Aware of the suffering caused by sexual misconduct, I vow to cultivate responsibility and learn ways to protect the safety and integrity of individuals, couples, families and society. I am determined not to engage in sexual relations without love and a long-term commitment. To preserve the happiness of myself and others, I am determined to respect my commitments and the commitments of others. I will do everything in my power to protect children from sexual abuse and to prevent couples and families from being broken by sexual misconduct. Thich Nhat Hanh. Note: No mention of homosexuality as misconduct. The sayings of the Buddha, as recorded in the Pali Canon, do not include any explicit reference to homosexuality or to homosexual acts. This has been taken to mean that the Buddha did not consider that one's sexual orientation was relevant to his message, which was how to escape from suffering and achieve enlightenment. If it was not important enough to mention, homosexuality could not have been considered a barrier to one's moral and spiritual development. Marriage and the raising of children are seen as positive but are by no means compulsory. On the contrary, celibacy is in most traditions considered to be a requirement for those seeking higher levels of development as Buddhists. Monks and nuns take vows of strict celibacy, and even pious lay people undertake to be celibate at certain times in order to pursue their mental and spiritual development. This means that from the religious perspective there is no stigma which is necessarily attached to being unmarried and childless, although there may of course be social and cultural pressures which override this.