The Ethics of Same-Sex Marriage
World Teacher's Message No.238



Master Ryuho Okawa was born on July 7th, 1956 in Tokushima Prefecture, Japan. After graduating from the prestigious University of Tokyo, he joined a Tokyo-based international trading company. While working at the company’s New York headquarters, he studied finance at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York.
On March 23rd, 1981, Master Okawa started communicating with the Spirit World and attained Great Enlightenment. He awakened to the fact that he is the rebirth of Shakyamuni Buddha and the core consciousness of El Cantare – the supreme God of the Earth. He established Happy Science in October of 1986.
The year 2016 marks the 30th anniversary of the founding of Happy Science, and it now has members in over 100 countries. There are many temple branches (shoja) all over Japan and in various other places around the globe.
Master Okawa has published over 2,000 books, and many of them are bestsellers, having sold millions of copies, including The Laws of the Sun and The Happiness Realization Party. Furthermore, his books have been translated into 28 languages for readers all over the world, beginning with English, German, French, Portuguese, Chinese, and Korean. In 2014, he broke his own Guinness World Record for the Most Books Published in a Year (formerly 52 books) with 161 books published. He has given over 2,400 lectures, and has made 10 feature films as executive producer, including Tenshi ni “I’m Fine”, which debuted in cinemas all over Japan on March 19th, 2016.
In addition, Master Okawa established Happy Science Academy, Happy Science University (HSU), Happy Science’s private school of politics, and the Happiness Realization Party.

The Question:

Childbearing is a prevalent problem in current society, not only among women but also for same-sex couples. Nowadays, surrogate mothers and other scientifically supervised reproduction methods are possible options. Please tell us about the good and bad aspects of this from a spiritual viewpoint.

July 5, 2012 at Happy Science Headquarters


Master Okawa’s Answer:

This is a good question. My initial ideas about romantic love were very conservative, but I have constantly been investigating the nature of the sexes and its relation to reincarnation as well as its relation to individual souls and their tendencies.

And I found that sometimes male souls are born as females and vice versa. This was a new discovery in research into reincarnation.

My initial teachings saw romantic love somewhat like ‘fate’ decided by the gods, angels and guardian spirits. But my research into reincarnation revealed that marriage and spousal relations involved a different issue: the issue of soul identity.

There are sometimes souls that are always born into the same sex, but over 80% of souls vary their sex when they are born to experience being both husband and wife at different times. There was another new discovery to add to this. In your current life, you are likely to meet your past-life spouse in your school or work environment, or as equals in some other place. If a man meets his various wives from various different past lives, that man’s relationships can become turbulent. This is the reason why marital relations are a difficult problem.

To this is added the issue of same-sex marriage. Science has advanced to the point where having biological children is possible even if two men or two women were to get married. But from a religious viewpoint, there is no means of judging the ethics of same-sex marriage so far. It is a confusing topic.


Finding Answers in This Transition Period

I think that the next few decades will be a time of experimentation after which the answer will become clear. We are now in the transitional period. There is a need for experimentation because it is such a tricky problem.

For instance, historically Buddhism has shown itself to be very cautious and it has avoided romantic love between opposite sexes. So the natural consequence was a tendency towards same-sex relations, as this was not considered a sin.

The issue becomes more problematic in the long-term. If same-sex marriage were a significant minority it wouldn’t pose a problem, but if it becomes the majority in the world, humankind will slowly die out.

This is why same-sex marriage cannot be made a rule for all mankind. This is what the experiment period is all about.

In fact marriage itself is a very difficult topic nowadays. Monogamy is a system that encourages democracy and promotes equality of opportunity providing every person with a chance to get married.

But at the same time, some people prefer people of the same sex.

The same-sex relationships in traditional Buddhism arose from the idea of avoiding sin. In certain times throughout history, religions taught that love between the opposite sexes was a sin. But this is only because the teachings that spread in those times was not universal.


It Is All About Seeking Real Love

Currently countries such as the U.S. and Britain have legalized same-sex marriage, while others have not. In some countries unmarried couples having children is shunned. These are tough issues.

The truth is that at this current moment, I cannot give a clear-cut answer as to whether these are good or bad.

But in 40 or 50 years time, the heavens will show us the answer. We live in an age of freedom, experimentation and change, so mankind has the right to work on these issues. We have the right to investigate how people can live well and happily to preserve humanity in this age of rapid change and tumult. People will come up with differing conclusions: one gay person might go to heaven while another might fall to hell; one unmarried couple with children may go to heaven while another may go to hell. This all depends on the person in question.

To sum up, I would like you all to seek Real Love. This is a new assignment given to us who live in this current age. Please, become a seeker of Real Love.

We can pass judgment only when the answer becomes clear some time in the near future. Now is a time of change and opportunity and freedom. We cannot give a concrete answer to what is a religious sin and what isn’t, or what is God-blessed and what isn’t. There has been much said in traditional Christianity and the Holy Bible, but these are answers that came from people’s wisdom; it could hardly be said that they concur with God’s thoughts.

We are now experiencing many new things, and this will eventually lead to a new Truth in the near future. What becomes important here is whether we have an understanding of Real Love. When our life comes to an end we can finally judge if we lived the right way.

So at the current point, we cannot say ‘this is right and this is wrong’. It will take a little more time before we arrive at a conclusion.


Problems to Solve in the Medical Sciences

We must also look at the ethics of the scientific possibility of artificially creating humans from cells. Advancements in this area have made it possible for people to seemingly become like gods. Then a question arises as to whether these manmade entities actually have souls; it is something worth caution and watching out for in the future.

Japanese-born British author Kazuo Ishiguro wrote a dystopian novel called “Never Let Me Go” about a group of orphans who were actually clones made for the sole purpose of becoming organ donors. They are brought up to have their organs removed for transplants, similar to how scientists currently use pigs organs for transplantation. This is a fictional story, but it speaks out about a very important topic.

With this issue, too, I think we will come to a conclusion in 20 or 30 years time. But we are still in the experimental and experiential stage. So my answer at this stage is please think about whether the problem embodies Real Love, and whether that love can contribute to the prosperity and utopian dream of humankind.

The Ethics of Same-Sex Marriage
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