Continuing a short series about spirituality in the SCV, I thought it would be interesting to discuss gay Buddhism. Regrettably, while there are good number of Buddhist organizations in Southern California, including the largest Buddhist temple in the United States, Hsi Lai Temple, in Hacienda Heights, there appear to be no active Buddhist organizations within Santa Clarita itself.
There are a few organizations around Southern California which are friendly to the LGBT community. I’ve tried to list them all here, or at least, as many as I know about.
I cannot tell what denomination or school of Buddhism this group belongs to:
InsightLA, in Santa Monica
There are a number of gay-friendly Zen Buddhist groups, including:
Red Thread Zen is affiliated with the San Fransisco-based Gay Buddhist Sangha [Community], which seems to have a lot of good information on its website about Buddhism, including a book list for beginners.
Hazy Moon Zen Center, in Los Angeles, offers a zazankai, a day-long meditation retreat for gay men: here.
There is also a Zen meditation meetup group, which appears to be gay-oriented: Dogen Sangha Los Angeles – Zen Meditation
I also found this group, but I cannot confirm that they are currently active, so Caveat Emptor: Gay Men’s Buddhist Meditation Center of LA .
I also have no evidence for, but I strongly suspect that, the LA Shambhala Center is gay-friendly. I would, in fact, be quite surprised if they weren’t. They have centers in Eagle Rock, Westside, Orange County, Carpinteria, and Ojai.
And, personally, I am mostly just curious about this meetup group: Santa Monica Tibetan Buddhism Group.
IN addition to these organizations, I found a couple of blog entries that have to do with the relationship between gay people and Buddhism in general. I’ll make no bones about my interest in Buddhism, and these entries are a couple of good places to start.
Whatever else you may say about Buddhists, Buddhism, or the Dalai Lama, it’s nice to know that at least one spiritual leader in the world is alright with gay marriage, and – by extension – the homosexual community: The Dalai Lama Says Gay Marriage Is OK During Larry King Interview.