A study within Sikhism: Non-Heterosexuality
The primary aim of this report is to question whether it is acceptable to be any sexuality other than heterosexual and still be a good devout Sikh. As the Guru Granth Sahib is the current guru of the Sikhs and is not just a scripture, Guruji clearly has authority over all Sikh texts. So to the reader it should be noted that I am using quotes from Guruji’s teachings ONLY in this report.
Majority of Sikhs are [or are descended from] Punjabi Indian and it seems that due to non-heterosexuality being a taboo within the culture that most Sikhs follow and Sikhism being originated from a culture that would not accept non-heterosexuality, majority of Sikhs automatically assume that being a non-heterosexual is not permitted within Sikhism.
It should be noted to reader that where the terms heterosexual, bisexual and homosexual are used I am applying it to both genders.
Many Sikhs seem to think that it is not acceptable for a Sikh to be homosexual or bisexual, because Guruji strongly condemns lust:
"Just as the lustful man is enticed by lust" - page 629
This quote is clearly gender neutral, and sexuality neutral. According to Guruji anyone can be enticed by lust, therefore, all sexuality can be lust, heterosexual or otherwise.
This means just because one is not heterosexual, does not mean they are full of lust.
Guruji states that:
“The four castes - the Kh`shaatriyas, Brahmins, Soodras and Vaishyas - are equal in respect to the teachings.” – page 747
We clearly see here that all castes are equal in respect to the Guru’s teachings. Since non-heterosexuals must exist in all four castes, which therefore makes men equal to women as heterosexuals are equal to non heterosexuals.
Guruji states that God blesses his devotees with love:
“The Lord blesses His devotees with His Love; He sides with them and saves them. ||19||” – page 91
So if someone is truly devoted to God, then God will bless him or her with his love. Guruji does not say, that God will deny his non-heterosexual devotees blessings of love.
Same gender marriage
Guruji praises God as:
"You, Eternal and Formless One!" - page 3 and 4
Since the aim of every Sikh is to [or should be to] merge with God, it is clear that since God is formless, that it will the soul merging with God, and not the material body:
“When the body mingles with dust, what happens to the soul?” – page 17
“Without virtue, it is useless; the body shall crumble into a pile of dust.” – page 20
Since God has no form, according to the teachings of Guruji, God has no gender, and therefore has no sexuality, and if our soul is to merge with him then our soul clearly must have the similar formless properties which God has, therefore, our soul clearly has no gender. So, in Sikhism, anand karaj, which is the union of two souls should clearly allow same-gender marriage, since the soul is genderless.
It could even be considered discrimination and attachment to maya for a granthi to say no to performing a same gender wedding, as he would not be concentrating on unifying the souls, he would be too concerned with the bodies.
“The Muslim God Allah and the Hindu God Paarbrahm are one and the same. ||5||34||45||” – page 897
This may lead one to say that all religions are from God, and since most religions condemn non-heterosexuality, then God is against non-heterosexuality, and therefore, it is also not permissible.
However, Sikhism is a unique religion and should not be compared with other faiths. It is unfair to use Guruji as a scapegoat to back up one’s own prejudices. Other religions have also treated women as half of men and people unequally due to caste, so does this mean that since these teachings are from God, Sikhism should follow them as well? No. It is a flawed argument. All are equal within Sikhism, inequality and prejudice is ego, and Sikhism is a faith that is currently free of ego, it should be kept that way.
My advice to a non-heterosexual Sikh
Your Guruji says:
“Truth is higher than everything; but higher still is truthful living. ||5||” - page 11
“Let the first be truthfulness, the second honest living, and the third charity in the Name of God.” – page 141
“Living a truthful way of life, one finds true peace. ||7||” – page 1343
So, a non-heterosexual Sikh MUST be truthful about who they are, this will give them peace. Guruji is clearly saying here, that God [truth] is higher than everything, but living a truthful life is higher, this is clearly the appropriate way to live – to be truthful to one’s self.
It is said that within Sikhism, as Guruji condemns attachment to sexual desire:
“Those who are proud, and intoxicated with the pleasures of sex, and asserting their power over others, never contemplate the Lord`s Lotus Feet. Their lives are cursed, and as worthless as straw.” – page 1359
That one must save his or her sexual desire for within marriage, and just because one is not heterosexual they are not exempt from this rule. Homosexual and bisexual devout Sikhs should seek to follow this rule just as heterosexual devout Sikhs would.
The little philosopher