Pop star Boy George has been blocked from becoming a fully-fledged member of the Hare Krishna movement because of his sexuality.

George was publicly a Hare Krishna follower during the eighties, when he was the lead singer of Culture Club, but was told by friends that he had to marry a woman in order to become a fully fledged member of the movement.

The troubled star, who has battled drug and alcohol problems and recently spent time in prison for falsely imprisoning a rent boy, was said to be “pretty upset”.

Hare Krishna member Marianne Elliot-Said, better known as Poly Styrene of punk band X-Ray Spex, told ANI: “George never became a practising Hare Krishna. He was interested but they told him he couldn’t also be a practising homosexual.”

The International Society for Krishna Consciousness says it accepts gay people, but they have to be celibate or get married to a woman and have Krishna-following children.

This is in line with the beliefs of the Hare Krishna movement which states that sex and desire are not conducive to a spiritual existence and one should only have sex in order to reproduce.

However, some leaders of the movement, such as Hridayananda dasa Goswami, openly accept and support homosexuality and same-sex relationships.

Goswami gave his blessings in 2008 in a ceremony for a gay couple in Los Angeles. According to Chakra, the Hare Krishna publication, he said: “Our love for each other is a reflection of God’s love for us. Thus, the perfection of every relationship is to see God in each other.”