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Hindu priests perform same-sex marriages in the US without any provision in the Hindu scriptures, why?

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Just yesterday I was at Kailadevi Temple with my family. While we were doing the Parikrama after Yagya, my dad pointed out towards a section of temple campus which was locked. Recalling his childhood he told me how this was the area where bali (sacrifice) of goat was offered to goddess. My mom also agreed to have witnessed it during her childhood.

I asked him if bali is still offered to which he said that offering bali was stopped years back. He made me recall the Yagya we did an hour ago. We had seen a family offer bali of lemons. Yes, bali of lemons. He told that since the bali of goat has been prohibited by head priest, now bali of lemon is offered.

What am I trying to tell by narrating this incident?

I’m trying to say that traditions and rituals change with time and in accordance with time.

When Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami spoke at the 2014 Permian Basin Interfaith Panel about Homosexuality and Hinduism, he said: “Hinduism doesn’t have a structure where it can come up with one view. It doesn’t have a singular authority that says this is our way of looking at homosexuality. It has many independent groups, some liberal and some conservative.”

There are no defining boundaries in Hinduism, no hard and fast rules. There are even Atheist school of thoughts in Hinduism, viz. Samkhya, Yoga and Mimamsa.

Rigveda, one of the four canonical sacred texts of Hinduism says Vikriti Evam Prakriti (Sanskrit: विकृतिः एवम्‌ प्रकृति, meaning what seems unnatural is also natural), which supposedly recognizes homosexual/transsexual dimensions of human life, like all forms of universal diversities.

There are umpteen instances of homosexuality in Hindu texts and religious places which proves that homosexuality (or non-heterosexual to be more general) is not alien to Hinduism. The tale of King Baghiratha also talks about same-sex parenting and same-sex relations.

The question of a priest performing same-sex marriage depends on what ‘marriage’ means to you, how you look at marriage.

To me, marriage is a bond where souls are connected. And Souls are considered genderless-

नैव स्त्री न पुमानेष न चैवायं नपुंसकः।
यद्यच्छरीरमादत्ते तेने तेने स युज्यते॥

Which means Not woman is He, nor man either, nor yet sexless; but whatsoever body He take, that confineth & preserveth Him.

If souls are considered genderless, how does the gender of body matters? Whether it’s a man-man bond or a woman-woman bond or a man-woman bond, all are equal and accepted.

At the end— our decisions depend on our conscience, so do priests’.

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