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Punjabi Manch   14th Issue

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Editorial

 

Sikh Religion versus Gay Marriage

 

These days, you cannot tune into a radio talk show, read a newspaper or watch a TV show in America without encountering the issue of Gay Marriage.  In my opinion it is a real problem facing the western civilization and all the major religions and cultures of the World because the radical homosexual lobby is trying to change the definition of marriage for all of us.  That is a real problem for most religions especially for the Sikh Religion. Marriage is well defined in most scriptures including the Sikh Scriptures and is considered sacred. In the Sikh Culture it is almost exclusively performed through a very sacred religious ceremony in front of Guru Granth Sahib the Holy Sikh Scripture.

If the Gays were trying to secure another form of institution for themselves like Civil Unions, Domestic Partnerships, half of the opposition will automatically fade away.  Better still, if the Gays join hands with the unmarried or “not wanting to marry” heterosexuals to fight for the creation of a new institution like Same Gender Partnership or Same Gender Union, they will get more sympathy from all kind of people.  Such partnerships can demand the same rights of inheritance, taxes, property ownership etc, etc.  You may ask why would a heterosexual man or woman want to enter into a same gender partnership? The reason is simple that some people do not want to marry.  They remain bachelors all their lives.  I know a few such people.  They exist in every culture but are not covered by any specific institution.

You will be surprised to hear if I tell you that I discuss this issue with friends and strangers all the time not only within the East Indian community but with the members of other communities as well.  I have been told time and again by several East Indians including Punjabis and the Sikhs alike that they will not hesitate to pretend to be Gays in order to sponsor their pretending Gay partners in foreign countries in order to bring them into the country.  This will swell the total number of Gays amongst the immigrants even though it will be a false number.  This creates another problem.  You may ask if the people are going to abuse this proposed same gender union, then why do we propose it in the first place.  The fact of the matter is that people are going to abuse it anyway as the Government has no way of  entering people’s bedrooms to verify people’s sexual orientation.  In the case of heterosexual couples the Government may contend that the marriage does not seem to be consummated or viable because it did not produce any offspring even though that is a very weak argument in many cases.

However, in the case of homosexual pairs such a contention completely disappears.  If two men or two women for that matter claim to be Gay or Lesbian even when they are not, how can the Government prove otherwise.

If the Government starts to prove or verify people’s sexual orientation, it will become a very thorny issue.  This problem will get even worse than what it is today. 

Therefore, the Government will be better off to define the marriage as a union between one man and one woman at the Federal level and ban any attempt to redefine this age old tradition that exists in almost every culture. 

On the other hand the Domestic Partnerships, Civil Unions or Same Gender Unions should be available for all same gender pairs and not only for Gays and Lesbians.  This way the Government will not be condoning or glorifying this behavior or sexual activity as alternative life style.

There may arise another problem in the not too distant future when the Gay Marriage becomes legal.  What will happen when two Sikh Gay men pretending or real stand before a Sikh Priest in a Gurdwara ( Sikh Temple ) and demand that they be wed through LAVAN ( a traditional Sikh ceremony ) in front of Guru Granth Sahib ( The Sikh Holy Scripture )? Do you know what will happen if the Sikh Priest refuses telling the gay pair that such a right does not exist according to Guru Granth Sahib?  The Sikh priest may be arrested or at the minimum his/her License to perform all weddings will be revoked by the Government.  This will create a culture where Kartar Kaur’s wife could be Mukhtar Kaur and Jarnail Singh’s husband could be Karnail Singh.  How many Sikh priests are ready for such a scenario? It has not happened jet but it may if the current trend of silence continues, it is not too far away and therein lies the problem.

On the other hand if the Gay Marriage or same gender union is not legal, that pair cannot make such a demand.  On the other hand if such a union is called Domestic Partnership, Civil Union, Same Gender Partnership or Same Gender Union, such an issue will never arise.  Why not?  Simply because the Sikh Priests do not perform ceremonies for such Unions nor will they ever apply to perform such ceremonies.  They only perform Viaah, Shaadi or Weddings according to their religious traditions and are not obligated to perform ceremonies for any newly created living arrangements mentioned above.

However, if the definition of marriage is changed the Sikh Priests will have no choice in the not too distant future but to perform the weddings for two men or women in front of their holy scripture.  You may say that Gay Marriage has become legal in Canada and so far it has created no problems for the Sikh Community.  Yes, it is true that such problems have not arisen yet but what are the safeguards that it will never happen.  Here the buzz word is so far but It is coming.  It has happened in the Christian Community where people go to a church and ask the priest to perform a wedding for a Gay Pair.  Some Priests have no problem doing it. 

On one hand, they are claiming that they are different while on the other they are trying to redefine the institution of marriage for heterosexuals.  They are doing so by claiming that they are struggling for equal rights. 

As far as rights for Gays and Lesbians are concerned, they have the same rights as the heterosexuals even today.

A Gay man can marry a woman if he decides to and a Lesbian woman can marry a man if she decides to. This right is no different from a heterosexual man or woman.   A heterosexual man cannot marry another man if he decides to and a heterosexual woman cannot marry another woman if she wants to.  So, where is the discrimination?

The question arises, why would the heterosexuals want to do that?  The answer is very simple.  The heterosexuals would want to do it for the same rights what the Gays are aspiring to achieve.

I have talked to many so-called Sikh Scholars but they try to avoid this debate.  Most of them prefer to keep their heads buried in the sand in order to avoid the backlash.  The Gay lobby in this country is a very powerful lobby and have the power to rip anybody’s life to shreds.

Why do I need to throw my hat into the ring and debate this issue when my life is already being ripped to shreds by the BUMS ( Businesses/ Bureaucrats Underworld Mafia Shenanigans )? This is how it started.  Sometimes ago, I received an email from one of my readers in Singapore.

He attacked me by calling me a homophobe.  I have added his email message in the “Readers Email” section without giving out his email address in order to protect his identity. Even though, I have given out his name, it may not be his real name and I do not see a need to find that out.  As I have not responded to his email either privately or publicly, I am doing it here.  I am doing it in such a manner so that I can share my thoughts with all of you especially with those of you who might be confused or afraid.

You can read Mr.Bal's email message to me in the Readers Email section in this issue.

In response to the above mentioned Email Message let me begin by citing the definition of a Homophobe.  According to my Webster’s dictionary, the indirect definition of a homophobe reads as follows:

Phobia is defined as a fear or anxiety that exceeds normal proportions or that has no basis in reality; an obsessive or irrational dread.

Let me respond by saying that I have no fear from or hatred towards Gays and lesbians. 

I have come across several Gay people over the years and had no problems dealing or working with them.  It was no different than working with straight people. Here I would like to mention only two examples.  When I was working for Boeing, I had a colleague who was Gay.  He was one of the nicest persons to be around.  I do not want to mention his name as it serves no purpose.  When he died of a terrible disease at such a young age, I felt extremely sad and felt that I had lost a friend.  I see no need to reveal his name even though my former Boeing colleagues would know it anyway. When the straight people were giving me hard time, this Gay man was one of the two men I could always count on for help.

The second man was a devout Christian whose name I have already mentioned elsewhere on this website.

Now, let me give you one example of a Lesbian woman who was my colleague on another job where I was working as a security officer several years ago.  She wore the same uniform, performed the same duties as I did.  We had no problem working with her even though all of us were straight men. Sometimes her partner came to pick her up and it did not bother anybody as they never attempted to make claims for any special rights because of their sexual orientation.  We had very cordial relations with these two women.  I do not want to mention her name because it serves no purpose even though my former colleagues who worked with me as security officers would know it.

The above two examples show that I neither have a problem working with gay people nor do I have any hatred towards them.  As a matter of fact my experience with them have been very positive so far. Therefore I am not predisposed to the idea that gay people are bad people.  They could be good or bad just like the straight people could be good or bad.  Therefore I reject being labeled as a homophobe.  If my blood relatives were Gay, I would still allow them to stay in my home and won't throw them on the street.  If this is my belief system about the gay people, then where do I have a problem.

Now let me explain where do I have a problem. I have a problem with the invention of the terms gay marriage, gay couples, husband and husband, wife and wife.  This is an attempt to create a special right of infiltration into other people's institutions by hijacking their terminology that will result in their destruction.  It is based on a certain behavior of a group of people on one hand and to change the definition of marriage for the rest of us on the other hand.  Moreover, it is a struggle to force everybody else to condone such a behavior by glorifying it through a sacred label of marriage. 

Such an attitude is no different from a few people attempting to put chairs in the Diwan Hall against the will of the majority of the Sangat (congregation).  It is no different than a few people insisting on attending the Diwan Hall in a Gurdwara ( Sikh Temple ) with their shoes on but heads uncovered because this is how they feel and it gives them pleasure and freedom even though it is bound to be offensive to the majority of the congregation.  Marriage is a sacred word in the Sikh religion. A vast majority of the Democrat delegates at the Democrat Party’ very recent national convention were supportive of Gay Marriage a concept totally unwelcome in the Sikh Religion.

If it was only about rights as some claim including Senator John Kerry then the radical Gay lobby won’t insist on labeling it a marriage.  They will be content in labeling it with Domestic Partnership, Civil Union or a Same Gender Union and better still it will include gays and straights alike. Some may object that it creates special rights for gays and straights alike but so does Carpooling.

The liberal mayors supporting the Democrat Party nationwide have started to issue the Gay Marriage licenses. You remember what happened in San Francisco a short while ago. The liberal judges nationwide have started to approve gay marriages by judicial fiats. You know what happened in Massachusetts a short while ago and in Seattle a few weeks ago.  It means a sophisticated assault on your religion has already been started by the Liberals overwhelmingly Democrats, your so-called allies ( at least that is what most of you think ) through the back door. They are boiling you like a frog and you won’t even notice when your culture and religion are dead because Gay Marriage is not accepted in the Sikh Religious Traditions.  If the liberals were pursuing a policy of Live And Let Live, I won’t mind but they are not and that is also contrary to the teachings of the Sikh Religion. The liberal and Radical Gay Agenda is to induct Gay Marriage into our culture by changing the definition of marriage for the rest of us and that is what I do not agree with because it can not be justified according to the teachings of the Sikh Religion.

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Yours Truly,

Amrik S. Kang                                 Puyallup, WA, USA.                              September 2, 2004