Monday, July 6, 2015

First gay marriages in Buddhist Church of SF

Jeff Wilson (, June 27, 2015 ); Ashley Wells, CC Liu, Wisdom Quarterly

Do we support gay marriage, Bruno?
Buddhist same-sex marriage was born in the USA.

That’s a little-known but significant fact to reflect on now, just after the Supreme Court has declared legal marriage equality throughout the country. Appropriately enough, it all started in San Francisco and was conceived as an act of love not activism.
The first known Buddhist same-sex marriages took place in the early 1970s, at the Buddhist Church of San Francisco. Founded in 1899, it’s the oldest surviving temple in the mainland United States.

Rainbow flag of unity now a gay symbol.
It’s also part of the oldest Buddhist organization outside Hawaii: the Buddhist Churches of America (BCA), part of the Shin tradition of Pure Land Buddhism.
During the Nixon years, the LGBTQ rights movement was picking up, and San Francisco was one of the primary centers of both activism and community building.

Located not far from the famously gay Castro District, the Buddhist Church of San Francisco (BCSF) was attended by singles and couples, gay and straight. As consciousness rose, people began to seek the same services that heterosexuals already enjoyed in American society.
A male couple in the congregation eventually asked Rev. Koshin Ogui, then assigned to BCSF, to perform their marriage. He readily agreed, and the ceremony was held in the main hall -- identical to other marriages at the temple, except for the dropping of gender-based pronouns in the service. Without fanfare, history was made.
Capitulation KEY
Lost in Capitulation
Soon other BCA temples were also conducting same-sex marriages, and by the time of my research into the subject in the early 2010s, I couldn’t find a single minister in the scores of BCA temples who was unwilling to preside over same-sex weddings.

Indeed, BCA ministers had already performed marriages for gay and lesbian couples, bisexuals, transgender people, and polyamorous groups. Many of these were interracial marriages, or carried out for non-Buddhists who had nowhere else to go, though most were for members of local BCA temples. More

The first gay U.S. president
U.S. President James Buchanan (wiki)
Skeletons in our American closet: Pres. James Buchanan was a "bachelor" as president and might have been the first gay president. Not that being gay is a scandal, but when you think about America in the mid-19th century you can bet it would be a skeleton that a person would want kept in the closet. For 15 years, Buchanan lived with William Rufus King. The two were called “Miss Nancy” and “Aunt Fancy” by U.S. Pres. Andrew Jackson.

The first gay first couple, Barry and Michael
Pres. Buchanan even referred to King as his wife in a letter to James K. Polk’s wife. While none of this had an effect on his presidency, it did on his immediate legacy. To make matters worse, Pres. Buchanan is often [listed] among the worst presidents in history for his role in kicking the can down the road to our disastrous Civil War. More

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