The celibate Dalai Lama has thrown his considerable moral weight behind gay marriage, condemning homophobia and saying sex was fine as long as it was consensual. The Buddhist monk offered his views on the hot-button social issue during his latest tour of the United States, where he was welcomed on Thursday in Washington by top lawmakers and offered the customary prayer that opens each Senate session.
Dalai Lama, in an interview, said "gay marriage was up to each government and was ultimately '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 an online talk show.
"People should still follow their own religions' rules on sexuality. But then for a non-believer, that is up to them. If two people are comfortable with each other and feel safe" says Buddhist monk.
"Bully, abuse is totally wrong, it's a violation of human rights," he said.
Gay marriage has won growing acceptance in the Western world and Latin America. But no predominantly Buddhist nation allows gay marriage, although several places with Buddhist influence including Nepal, Taiwan and Vietnam have increasingly debated the issue.
Dalai Lama, whose meeting on February 21 with President Barack Obama was angrily condemned by China, separately told lawmakers that one of his main goals was "preservation of Tibetan culture."