Sikh clergy decree against solemnizing gay marriages

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Amritsar, July 9 (ANI): The Sikh clergy has issued a decree to the community not to solemnize any gay marriage, terming it as unacceptable in the faith.

The directions were issued after a meeting of five Akal Takht priests in Amritsar.

The meeting was attended by Jathedar (head cleric) of Akal Takht, Gyani Gurbachan Singh, Jathedar of Takht Damdama Sahib, Gyani (scholar) Balwant Singh Nandgarh and Jathedar of Takht Kesgarh, Sahib Gyani Tarlochan Singh.

"The whole Sikh community has been given an order that gay marriages will not be acceptable. It is neither approved nor permitted," said Gyani Gurbachan Singh.

Following a recent landmark but controversial court ruling on gay sex, the Damdami Taksal has asked the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) to prevent gay marriages, terming it as a moral degradation of society.

The Delhi High Court's ruling that homosexual sex among consenting adults is not a crime is expected to boost an increasingly vocal pro-gay lobby in India that says the British-era law was a violation of human rights.

Petitions to change the 1861 law have been firmly rejected by the government so far. But there has been some softening up on the stand in recent years, with officials saying the possibility of revoking the ban exists.

The July 2 ruling applies to all of India, but can be appealed at the Supreme Court. (ANI)

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