Guest on BBC Asian Network about Equal Marriage

This morning I was asked to be a guest on Nihal’s Breakfast show on the BBC Asian Network radio station here in Britain. The topic of discussion was “If you are religious does that mean you have a duty to oppose gay marriage?”

It can be streamed from BBC iPlayer here, and downloaded as a MP3 here.

The whole experience was a very positive one. I was first introduced and gave a short speech about how I feel about this topic. As a religious person I know that there is no problem in being homosexual OR being married to a man. The Lavaan are a collection of 4 hymns that are sung during a Sikh wedding ceremony (Anand Karaj), in these hymns it quite clearly states the marriage is between two souls. Souls are genderless. Marriage is a union between God and the union of two souls. In short, the Lavaan is non-gender specific. This leads me to believe there is nothing stopping homosexuals from getting married in the Gurdwara.

A certain Dr Al-Hadad was also a guest on the show; he opposed equal marriage but I feel failed to persuade anyone. His views were very archaic and were dismissed by many tweeters as well as Nihal himself. The Doctor tried to say that its been scientifically proven that homosexual men are more likely to get infected with HIV. This is an absurd comment, scientifically implies genetically. What he is trying to say is somehow because we are genetically different, we are more susceptible in catching HIV. I’ve never heard such rubbish. I seriously doubt his qualification. Another point he made was in regards to how children need a male father and female mother. He believed that equal marriage shouldn’t be forced to children at school. Unfortunately, I didn’t get a chance to respond. What I wanted to ask was whether he was told how to love and who to love at school. A school is a place of education. I do believe that kids should know homosexuals exist, its nothing to laugh about and its against the law to be homophobic. Personally, I doubt he has ever been in contact with an openly gay person before. I pity him, he needs educating desperately.

A lady from the North was next up, she was against equal marriage saying “it’s not natural”. That comment was quickly shunned when I simply told her it’s been proven that homosexuals are genetically different to heterosexuals. She believed that being gay was a choice. Even claiming she CHOSE to be straight. However when I asked her when she decided to NOT be a lesbian, her point was quickly invalidated.

On the whole, the experience was positive. I’m not gonna lie, it was quite nerve-wracking. However the plus points are that this blog has been advertised on an International radio station, the message about Gay Sikhs has been spoken about and therefore will be discussed. I really hope that my comments today made others think again about their negative thoughts on homosexuality. Being Gay and Sikh is not something contradictory, it’s not blasphemous and religiously speaking it’s perfectly acceptable having a homosexual marriage in a Gurdwara. Unfortunately, due to cultural differences, this is not possible.

Yet.

  • GuptKaur

    First of I want to say I am not against homosexuality. BUT I do wonder where your knowledge of Sikhi stems from or how deep it goes. Alot of it seems to be based on what you wish to believe and interpret, which can be said for anyone.. But just try to be literal with Gurbani for a second and although Maharaj does not directly state anything about homosexuality it is very clear through our Rehat Maryada/Rehatnameh (code of conduct) that a marriage or relationship – should be between a man and woman.

    Also, a big aspect in Sikhi we take extra caution of are the 5 thieves – Kaam (lust), Krodh (rage), Lobh (greed), Moh (attachment) and Ahankar (ego).
    Lust being number one, how would you justify engaging in sexual pleasures with another man/woman if you are not doing in order to reproduce – make a baby? Are you willing to refrain from sexual pleasures and remain celibate as a Sikh?

    nimakh kaam suaadh kaaran kott dhinas dhukh paavehi || gharee muhath ra(n)g maanehi fir bahur bahur pashhuthaavehi ||1||
    For a moment of sexual pleasure, you shall suffer in pain for millions of days. For an instant, you may savor pleasure, but afterwards, you shall regret it, again and again. ||1|| (Ang, 403)

    You are simply not born into Sikhi, but it is a way of life you adopt.. You become a Sikh of the Guru. But if you are picking and choosing what you can or can’t do & highlighting aspects of Sikhi that please you – it is, in my opinion.. Wrong.

    Sikhi emphasises on a family life – there are many references made to bride/husband woman/man in Gurbani.. There may be no definitive view on homosexuality but it is very clear that Sikhi is focussed on heterosexuality.

    What you are as a human is nothing to do with your Sikhi.. I do not judge you, but I would beg of you politely to not promote homosexuality in the name of Sikhi and not to disrespect my Guru Sahib by talking of performing homosexual Anand Kaaraj in a GuruGhar. This, I would find extremely saddening & disrespectful.

    We also have codes of conduct put in place by our very own Panj Pyare (5 Beloved Ones) – who are we to go against what they tell us? We were given the Akal Takht as our highest authority – who are we to go against what is instructed to us by what was put in place by our sixth master – Guru HarGobind Sahib Ji? You say you wear the dastar of Guru Gobind Singh Ji, forget everybody else – how do you think you are representing our Father?

    “Be faithful to your one wife, see others as your daughters and sisters, (for women be faithful to one husband and see others as your sons and brothers).”
    (Var. 6, Pauri 8, Bhai Gurdas Jee)

    “Men should look at the opposite sex as mothers, sisters and daughters, (women should look at the opposite sex as fathers, brothers and sons).”
    (Var. 29, Pauri 11, Bhai Gurdas Jee)

    “Do not gaze upon anothers wife, in a sinful way.” (SGGSJ Ang 274)

    “Other than her husband, she knows no man. She enshrines love for the True Guru, and sees all others (men aswell) as the wives of God.”(SGGSJ Ang 54)

    “There is one Husband Lord, and all are His brides.” (SGGSJ Ang 933)

    “Guru Jee says, she who looks upon Her Husband as the Lord, is blessed and has firm faith; great are those wives and they are received with honour in the Court of the Lord.”(SGGSJ Ang 185)

    I also noticed you mention there is caste in Sikhism in a previous post – I would like to correct you and say actually there is NO caste in Sikhi but narrow-minded, backwards people still adopt very silly cultural traditions/practices which are totally against Sikhi.

    jaanahu joth n pooshhahu jaathee aagai jaath n hae ||1|| rehaao ||
    Recognize the Lord’s Light within all, and do not consider social class or status; there are no classes or castes in the world hereafter. ||1||Pause|| (Ang,349)

    Please, for the sake of yourself – educate yourself FULLY in Sikhi and become a true Sikh of the Guru. Then you will understand.

    I am nobody at all to judge you, but as your sister I hope I have guided you a little better on your path.

    Sorry for anything I have said that may have offended you.
    Vaheguroo.

  • GuptSingh

    Okay, I am NOT with the sister above. I am also a gay Sikh, I am amritdhari, I do amritvela everyday. So the whole incompatibility argument is baseless. I however do agree with you sister that our brother here doesn’t use enough scriptural reference. One cannot make claims and not back up them up with Gurbani. I 100% support you my bruv, but you need to bring Bani into it.

  • GuptKaur

    @guptsingh – fair play to you, each to their own.. I was merely stating that I do not believe that homosexuality should be promoted and portrayed via Sikhi.
    What you are as a person and what you do, or even what I do, will all be taken into account when we leave this world. This path of Sikhi is very difficult and we know there are many sacrifices that need to be made in life.
    I know many gays, having faith in God is one thing but to choose Sikhi and then try to contradict its teachings – is wrong.
    It may not point out any issues regarding homosexuality but please show me where does it not repeatedly mention that a relationship/union should be between Husband & Bride? Ultimately we are all the Lords Soul-Brides, what we do in this life is on our own conscious and dharam-raaj will take everything we do into account.
    Be it “wrong or right” but who are we to know what is wrong or right, but like I said, as a sister – I am merely stating my opinion and believe if you are going to be an advocate for gay and be Sikh. Educate yourself fully on what you are preaching.

    Also, issues like this should not even be an issue – if we are true Sikhs of the Guru our main focus should be on Guru Sahib and becoming one with Vaheguru again. Being gay or any other issues in life will not leave with you when you leave this world. Focus on what is important, everything else will fall into place with Guru Sahibs kirpa.

    Focus on what is important – Gurbani/Simran, Seva.. Naam japo, kirat karo, vand ke chakko.

    Everything and anything else in this world of Kaljug does not matter.

  • SukhaSingh

    100% with GuptKaur on this one – I think you have hit the nail on the head in many of your points above.

  • Pingback: Rehat Maryada, Kam (Lust) and Family Life - Gay Sikh()

  • Gay Sikh

    Hi GuptKaur,

    I have replied to your comments by way of a post here – http://www.gaysikh.com/gay-sikh/rehat-maryada-kam-family-life/

  • http://sikandarnirmalsingh.com nirmal

    guptkaur how stupid can u be? i am straight, sikh, and cant have a child due to health issues. that dies not affect anything. in fact, there r many who use making babies to get financial and other benifits, and they do incredible shame. ok, so lets see….u go around waving ur so called credentials about sikhi because omg u can google and then twist it from there. lets see – do u support the western girls who have had open sex, children by different fathers, chains of boyfriends, drug, drink, and other aspects of typical western life and theb pretend they r sikh or pretend they like desis because they decided to romance one? do u support the 3ho cult? if u said yes to any of those 2 questions then from this point on ur arguments r invalid. the more u talk, the foolish u sound. and anyone who agrees with u n supports these thinfs r just as stupid. u need to SHUT UP right now and i know ull go on about how i dont know about Sikhi, blah blah, blah……before i yawn at any future replies u make, i shall now laugh at u in advance to save myself the future waste of time with u.

    as for guptsingh – GOOD FOR U JI! as i said in a reply on another post – i am a straight sardarni. and this whole battle of sexuality is a heteeosexual issue. heterosexuals wish to keep dominance over others n make others feel they r wrong n only straight ppl r doing the right things…..but lets see – if being straight is right n gay is wrong, then:

    it is wrong for straight ppl to go have more than one romantic partner during their life.

    it is wrong for them to have children with mant partners during their life.

    it is wrong for them to become a widow or widiwer then remarry or have relationships.

    it is wrong for them to cheat on their partner.

    it is wrong for them to pristitute their self.

    it is wrong to have forced marriages and child brides.

    it is wrong to have girls giving birth to children then trying to dispose of them by trying to flus them down toilet or in rubbish bins.

    it is wrong to have kids and be unmarried.

    it is wrong to have kids to get extra government benifits.

    it is wrong for them to see pornography.

    it is wrong to act romantic and sexual in front of other people.

    it is wrong to dress in sexually suggestive ways.

    it is wrong for them to support anyone who dies these things.

    many sikh guys r dating n marrying women who have done these things, especially western women.

    so u think this is fine, but being gay is a choice? people are gay and lesbian for the same reason we have brown eyes, blue eyes, light skin, dark skin. n there is nothing wrong with it as long as they keep.respect just like us straight ppl. they r no different. they dont choose to live an immoral life just for being homosexual. id rather b friends with these ppl than ignorant ppl like u who think u know all but then go n kiss the ….. of really dirty ppl.

  • harmanSurreyBC

    you can’t be gay and a sikh why do you have to be gay and say you’re sikh, why not just stick with the gay identity. Let me explain if you are a Gay “Sikh” than you cannot have any gay sexual contact in order to be a true sikh because in sikhism sex is just to pro create and having gay sex is just lust, which is forbidden. Another reason is our anand karaj marriage is for man and women only anything else is invalid and fornification falls in with lust which is forbidden.

    • Gay Sikh

      Hi Harman

      Sorry I obviously don’t agree. The anand Karaj is a union of two genderless souls when united they become the bride and god the groom.

      Sex is not just to pro-create. Guru Nanak Ji condemned celibacy!

      If you cannot be gay and sikh (according to you), but you mustn’t be celibate and being gay isn’t a choice; what would you suggest a person who is gay and practising Sikhism do about it?