For even more clarity, perhaps we could go into detail about the passages where this is mentioned?
From what I've seen so far, it's mentioned in the Vinaya only and some of the later texts possibly, but not the Pali Nikayas.
Mahavagga 1.61, 1.68 & 1.69http://metta.lk/tipitaka/1Vinaya-Pitaka ... -01-e.htmlhttp://www.sacred-texts.com/bud/sbe13/sbe1312.htm
I notice, though, that in that translation, part of 1.61 is left untranslated as a footnote.
The full passage, according to one source I found online (maybe it's wrong?) should say:
At that time a certain pandaka was ordained among the monks. He approached a number of young monks and said: 'Come, Venerable Ones, defile me' (etha, mam ayasmanto dusetha). The monks reproached him: 'Begone pandaka, away with you! What have we to do with that?'
"Reproached by the monks he approached a number of large, stout novices. 'Come, Venerable Ones, defile me.' The novices reproached him: 'Begone pandaka, away with you! What have we to do with that?'
"Reproached by the novices he approached the elephant keepers and the grooms and said: 'Come, Sirs, defile me.' The elephant keepers and grooms defiled him.
"They grumbled, became angry and irritated: 'These recluses, these followers of the Buddha are pandakas and those who are not pandakas defile pandakas. Thus do they all lack discipline.'
"Monks heard those elephant keepers and grooms who grumbled, were angry, and irritated and those monks told this matter to the Blessed One who said: 'Monks, if a pandaka is not ordained, let him not be ordained. If he is already ordained let him be expelled.'"
This is what Bhante Dhammanando wrote two years ago:
Regarding paṇḍakas, in the Vinaya Atthakathā these are classified as being of five types:
1) āsitta-paṇḍaka: — (literally, a "sprinkled one") a man who finds sexual fulfillment in performing fellatio on another man and bringing him to climax. (For some reason, other homosexual acts, even though they were known in ancient India, are not included under this type nor under any of the types in this list.)
2) usūya-paṇḍaka: — a voyeur a man who finds sexual fulfillment in watching other people have sex.
3) opakkamika-paṇḍaka: — A eunuch - one who has been castrated.
4) pakkha-paṇḍaka: — A half-time paṇḍaka - one who is a paṇḍaka only during the waning moon.
5) napuṃsaka-paṇḍaka: — A neuter - a person born without sexual organs.
(I have followed Ven. Thanissaro's translations of these terms)
Of these five kinds, the first two may ordain as bhikkhus, the other three may not. So, given that the āsitta-paṇḍaka —the type closest to what we call a "homosexual" today— is permitted to ordain, I think we have to take it that such persons are in fact capable of awakening.
I'm a bit confused here. If the first two may ordain, but the second three may not... Well, the fourth is "one who is a pandaka only during the waning moon", so logically, who exactly is this referring to? The other two -- 3 and 5 -- refer to a person without sexual organs. Assuming such an interpretation doesn't imply there are people with genitalia that spontaneously disappears and re-appears, who is the fourth referring to? Also, about the first one... What should be more egregious about giving fellatio than receiving, or anal sex? Also, if the pandaka of the Mahavagga, above was offering oral
rather than anal sex, why would he say, "Defile me," instead of "Let me defile you"?
From the same source I mentioned above, they also allege that Buddhaghosa had a homophobic interpretation of the Cakkavatti-sutta:
Buddhaghosa, in commenting on a passage in the Cakkavatti-sutta of the Digha Nikaya, describing the progressive degeneration in the life span of human beings following upon their increasing corporeality and sinfulness, takes the expression 'wrong conduct' (micchadhamma) as 'the sexual desire of men for men and women for women.'
Is this true?