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Opposing viewpoints on Homosexuality


Most of the debate on homosexuality within Hinduism is centered on these three teachings, and how proponents and
opponents of homosexuality interpret these teachings. Opponents of homosexuality argue that: Romantic love is only natural
between a man and a woman, and it is impossible for two men or two women to experience the same form of love.

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Opposing viewpoints on Homosexuality
Since romantic love is only possible between a man and a woman, sex between two men or two women can only be the
product of lust, and lust is wrong; therefore homosexual activities are wrong. One of the three functions of marriage is
Prajaa, the progeny for perpetuation of one's family. A homosexual couple cannot procreate, and thus cannot be married.
Premarital and extramarital sex is wrong, and because homosexuals cannot marry, they should not engage in sexual
relationships.

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Proponents of homosexuality argue
Nowhere in the Hindu sacred texts is romantic love excluded to all but a man and woman, so there are no religious grounds
to make a statement to the contrary. Since homosexuals can experience romantic love, homosexual sexual relationships are
not all the product of lust. The three functions of marriage are given in the Dharma Shastras, books that are not binding to
Hindus, and thus Prajaa is not a determining factor in Hindu marriages.

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The concept of third gender in Hinduism
Even though there is no specific mention of homosexuality, Hinduism recognizes people showing the signs of both sexes.
The terminology used for such person is tritiya prakriti, literally third nature. The third gender is the common term for
human being that is between a man and woman. India, the country with highest Hindu population in the world, does not
officially recognize the third gender, except in the Indian State of Tamil Nadu

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The concept of third gender in Hinduism
In India, the followers of Radha-Krishna worshiping cult believe that everyone on earth is a woman and only Lord Krishna is
a man. Based on their belief, the male devotes dress as a woman. Nepal, the country with world’s second largest Hindu
population, officially recognizes the third gender. Nepali definition of third gender includes lesbian, gay, bisexual and
transgender.

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Homosexual iconography in Hinduism
There is an overwhelming presence of homosexual iconography in Hinduism. Hindu art in sculptures, carvings, and
paintings represent copulation between the same sexes. Since Hindu religion and philosophy treats sexuality as pleasure and
fertility, erotic carvings are highly revered. Erotic sculptures, carvings and paintings are significant aspect of Hindu
Temples. In Kama Sutra, the Hindu book on sexuality, homosexuality is considered permissible in some communities and
forbidden in others.

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Kama Shastra on Third-Gender Roles
People of the third sex (tritiya-prakriti) are of two kinds, according to whether their appearance is masculine or feminine.
(Kama Sutra 2.9.1). Members of the third sex are first categorized according to whether their physical characteristics are
either male or female. These are known as kliba, or gay males, and svairini, or lesbians. Each of these categories is then
divided into two, depending upon whether their behavior is either masculine or feminine. They are then further divided into
many subcategories.

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What do the scriptures say?
Let me now address whether our shastras or scriptures have any strictures against homosexuality (tritiya-prakriti). The
Rigveda says “Vikruti Evam Prakriti” (diversity is what nature is all about) but it stops short just there. Srimad Bhagavatam
has also made references to homosexuals [Canto 3.20.23-37]. Homosexuality is said to have existed since the dawn of
creation. But the Bhagavatam does not explicitly describe nor proscribe it