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Same Sex Marriage Ceremonies in Gurdwara

Discussion in 'Sikh Sikhi Sikhism' started by vegangoth, Jul 5, 2011.

  1. vegangoth

    vegangoth
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    This isn't a topic per say on Homosexuality and Sikhism ( as I know there are a ton of discussions on here already) but I'm interested to know if a same sex Sikh couple, who are in a committed and faithful relationship can get married in a Gurdwara? Apologies if there is a thread on this already, I must have missed it.
     
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  3. Archived_Member16

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    Previous postings on the topic:

    http://www.sikhphilosophy.net/sikh-news/25742-sikh-leader-india-no-gay-marriage.html

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    WWW.SARBAT.NET - Sikh Views on
    Same Sex
    Relationships


    Sikh Dharma is a philosophy which believes in
    equality and acceptance for all, and Guru Gobind
    Singh, the Tenth Guru, declared that “The whole
    of mankind should be viewed as one”.

    The Guru Granth Sahib does not mention homosexuality.
    However, the ten living Gurus were
    aware of homosexuality at the time that the Guru
    Granth Sahib was compiled as there were a number
    of openly gay saints during the 16th and 17th
    Centuries in the Indian Subcontinent.

    One openly gay saint is Sarmad, who was a follower
    of Mian Mir, the Muslim Pir who is believed
    to have laid the foundation stone of the Harimandir
    Sahib (Golden Temple), the most important
    of Sikh gurdwaras, in 1588.

    If the ten living Gurus believed homosexuality to
    be sinful, then they would have addressed the
    subject within the Guru Granth Sahib, and the fact
    that it has been ignored suggests that the Gurus
    considered it to be inconsequential because the
    primary function of dharma is to unite the individual
    soul which is genderless with the supreme soul
    which is also genderless.

    The Lavaan are non-gender specific, and so samesex
    marriage is possible within Sikh Dharma.

    However, most gurdwaras in the current time (Sikh
    places of worship) would be reluctant to conduct a
    same-sex marriage because of an edict made by
    the Jathedar (Head Priest) of the Akal Takht in
    2005 which banned gay marriages. It should be
    noted that Sikh Dharma as a philosophy does not
    support a priesthood system, and many such
    edicts have been ignored by the Sikh community
    as a whole such as eating on floors vs eating on
    tables.


    Sikh Dharma Vs Indian Culture

    Although Sikh philosophy is a liberal and all encompassing,
    Punjabi and Indian culture is extremely
    conservative. This can lead to instances
    where some Sikhs hold conservative views which
    stem from Punjabi culture but which the individual
    may believe to be a part of Sikh philosophy.

    An area where this disparity is evident is that of
    sexuality, with Punjabi culture being very homophobic
    whilst Sikh philosophy teaching the idea of
    oneness, respect and tolerance of all people.

    Gristhi Jeevan, or living the life of a householder,
    applies equally to same-sex relationships as it
    does to heterosexual relationships. There are no
    barriers to maintaining a family lifestyle within a
    same-sex relationship, for example, by adopting
    children.

    It is possible to be Sikh and have a monogamous
    same-sex relationship, as long as one ensures
    that the relationship does not become filled with
    ‘Kaam’ and one maintains a Sikh lifestyle in accordance
    with all of the various tenets of the religion.

    Although marriage is the ideal, it may not be
    possible to get married due to the reluctance of
    the gurdwara, and so a monogamous relationship
    is to be preferred as an alternative.

    source: http://www.sarbat.net/sikhism_and_same_sex_relationships.pdf

    WWW.SARBAT.NET

    Sarbat.Net is the website for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual
    and Transgendered Sikhs.
    Established in 2007, it takes its name from the final
    line of the Ardas (the congretional Prayer of
    Supplication), and it refers to the Sikh concept of
    happiness and well-being for all mankind
     
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  4. Kanwaljit Singh

    Kanwaljit Singh India
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    If Gurus can get widows remarried, they would have surely helped people of the same sex. Just my two cents.

    I am not against homosexuality (as of course nothing is in my hands!) and approve of civil ceremony for their matrimony. But taking part in anand Karaj is too much. It is asking for something without meeting the primary criteria.. of husband and wife.

    As for the website sarbat.net, I don't approve of it much. For they are some 'modern' Sikhs who just happen to be together because of their homosexuality. They are LGBT by choice (and birth) but Sikhs by birth only.
     
  5. Ishna

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    Kanwaljit ji, may I respectfully ask how a person is Sikh by birth but possibly not LGBT by birth?

    My understanding was that you're Sikh my your own good fortune and Sikhs are self-made (that is, you the individual puts in the effort to be Sikh but with Waheguru's kirpa), not made by birth, lineage, caste, custom, society, etc.

    From my understanding a LGBT person is usually born that way, they don't have the same impulses that "straight" people do.

    So I would respectully disagree and say that people choose to be Sikh and are born LGBT/straight, rather than the other way around.

    Of course this is all in the context of hukam, so the technicalities are really moot.


    This is my third attempt at writing a response to the initial question, and really, the issue is much bigger than just the question 'can same-gender people be married in a Gurdwara'. It comes right back to the individual Sikh mindset before we even come close to answering the question.
     
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    #4 Ishna, Jul 5, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2011
  6. Kanwaljit Singh

    Kanwaljit Singh India
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    I have not missed the point that LGBT person is born that way:

    What I am saying is that most of the LGBT Sikhs (I feel) are more concerned about their sexuality, and call themselves Sikhs just because they are from Sikh family.
     
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  7. vegangoth

    vegangoth
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    Ha! That link just showed me that I commented on the very same subject a while back, guess my memory is worse that I thought lol.
     
  8. Harry Haller

    Harry Haller United Kingdom
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    Sorry excuse my ignorance, what is LGBT, and for that matter what is SPGC, are they related in any way?
     
  9. Ishna

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    Kanwaljit ji, I think I misunderstood the sentence. I read it as 'everyone can be LBGT by choice but Sikhs only by birth', whereas I think you meant to apply the statement to LGBT people only, and with your clarifying statement I see what you mean.

    I haven't had much to do with the LGBT Sikh community so I don't know much about how they feel about their Sikhi in relation to their LGBT and their life experiences with what came first, their Sikhi or their sexuality. I can say that my personal experiences with other LGBT people (non-Sikh) have given me the impression that their sexuality comes first in their lives, not their spirituality. Then again I meet a lot of straight people who put their sexuality first too!!!

    Harry ji, LGBT stands for 'lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered'. SGPC stands for Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee.

    http://www.sikhiwiki.org/index.php/SGPC

    It would be funny if they were related!! hahahaha
     
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  10. Randip Singh

    Randip Singh
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    Pfft.

    What's the problem?

    I really see no problem. anand Karaj wedding ceremony is about the Union of two souls. The soul has no gender, so does the outer shell really matter?


    I am sure if the Guru's had a real objection to Gay people they would have denounced them. They didn't hence no problem.

    It must be noted that the problem with Homosexuality only started when the British came in with their christian values.
     
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  11. Ishna

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    I would imagine the Muslims also have doctrines against homosexuality, and it would be interesting to see what impact they had on the homosexual people in India prior to the arrival of the British.

    I say imagine because I have no idea of the facts and will look into it. I could be wrong.
     
  12. Ishna

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    http://www.wikiislam.net/wiki/Persecution_of_Homosexuals_(India)

    poor Brits, they're copping it both ways! lol On one hand Randip ji says homosexuality wasn't an issue in India until the British came along, on the other the source quoted says it's their bad influence ENCOURAGING homosexuality in India!

    At any rate, it's probably off topic.
     
  13. spnadmin

    spnadmin United States
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    There is significant historical evidence to support Randip's perspective. Of course homosexuality existed in the history of Punjab. Homosexuals had culturally defined roles within the social structure of India. Thus there were places where they fit in. Everyone knew who was gay in the pind. Little was made of it. The issue only boomed into controversy during the raj.
     
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  14. Kanwaljit Singh

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  15. Ambarsaria

    Ambarsaria Canada
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    Ishna ji excerpted below some from a nice article but not checked for authenticity of sources quoted by the writer,

    http://www.missionislam.com/knowledge/homosexuality.htm

    Quite revealing in the following,

    Just a perspective to philosophize via comparisons.

    Sat Sri Akal.
     
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  16. findingmyway

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    Gurbani talks about the evils of lust and does not discuss sexuality so personally I do not have a problem with gay marriage in Gurdwara as long as the couple agree to follow Sikh principles. However, until the ruling by the Akal Takht is reversed, it cannot be practiced in Gurdwara. Oneday....
     
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  17. Ishna

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    What were the circumstances around the Akal Takht making that decision? Why do they see anything wrong with it?

    And just to clarify, my reaction to Randip ji's British comment was such because I thought the comment was flippant since i lack the background knowledge that all was well with Indian gays before they came along.
     
  18. Ambarsaria

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    Kanwaljit Singh ji it appears America just has a knack to get involved in controversies. Expect a Pakistan Taliban retaliation in the time to come. When is USA going to get involved in the first "true democracy celebration in Pakistan" or is it not part of their strategic plan! lol

    Sat Sri Akal and thanks for the post.
     
  19. Ambarsaria

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    Ishna ji I believe spnadmin ji took some liberties about gays in Pinds (villages) being happy as a pig in muck. Almost all gays have been focus of jokes and ridicule but not much violence. Villagers perhaps appreciated gays as there would be less danger for their girls, a concern of family respect and dignity in traditional villages. Furthermore gays were always and almost 100% from non dominant families and lower classes (I know it is against Sikhi but I don't know how to classify it otherwise to describe the situation). Gays were also forced to or choose to act docile in local environments and hence less visibility. The gay characters in Indian cinema were butt of jokes or funnies and filler segments.

    Intersex people were quite common in villages as street performers. They will come to a house which had an auspicious occasion (birth of a child, wedding, etc.) and sing/dance provocatively. They will threaten to expose their privates if the home owners wouldn't amply reward them. This was just an empty threat just to get the kids excited and I never saw it materialize even once .

    Hope it clarifies.

    Sat Sri Akal.
     
  20. spnadmin

    spnadmin United States
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    Ambarsaria ji

    I never said any of this. Where did I even imply "happy as a pig in muck?"

    Of course the activities of gays in Punjab were governed by strict cultural norms...just like the lives of everyone else btw who lived in traditional Punjab. No liberties were taken by me. It is the case that gays had less visibility. Quite true.

    However, at weddings they were often called to entertain, and they did so on the outskirts of villages, in special areas. Women did not attend. That would be one example of a cultural prescribed role.

    You can evaluate my comments by reading the book: East of Indus, My Memories of Old Punjab, by Gurnam S. Brard. He tells the story of his childhood before and after partition, with many cultural references to historical periods, often as far back as 1000 AD/CE. This book paints a picture of the life of Jat Sikhs in Punjab that is starkly different from the hard and clear principles put forth by many on threads here at SPN. As if all of Sikhi were one homogenized experience. For example

    It's a long book, with some dead zones in it. But gives the living context of rural Punjab from whence contemporary Sikhism emerged. For sure he gave no examples where gays were persecuted that I can recall.
     
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  21. Ambarsaria

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    spnadmin ji sorry if I generalized.

    But if it is an autobiography he has rights but if it is scholarly generalizations I cannot comment further till I read the book. It sounds very crazy.

    Any way sorry this may be not proper for this thread!

    Let me know I can delete it if so desired.

    Sat Sri Akal.
     
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