Sikhs told to halt weddings over gay marriage law risk

Sikhs have been advised to deregister their temples as wedding venues – in order to avoid being sued for not carrying out same-sex marriages.

Sikhs In England gave the advice, warning that Government protections on the issue might be worthless.

Sikh temples could continue to perform religious weddings – but they would carry no legal weight.

Doubts

The advice is not binding, but it is understood that it is being taken seriously.

Harmander Singh, principal adviser to the Sikhs In England group, raised doubts about the “quadruple lock” put in place by the Government for religious groups.

He said: “We are concerned that the quadruple lock isn’t going to be worth the paper it is written on.

Court

“In the longer term, as soon as there is an issue and it goes to the European Court of Human Rights, no one can be sure”, he commented.

In June Sikh Peer Lord Singh warned: “When it comes to the issue of same-sex marriage, there is a real risk that people will be coerced to go along with the redefinition of marriage because there is a lack of respect and tolerance for diverse views on the matter.”

He then spoke about a comment in a draft speech from Nick Clegg which referred to opponents of same-sex marriage as “bigots”.

Assault

Last year Lord Singh criticised the plans to redefine marriage, saying the change would be made “for no real gain because the law rightly gives every respect to a civil partnership”.

He added: “It is more of a sideways assault on religion, that ‘we can dilute your beliefs and values’, and I find that concerning.”

The Peer is one of the signatories of the Coalition for Marriage petition.

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