Kathleen Wynne's visit to Sikh Golden Temple sparks controversy in Indian press
Indian media initially reported temple would not bestow the robe on 'pro-gay' premier
Premier Kathleen Wynne was given a ceremonial robe of honour during her visit to the Sikh Golden Temple in Amritsar Sunday, amid controversy in the Indian press that suggested she would be denied the honour because of her views on same-sex marriage.
Wynne spent two hours at the temple, the most sacred site in the Sikh faith, where she received an orange robe known as a "siropa," followed by a visit to the temple's community kitchen where she helped to prepare meals for the temple's thousands of visitors.
Indian media outlets initially reported that the temple would not bestow the robe on "pro-gay" Wynne because of her support for gay marriage. The temple's president Avtar Singh Makkar is quoted in the Hindustan Times saying that doing so would violate Sikh ethics.
Wynne is in India along with her partner to explore options for increasing trade between that country and Ontario. In a statement issued Sunday, the premier said she was "honoured to receive the siropa" during her visit.
Afterwards, temple officials appeared to do an about-face in Indian media, denying that the premier was given the robe and instead given other tokens such as books and mementos.
"If you consider these gifts as the 'siropa' then it's up to you. She is a premier and it was our duty to welcome and honour her," the temple's chief secretary was quoted as saying in the Hindustan Times.
Wynne meanwhile said she has only received a warm reception since arriving. "I have been welcome here since I got here, starting at the airport. People have been gracious and very happy that we are here so I am happy that we came."
Following her visit to the sacred site, Indian media continue to report that Wynne was not given the traditional robe.