Seattle Buddhist Temple’s Participation in the Seattle Pride Parade
Who: Members of all ages from the Seattle Buddhist Temple, Northwest District Buddhist Churches of America Temples and All Dharma Friends
What: March together as part of the Seattle Buddhist Temple
When: 11:00 am, Sunday, June 24, 2018
Where: Starts at 4th & Union and ends at Seattle Center
Distance: 1.75 miles
Length of Time: 2.5 hours
Number of People Attending the Parade: 400,000
Deadline for signing up: June 15
2018 is the second year the Seattle Buddhist Temple has participated in the Seattle Pride Parade. In 2017, nearly 100 Sangha members and friends marched in the parade.
***All quotes are from Reverend Kiyonobu Kuwahara, Co-Director of the Buddhist Churches of America Center for Buddhist Education.
What is the Seattle Pride Parade?
The Seattle Pride Parade celebrates the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) community. The parade is part of an annual nationwide commemoration of the Stonewall Riots of 1969 – the beginning of the Gay Rights movement. The purpose of these events is to inspire, educate, and commemorate diversity, and to work toward a future without discrimination.
How do I participate in the Pride Parade?
Please sign up by June 15 by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org with your name and email. It is necessary to have a head count to tell the parade organizers. More detailed information will be distributed to participants in advance of the Parade, including meeting time, location, etc. The committee is working on t-shirts, banner, taiko, dancing, and much more!
Why is the Seattle Buddhist Temple participating in the Pride Parade?
The Seattle Buddhist Temple, sponsored by the religious department, is participating in the Pride Parade to demonstrate a spirit of openness and inclusion in sharing the Buddha Dharma with everyone, including people who identify as LGBTQ.
“The Buddha’s teachings are for everyone. We strive to follow the spirit of Buddha and share the dharma with others universally. All of our BCA temples share a common teaching of openness and inclusion. Our struggle is to ensure that each of our temples expresses it. Exclusion and discrimination, even in our minds, is not justifiable. That said, discriminatory attitudes may arise. At such times, we should humbly scrutinize ourselves under the light of the dharma and sincerely receive Buddha’s guidance. Only then can there be genuine respect, enabling everyone to find a safe and welcoming place within the Buddhist community.”
What is the Buddhist Churches of America (BCA)’s position on LGBTQ inclusion?
Buddhism is compassion for all people, including those who identify as LGBTQ. BCA ministers have been performing same sex marriages for forty years. “In 2004, the BCA Ministers’ Association issued a formal resolution condemning the U.S. government’s prohibition of same-sex marriage. Earlier this year, the Ministers’ Association again took a stand with a formal resolution encouraging the Boy Scouts of America to remove all limitations of participation due to sexual orientation, both for scouts and leaders.”
“The basis of Buddhist inclusiveness is self reflection… We must humbly (examine our biases)… it’s only when we truly know ourselves that we can change our behavior.”
Are there other Seattle Buddhist Temple and LGBTQ events happening related to the Parade?
In 2017, in collaboration with the Center for Buddhist Education, the Seattle Buddhist Temple hosted the “Rainbow of Infinite Light” seminar focusing on Shin Buddhism and the LGBTQ community.
Have other BCA entities and temples participated in similar events?
The Center for Buddhist Education has sponsored several seminars on Shin Buddhism and the LGBTQ community throughout the country.
The Buddhist Church of San Francisco participates in the Pride Parade, and they have a LGBTQ group.