for them.

“It is meaningful to us that our wedding can give hope to other homosexuals and help heterosexuals understand how Buddhism views sexuality,” Huang told Taipei Times.

However, to Huang's surprise, not all their friends supported the decision.

“They are not sure if it would break their vows and were very anxious,” Huang told Taipei Times.

But a local Buddhist master supported Huang's decision not only to wed, but to have the wedding as per traditional Buddhist standards. Buddhist master Shih Chao-hwei (釋昭慧), professor at Hsuan Chuang University, said homosexuality is not prohibited in Buddhist teachings.

“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,” the professor said in a telephone interview with Taipei Times.

Larry Yang, gay Buddhist meditation teacher, agrees with this principle citing that an intimate relationship, regardless of sexual orientation, "is a door into spiritual freedom."

According to Taipei Times the brides will wear white wedding dresses and the wedding will consist of blessings and prayers by monks and nuns and lectures by Buddhist monks on marriage and its meaning.

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