The Akal Takht has disqualified the priests at a Bathinda gurdwara from performing religious services after they performed a same-sex wedding at the shrine last month.
The decision was announced by the Jathedar of the Akal Takht, the highest temporal body of the Sikhs, following a meeting of the ‘Panj Singh Sahibans’ (five Sikh clergymen) in Amritsar on Monday, a day before the Supreme Court pronounced its verdict on same-sex marriage.
Two women got “married” at Gurdwara Kalgidhar Sahib in Bathinda district on September 18. Following this, the Akal Takht had suspended the ‘granthis’ (sikh priests), the management and the ‘ragis’ (gurbani exponents) of the gurdwara.
On Monday, Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Raghbir Singh said there is no room for same-sex marriage under Sikh tenets and disqualified the priests from performing religious services.
Head Granthi Hardev Singh, priest Ajaib Singh, ‘ragi’ Sikandar Singh and ‘tabla vadak’ Satnam Singh of the gurdwara have been blacklisted for five years for violating the ‘Sikh rehat maryada‘ (code of conduct).
They will not be allowed to perform any religious service at any gurdwara or at religious events, the Jathedar said on Monday. The gurdwara management committee members have been barred from holding any position in any other gurdwara.
The Akal Takht had, in 2005, issued a ‘hukamnama‘ (religious edict) against same-sex marriage when Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti was the Jathedar.
He had then urged the Sikh community not to allow such marriages at any gurdwara.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
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