World Sikh group against gay marriage bill

The world's highest Sikh authority admonished Sikh-Canadian MPs to block the gay marriage bill in Parliament.

The world's highest Sikh authority has admonished Sikh-Canadian MPs to block the gay marriage bill in Parliament, warning it is against Sikh code and "the laws of nature."

Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti, the highest Sikh authority, said he personally reminded six visiting Sikh-Canadian MPs of their religious duties when they visited him in January. They were among a group of MPs travelling with Prime Minister Paul Martin.

"The basic duty of Sikh MPs in Canada should be to support laws that stop this kind of practice [homosexuality], because there are thousands of Sikhs living in Canada, to ensure that Sikhs do not fall prey to this practice," he said in a report published Monday.

Martin had been scheduled to make a personal visit to meet Vedanti and visit the Golden Temple in Amritsar, but it was cancelled to make time for stops in Thailand and Sri Lanka in the wake of the Dec. 26 tsunami.

However, the Sikh-Canadian MPs were able to meet with Vedanti, and received a stern lecture about the importance of voting against the gay marriage bill currently being debated.

Bill C-38, which has already passed first reading, is expected to become law this spring.

Vedanti said he was dismayed that one MP, Ontario Liberal rookie Navdeep Bains, argued against him, but said the others listened respectfully.

"The Sikh religion would never accept such MPs," said Vedanti. "Nobody would support such a person having such dirty thoughts in their mind because it is against the Sikh religion and the Sikh code of conduct and totally against the laws of nature."