"All Beings Are Equally Embraced By Amida Buddha": Jodo Shinshu Buddhism and Same-Sex Marriage in the United States

Jeff Wilson

Abstract


Ministers in the Buddhist Churches of America (BCA) began performing same-sex marriages approximately forty years ago. These were among the first clergy-led religious ceremonies for same-sex couples performed in the modern era, and were apparently the first such marriages conducted in the history of Buddhism. In this article, I seek to explain why Jodo Shinshu Buddhists in America widely and easily affirmed same-sex weddings in the later 20th and early 21st centuries. My argument is that there are three factors in particular—institutional, historical, and theological elements of American Shin Buddhism—that must be attended to as contributing reasons why ministers were supportive of same-sex marriage.

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Copyright (c) 2015 Jeff Wilson

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