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Sikh leader: My religion says I can scoff food at a party – but not attend a religious gay wedding

  • Sparkyu1

    Another religious bigot comparing our love to incest

    It’s almost “heartening” (with heavy amounts of sarcasm) how we can bring the religions of the world together in loathing us

    • SGL

      No he never, read what he said!

      • Sparkyu1

        Yes he did:

        “Guru never said that gay marriage was wrong.” The cleric replied: “The Guru never said that incest was wrong either. So stop being silly”.

        A direct comparison between incest and marriage equality

  • Pablo

    Thank GOD, no pun intended, that religion does not dictate our society. Can you imagine how backwards Britain would be?

    • Jesus_Mohammed

      Except that to a very large extent, Pablo, religion does dictate what occurs in our society. Where I live, for example, most community events are linked to the local Christian church. Religion is present in parliament. Look at our public ceremonies. Listen to the gobbledegook that is spoken on Remembrance Sunday, and so on, and so on. Not to mention Baby Jesus at Xmas!

      • Robert W. Pierce

        Yes and what some aren’t aware of is that a Tory MP, Tony Baldry represents the CoE in the Commons. Shouldn’t be allowed.

  • Rehan

    “…and my religion frankly is more important to me.”

    Isn’t this dimwit tacitly admitting that ‘his’ religion isn’t necessarily that of other even within his cult? After all, if there’s even a possibility of a same-sex couple marrying in a temple (gurdwara?), doesn’t that mean other Sikhs don’t believe exactly the same as he does?

  • Joe McDougall

    They Sikh him here, they Sikh him there!

  • Clivejw

    Hijacked, not “high-jacked.” Sheesh.

  • SGL

    I see no problem with his stance. I do wish gays would stop trying to shove this gay marriage down peoples throat. He siad he has no problem in celebrating the marriage of two same sex couples, just wouldnt attend the religious service as it would go against what he blieves in, in a religious aspect.

    I personally think we should just have civil marriage and ALL religious instituitons should be banned from taking part, afterall, gay and religion dont go together, despite most churches and religious leaders all secretly practicing it, so why bother.

    • Ali Cat

      He actually said he wouldn’t mind going to the reception as he views it as just like any other party, and there’d be free food.

    • David

      Why are you blogging on a gay website if your not gay. So it’s ok for you to come into our space but were not welcome in yours. So telling.

      • SGL

        Who said I wasnt gay?

        • Geoff McLarney

          It’s a pretty safe bet that people who come in to complain about teh gheyz “forcing” their marriages “down our throat” are trolling and not regular PN readers.

          • SGL

            Sorry to dissapoint you, but I am gay and a regular reader of PN. I just dont subscribe to the prissy whinging that most gays love to do. The sooner the ‘community’ understands that not everyone likes/approves of us or is going to like/approve of us the better. So long as we are all equal under the law then im not interested if a religious group is in favour or not of me as a gay man or what i get up to as a gay man, and we shouldnt be interested in the bullshit these people spout, unless there is incitment to hatred involved.

          • Jesus_Mohammed

            SGL, you may find the strategy that you have adopted affords you comfort, but it is not a responsible one, it does involve care for all of those whose lives are blighted by insidious, hurtful, and deeply damaging nonsense of religious brainwash. This is a matter that you ought to consider. It’s very easy to justify your position by referring to activists as “gays who love to whinge”. However, it’s the activists and the thinkers who bring about the changes from which you benefit under the law.

          • SGL

            Activists and thinkers like me you mean?

          • CHBrighton

            I believe we have a duty to challenge inconsistencies in criticisms of us.

          • Steven Gregory

            In other words: you bring your own bullshit prissy whinging.

          • SGL

            I would reply, but the sentence doesnt make sense.

        • David

          Your gay, really. do you often refer to yourself in the third person?? I smell a troll.

          “I do wish gays would stop trying to shove this gay marriage down peoples throat”

      • SGL

        Your space? get a grip

        • David

          Yes as a gay man, I consider a gay news site as my space and don’t take kindly to people coming on here and making uneduacted and mean spirited comments about me and people like me.
          I don’t go onto religious websites and post negative comments on there, they are allowed to have their space and we are allowed to have ours. but unfortunately, we have to put up with trolls sending us hate
          The fact you call it gay marriage is very telling. I don’t get in my gay car to go to the gay supermarket and get my gay shopping to bring back to my gay flat and put it in my gay fridge. Its simply marriage.

          I doubt there is anything you can say that will make me believe you are gay. however If you are, then you really need to take a long hard look at why you are so critical of people like you and try to be a bit more supportive.

    • Geoff McLarney

      Except that it doesn’t go against his religion: Sikhism has no position on homosexuality per se, and teaches that marriage is genderless. Oops!

      • SGL

        Im not saying it does. I said its what he believes in, so who are we to try and force something onto him when he doesnt believe it.

        • Geoff McLarney

          But he is saying it does (and in fact you *did* specifically say “believes in, in a religious aspect”). Why can’t he just say he doesn’t like it without dragging his religion, which doesn’t (officially, at least) share his feelings? I would have more respect if he said, “As the leader of leader of British Sikhs I have no position, but personally it grosses me out.”

          • arghhh

            BUT HIS NOT A LEADER OF BRITISH SIKHS!!!!!!! He is just the founder and adviser of an organisation called “Sikhs in England”

        • Jesus_Mohammed

          Who are we to relieve people of the crippling idiocy of religious cults? What a damned silly question, SGL. It doesn’t stand up at all. It’s laughable. Who we are, SGL, are people with a sense of determination and responsibility. That’s who we are. We are not passive. We are not people “who couldn’t care less”.

    • Steven Gregory

      Who is “shoving this gay marriage down peoples throat?” If he would shut his face hole, nothing could be shoved down his throat.

  • CHBrighton

    I find the Sikh position confusing. There are no sanctions against homosexuality in Sikh texts and, indeed, Sikhs view a marriage as being the joining of two genderless souls. Seems to me that homophobic prejudice has crept into this religion after the rules were originally laid down – just as in christianity, indeed.

    • S4NGH

      100% right.

    • Maryland Kid

      I think it was mostly the product of European Imperialism, like in Singapore.

    • http://www.gaysikh.com GaySikh

      Spot on, peoples view on Sikhism has morphed due to culture and blatant ignorance

  • JD

    After ALL this nonsense from leaders of the Superstitious and the stupid – It SUDDENLY dawned on me –

    IT’S NONE OF THEIR F**KIN BUSINESS, IS IT –

    OPINION NOT APPLICABLE

    • Steven Gregory

      He just wants to show up for the food and cake.

  • Elena

    Dumbass! His religion says ABSOLUTELY NOTHING about homosexuality, it’s not even mentioned in their holy book. Plus, men and women are considered 100% in their scriptures as soul are considered genderless…. But obviously, they don’t give a damn about most of the things written in the guru grant sahib, such as abstaining from alcohol consumption or not trimming any hair on your body (those are among the many things that they all do, to some extent).

  • Jesus_Mohammed

    Mr. Singh is perfect example of the lack of integrity of many a religious cultist. He provides a remarkable example of the ability to compartmentalise attitudes, to have one space in which he rejects you because you’re a homosexual, a third-rater, while at the same time having another space in his head by which he’s able to eat and drink and be merry with you.

    I noted this continually while living amongst Muslims in Islamic countries. They are eager to eat and drink and be merry with you, but at the end of the day you are to them “a lost soul”, an infidel. All that merriment and heartiness means NOTHING. And when you come to realise that that’s how they regard you, it’s a shock.

    To anyone with self-respect this attitude is arrogant and patronising. A homosexual person with self-respect cannot accept the hearty slaps on the back of a deluded religious loon who is thinking inwardly “effing third-rate perverted poof!” And let’s be clear, that is the thought that lingers underneath Mr. Singh’s turban.

  • Robert W. Pierce

    If it were my wedding, I’d never extend an invitation to someone who wasn’t prepared to attend the ceremony. No point otherwise unless one is a freeloader, only in it for the nosh afterwards. Hypocritical too. I’m not religious but that wouldn’t prevent me from attending anyone’s wedding ceremony.

  • Steven Gregory

    I’ve heard something similar to this before: “I’ll suck you off, but I won’t kiss.”

  • Colin

    Bigot with an open face and kind words like the rest. Get religion off this planet. Live life positively and actively every day. Enjoy the journey.

    We need registers of religion in all bodies, public offices and employment and businesses.

  • Hue-Man

    My read is that these religious leaders fear – 100% unreasonably – that someone will demand that their religious institutions perform gay marriages. They must therefore appear to be against marriage equality, even if their involvement is as a passive spectator. His willingness to socialise with “icky” gays at the reception is more than most other cults would tolerate!

    Personally, I would prefer that he be called to account on his religion’s treatment of women. In British Columbia, with a Sikh population approaching 200,000, there have been numerous women killed by their husbands, often for engaging fully in Canadian society (“Manjit Panghali was 30 years old and four months pregnant with her second child when her burned corpse was discovered on a Delta beach, south of Vancouver, in Oct. 2006. Her husband was charged with the murder after a five-month investigation.” http://bc.ctvnews.ca/teacher-found-guilty-in-murder-of-pregnant-wife-1.604066#ixzz2xfNysA00 )

    And from 2008: “Wally Oppal, British Columbia’s attorney-general and a Sikh, has even called domestic violence a “cancer” in the community. His comments were made after a string of Sikh women were murdered, allegedly by their husbands, in the Vancouver area in 2007. After such blunt claims, Oppal was accused by
    some in the community as being a traitor to his ethnicity and culture.

    On top of this troubling accusation of “treachery” and the obvious denial within the
    community, the harrowing possibility exists that gender-based oppression is not just limited to women in intimate partner relationships, but to unborn Sikh daughters as well.” http://www.thestar.com/opinion/2008/05/27/silent_crisis_within_a_community.html

  • OffendedSIKH

    Firstly, Harmander Singh is not a Sikh Leader. He is the founder and adviser of an organisation called “Sikhs in England”.

    Secondly, since neither Sikhi or the Guru has a stand on homosexuality, how exactly is it that attending a Gay wedding would go against Harmandars religion? Unless of course, his religion is something other than Sikhi.

    Thirdly, since Harmandar is so true to his so-called religion, why is it that he doesn’t uphold the very basic tenants of Sikhi by keeping Kesh, i.e. not trimming his hair. Clearly he trims his beard.

    What a load of twaddle. Perhaps what he needs to do is study his faith/ work out what religion it is that he follows, and then comment on Gay weddings. Complete hypocrisy! Clearly misunderstood the teachings of the Sikh faith. Who does he honestly think he is to even attempt to represent Sikhs!

  • WTF

    He is NOT A SIKH LEADER. Where did that even come from?!?! Harmandar Singh is the founder and principal adviser of an organisation called “Sikhs in England”.

    He DOES NOT represent the views or beliefs of Sikhs. This is one “no-body” who feels the need to support his bigotry with religion when clearly neither Sikhi (sikhism) nor the Guru has a stand on homosexuality. What a load of BS

  • Truth

    Religion is man-made. If this man feels he can’t attemd the marriage of gay friends, he should change his relgion. After all, we’re only talking abouth ‘tradition’. He wears a turban for ‘trafitional’ reasons. It’s time we stopped pandering to ‘tradition’ and grew up ….

  • http://www.gaysikh.com GaySikh

    I’m deeply saddened to read these comments by Mr. Singh. Pink News hardly reports on any Gay Sikh related issues and when it does, they are of opposition towards homosexuality.

    On one hand, Mr Singh is saying he would attend a same-sex reception but he wouldn’t attend the religious ceremony as he doesn’t agree with it. He feels his religion doesn’t agree with homosexuality. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, my opinion is a stark contrast to his. I firmly believe homosexuality within Sikhism can and does exist. It is by no means against the religion, in fact it’s the opposite. As Sikhs we are taught to love others unconditionally, treat all equally regardless of caste, colour or sexual orientation. We are taught to be in loving relationships and raise children. As gay men and lesbian women, we can do all this.

    During a Sikh marriage, a hymn is sung called the Lavaan where the couple getting married walk around the Guru Granth Sahib Ji (the Sikhs holy scripture). This hymn does not mention a man marrying a woman, instead it mentions two genderless souls uniting together becoming the bride and God being the groom.

    Mr. Singh has a lot of learning to do and I don’t really understand why he was interviewed. I’ve personally never heard of Sikhs in England and truth be told, if he is misrepresenting our religion to the media this way, something needs to be done.

    I run a blog called Gay Sikh (http://www.gaysikh.com) where I have explored Sikhism and learnt how homosexuality fits in with Sikhism taking in all the homophobic views I’ve received and tried to understand them.

    To anyone out there who is a Gay Sikh, or someone who doesn’t know about Sikhism, Sikhism is a very inclusive religion where everyone is welcome, treated equally and never condemned for how they naturally are. Unfortunately for some, culture has influenced their view on Sikhism, which in my opinion is completely flawed.

    Pink News, please post a pro Gay Sikh story :-)

    • Tim Craven

      As a regular reader of pink news, I would like to echo this call. What is so infuriating about Mr Singh’s comments is how flippantly he dismisses the human rights of others when he relies on respect for those rights for his own place and standing in this country. We must set an example by actively promoting equality of respect for others and recognising inequalities of opportunity affecting so many on the basis of age, sexuality, income, sex/ gender, ethnic identity – there are so many differences; but we are all human and deserving of the same rights and showing the same responsibilities to each other.

    • JD

      Or you could stand up and educate your people – Hatred is hatred don’t come on here spewing tolerance – Evolve!

      • JD

        Paint it how you like – it just another overblown superstition enabling the bigoted to bully, lie and belittle.

      • http://www.gaysikh.com GaySikh

        “My people”? Please don’t attempt to further segregate!

        My blog http://www.gaysikh.com was setup to educate others about Homosexuality within Sikhism

  • Maryland Kid

    Honestly, I don’t understand what the issue is here. He explicitly states that he has no issues with marriage in terms of civil law. I have no patience for religious figures who attempt to impose their beliefs on others through secular law. However, that clearly isn’t the case in this situation.

    All that he is saying is that he does not think that Sikh religious institutions ought to conduct Same-Sex Wedding Ceremonies. Since it goes against his personal beliefs, he won’t attend a Sikh Same-Sex Wedding Ceremony either. I think that he’s being an idiot, but as long as he keeps it restricted to the private sphere, I see no issue.

    I used to have this crazy left-wing Marxist friend who refused to go to any wedding ceremonies or Baptisms at all, because he thought that religion was evil and it was poisoning the world. The world is filled with people who think weird things. I say that until they come after you, just live and let live.

  • RBrown
  • JK2020

    What a load of rubbish. Who is this guy? I don’t recognise him as my leader and I am a Sikh. He has his beard shorn for a start. You’ll find that Sikhs are a lot more about tolerance and equality. Every one is the same in the “eyes” of God.

    As an aside I don’t have much time for Nihal. He is a coconut – white on the inside and brown outside. He delights in putting brown people and their customs down. I’ve heard him put down so many of his guests. The guy should have a balanced argument rather than relishing on presenting the bad side of brown people all the time.

  • Kim Berlin

    Marriage will be equal only when religion has been removed from the legal contract.

    The legal aspect of marriage should be done by the Government (presumable at the local Town Hall). Then if a couple wishes to have a religious aspect to their “special day” then they should be free to have this done after the legal aspect is finalised.

    Once this happens then we can say we are approaching equality.

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