Controversial - No Gay Marriages, Gurdwaras Across World Told | Sikh Philosophy Network
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Controversial No Gay Marriages, Gurdwaras Across World Told

Jul 18, 2007

By Harpreet Bajwa - CHANDIGARH Published: 16th December 2013 07:30 AM Last Updated: 16th December 2013 08:18 AM

Akal Takht, the supreme temporal seat of Sikhs, has directed all gurdwaras around the world not to solemnise same-sex marriages.

Akal Takht high priest Jathedar Gurbachan Singh said: “Management committees of gurdwaras have been told not to solemnise same-sex marriages, as there is no concept of same-sex marriages in Gurmat.”

“God has created men and women and same-sex relations are not allowed. Preachers should spread the message against same-sex marriages among the public. I agree with the Supreme Court verdict,” he said.

Sikh clerics had already issued a direction to gurdwara management committees across the world not to solemnise same-sex marriages. The Supreme Court on Wednesday upheld the constitutional validity of the Indian Penal Code provision making gay sex an offence punishable with up to life imprisonment.

The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbhandak Committee (SGPC) has also hailed the decision of the apex court. SGPC president Avtar Singh Makkar said there was no place for same-sex marriages, adding that the Supreme Court verdict had put an end to the debate on the topic once and for all. In September, when Gurbachan visited the United Kingdom the issue of same-sex marriages was raised by the Sikh Council, UK, as same-sex marriages became legal in the country in July. “This idea cannot be supported as it is unnatural. We will continue to oppose it. We hope better sense will prevail and the UPA government will not bow to public pressure to bring in an ordinance legalising it,” said Kanwar Pal Singh of Dal Khalsa.


1947-2014 (Archived)
Jun 17, 2004
SaintSoldier1699 ji

Thanks for posting this article. Now without taking sides on the issue at hand, I would like to express my uncertainty. What is the point of it? How much traction does AT get from hanging onto the pajamas of the SC?

The message is timed to follow the SC reversal of an earlier decision to decriminalize homosexuality in India. I don't see any connection between this and the AT/SGPC announcement, other than gays and lesbians are reference points.

Gurdwaras "around the world" already have the option to refuse to solemnize same-sex marriages. In the UK the prerogative has already been written into law. In the US any denomination is free to make its own decisions on this matter. In a state where same-sex marriages are not permitted, having anand karaj would not change things one bit. In other countries, where homosexuality is illegal, Gurdwara marriages of same-sex couples would be moot.

So what are they getting at? It almost sounds as if the message is something like this. "Now that India has recriminalized homosexuality, gay and lesbian Sikhs may not marry by anand karaj in India nor anywhere in the world." This may be what they are getting at, but I am not sure because it doesn't make sense. The laws of India are enforceable in India and its territorial possessions. The same Indian laws are irrelevant anywhere else in the world unless international agreements exist between 2 countries. Being gay may be illegal in India. Being gay is not illegal in Canada. When homosexuality was legal in India, it remained illegal in Saudi Arabia.

More to the point, same-sex marriages can be banned anywhere in the world whether India criminalizes homosexuality or not, or whether the parties are Sikh or not.

:grinningsingh: It has taken me a day to collect my thoughts enough to post a reply.

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