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 Thailand's gay monks given 'good manners' guide

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Registration date : 2008-10-16

PostSubject: Thailand's gay monks given 'good manners' guide   Tue Apr 28, 2009 12:47 pm

Thailand's gay monks given 'good manners' guide

A Buddhist leader in Thailand has announced plans for a new set of guidelines to curb the behaviour of homosexual and transgender monks.

Last Updated: 1:25AM BST 28 Apr 2009

The "good manners" curriculum was devised to discourage monks from wearing make-up and tight robes.

More than 90 per cent of the Thai population are followers of Buddhism and most men spend at least one year in a monastery during their youth.

Phra Maha Wudhijaya Vajiramedhi, a senior monk, told the BBC the guidelines would address issues like smoking, drinking alcohol, walking and going to the toilet properly, which are all detailed in the traditional 75 Dharma principles of Buddhism, and the 227 precepts for monks.

But he was especially concerned, he said, by the flamboyant behaviour of homosexual and transgender monks, who can often be seen wearing revealing robes, carrying pink purses and sporting effeminately-shaped eyebrows.

Phra Vajiramedhi acknowledged that it was difficult to exclude transgender men from the monkhood but he hoped his course could at least persuade them to limit their more extrovert habits.

If successful, the "good manners" course, at the Novice Demonstration School, could be replicated at other Buddhist monasteries and seminaries, he said.

Tales of monks behaving badly are nothing new in Thailand.

In recent years, they have been accused of running fake amulet scams and violating their vows of celibacy, according to the BBC.

The guidelines will be introduced in the northern province of Chiang Rai.
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