Guest on Gay Marriage BBC Radio with Manni Masih

Yesterday I was a guest of Manni Mashi’s evening radio show where the discussion topic was Gay Marriage. You can stream it from iPlayer (about 1hr 20mins in) or download the MP3 here.

Gurdial Singh was a representative from the Siri Guru Singh Sabha Gurdwara in Bristol who also featured on this show. Generally speaking, the outcome was positive. He reinforced that we, as Sikhs, do not discriminate and are accepting of everybody. When asked if a gay couple could get a blessing in his Gurdwara, he said it would be allowed!

However, he didn’t agree to a same sex marriage in a Gurdwara. He quite rightly said the Rehat Maryada (the Sikh Code of Conduct) explicity states that a marriage must be between a man and woman. This is true and I have tackled this topic in my previous post here. He also seemed to imply that reproduction is the main reason for marriage and thus in my opinion, invalidated same sex marriages.

Overall, the outcome was good. If more and more Sikhs share the same thoughts as Gurdial Singh (in terms of not being homophobic and more accepting), then I believe same-sex marriages within a Gurdwara will soon follow. It’s important to take small steps to ensure the community has a solid understanding that being a Gay Sikh is not a contradictory term at all.

  • There are many things that ‘sikhs’ do but a Sikh of the Guru does not/should not do certain things. Personal view of mine – I find many people are happy to do what they like but if Sikhi contradicts what they believe/enjoy doing then they are quick to find fault in Sikhi.
    We can not go before God and ask for materialistic things and all the usual stuff and then as soon as a Gursikh informs you of what Guruji actually says then everybody runs away or starts calling us militants.
    There are many things as Sikhs we should be doing, if you call yourself a Sikh do not simply state the basics and think because you know them that it makes you a Sikh. You are a Sikh by LIVING and BREATHING Sikhi. You would die for your faith, that is how much belief you have in your Guru.

    http://www.damdamitaksaal.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=80&Itemid=68

    Have a read through the damdami taksal rehat maryada. Its more official than other documents you will find online & to be honest it should be what most Sikhs should be following as it was (supposedly – I have not found a definite answer anywhere) founded by Guru Gobind Singh Ji themselves. GurKirpa it will also answer many questions.
    As for gay marriage in a Gurdwara – “According to Gurmat both the bride and bridegroom should be Amritdharee.” This is clearly written in our rehat maryada, it already hurts to see people go against marayda and perform anand kaaraj before Guruji decked out like christmas trees and then rush of to their parties to drink etc (most people are usually still intoxicated from their night before parties!) but please do not push it further by aiming to get gay marriages within a Gurdwara. Have some respect for our Guru Sahib.

    • http://www.gaysikh.com GaySikh

      Hi

      Thanks for your comment. I agree with your point regarding what Sikhs should do and actually do. I’ve found many Sikhs contradict what the Gurbani says. My only conclusion is that these “concepts” are cultural as opposed to religious. Many Sikhs upon reading the Rehat Maryada would be surprised to know how different a life they have been leading, especially when it comes to topics such as discrimination.

      From all the weddings I’ve the privilege of attending, neither the bride nor groom have been Amrithdharee. Does this mean the wedding should not have gone ahead and because it did, why was it allowed? I could use the same argument related to same-sex marriage. Yes, in the Rehat Maryada, it clearly states a marriage should be between a man and woman, however this does not make it wrong. It’s simply because a same-sex marriage has never been conducted in a Gurdwara before that it is condemned. Gurdial Singh’s comments were very positive and I was very happy with the outcome. The fact that an older Sikh Gurdwara representative has come out saying Sikhs do not discriminate against homosexuals and would even give a blessing in a Gurdwara speaks volumes.

      I understand your concern with same-sex marriage within a Gurdwara, but please be assured, my intention is not to disrespect the Guru Sahib, in fact it’s the complete opposite.

  • Yes, that is exactly what I am saying. These weddings should not be allowed to go ahead, getting married in a Gurdwara nowadays is something that is deemed necessary but nobody really knows why they are doing it, it is simply because that how is every ‘sikh’ gets married and the elders say so. They rush the laavan and then hurry to take get ready for an evening of partying and drinking. Who actually takes the time to understand the significance of the Anand Karaaj? Sikhi is turning into a joke due to such people. Just because one person has approved you doesn’t make it right and most definitely does not mean that it is accepted. I understand your view of Sikhi welcoming everybody etc but why can’t you just accept what Maharaj says and stop looking for debates and futile arguments to validate your points – because the fact is at the end of day.. Everything in Sikhi points to a male/female marriage! Be happily gay, I have no issues with your sexuality and nowhere in Sikhi does it reject homosexuality but you will not find anywhere that states it acceptable for gays to marry nor will you find any quote that does not repeatedly mention husband and wife. It could not be written any clearer, but you still aim to poke holes and work around things by debating it.

    They are not said to be husband and wife, who merely sit together. Rather they alone are called husband and wife, who have one soul in two bodies.”
    (Guru Granth Sahib Ji, Pauri, pg. 788)

    • *that should say Ang, 788 not page. Guru kirpa bakshan.

  • http://www.gaysikh.com GaySikh

    Hi

    It’s clear from your message that you are quite upset about this issue and I feel that you are getting the wrong idea. At the end of the day, you are entitled to your opinion as am I. If you believe that a Sikh marriage should only be between a man and a woman then that is your opinion and I respect that. Obviously I believe, as do many others, that a marriage is between two humans regardless of gender.

    I also strongly disagree with your comment about Sikhism becoming a joke. For me and from what I’ve been exposed to, it’s getting stronger and younger Sikhs are becoming more knowledgable about the religion. No longer do we learn from our family, but now the vast information that is the Internet. We are now able to create our own opinions from the facts and live the way we see fit.

  • sikhkaur

    Gurdial Singh ji said that orders are from Algal Thakt. Why the heck is there a separate divided line to enter the Darbar Sahib for politicians like Badal and others in Punjab, and a seperate line for the general population? Discrimination!!! I’ve seen it first hand to the point that I refuse to go to the Golden Temple because I am not allowed to worship due to favouritism and special treatment for people financially and politically higher. Second point being at the Golden Temple a punjabi man was not allowed inside to even Enter because he had a prosthetic leg. He was asked to remove his sock from his prosthetic foot. He said it was a clean fresh pair and he was denied access to the Temple. Equality? Gurus teachings? Where are they? In punjab still women undergo numerous abortions because of female fetuses just because we need to have a son. These are punjabi sikhs in punjab. What God judges you for being gay and doesnt allow you to marry at a Gurdwara just because you’re gay? With all due respect Gurdial Singh ji, if intercast marriages among not amritdharis are allowed and which they are as we see them, so are gay marriages. An impotent man can marry a woman at a Gurdwara and with the Guru as his witness, than 2 men and 2 women can get married at a Gurdwara as well. Im sorry this hypocritical talk makes me very confused. Sikh men Still treat their wives and women like garbage. The code of conduct is not written by the Gurus. HE FAILED TO MENTION THAT TOO. It was tried during Guru Goblins Singh Jis time but it never happened.

  • sikhkaur

    Guru GobindSingh Jis*

  • harmanSurreyBC

    sikh kaur if u think tht gay marriages are allowed in the Gurdwara ur a moron im sorry ur some white washed girl prolly from Doab region here in canada we are malwa straight from moga we dont get bullied around by pakistanis like u doabi uk sikhs LMAO u always trying to be white

    • sikhkaur

      Harmansurreybc if you dont know how to read English there are classes for fobs like you in surrey and even in America. Mentally challenged malwai’s like yourself are the reason why sikhism has been transformed to what you want it to be. Im jatt from malwa and a doctor by profession. I understand education and general morals are limited for you. But as a doctor and a proud jatt ill pray that Waheguru forgives you for your small mindedness and I recommend counselling. I understand they are free for those that are a threat to society. Nobody asked you for your opinion and since you gave it anyways, why dont you go back to india. I hear moga misses their losers like yourself. Go make a small community there against white girls and Pakistanis.

    • Gay Sikh

      Harman, if you wish to contribute to my blog please refrain from using insulting words. Thanks

  • sikh.soilder

    I agree with harman moga wale malwa sikhs r truedt no sikh can be gay khalistan zindabad

    • Gay Sikh

      I’m afraid you’re mistaken as I’m gay AND sikh

  • sikh.soilder

    Brother why do youu wanna get married with a man in the gurdwara its the house of god there will be protests dont corrupt the sikhi gods laws are more important to us than man made laws and gods law says marriage is with a man and womenn

    • Gay Sikh

      Marriage is a union between two genderless souls. I am made in gods creation so why not get married in a gudwara?

  • harmanSurreyBC

    ^ because it clearly says that marriage is between man and women if u respected the gurdwara u wouldnt make up ur own rules to justify it. but face it a gay marriage will never happen in a gurdwara thts y u cn have one in the office u no the paper certificate of ur marriage

  • UKconcerned

    Stop all marriage in gurudwaras…. Gay or straight. Sikhs can make this sacrifice for Sikhism. Politically correctness go mad but it is the only solution to halt people centric agenda in favour of scripture.

    • Jas_from_canada

      Now why should Gurdwaras end marriages? You can’t force Gurdwara to do gay marriage if thats what you’re concerned about becuase in sikhism its between man and women for it to be don in gurdwara so i don’t see why it should be banned

      • ukconcerned

        in the UK, Gurudwara have recently been given the ability to sanction STATE marriages. Before this was the case, Sikh would have to undergo both marriages. To not allow GAYS to marry in a gurudwara in the UK would allow GAYS to challenge this ultimately in the European supreme court and win. But a wholly religious ceremony without STATE sanction as was the case would be outside of the LAW. It would solve the problem with a little inconvenience to Sikhs.

  • Habbie

    I am reading this as my brother has just informed my family he is gay. We are Gursikhs and this has devastated my parents. My brother has taken the decision to never marry and we would never entertain the thought of him marrying a man in the Gurudwara. I’m sorry Gaysikh but there is no justification for gay marriages in a Gurudwara nor in any place of worship as far as I am aware because marriage is supposed to be the union between male and female. No religion will ever evolve enough to make the union between Adam and Steve acceptable although culturally that is a different matter. I’m sorry to point this out but I think rather than fighting for marriages in our place of worship you should focus your energies on the stigma of being gay and how we can help young Sikhs cope with the fallout of ‘coming out’. My brother hid his homosexuality so long that he became suicidal. We’re happy he’s alive today.