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UK Sikh temples told to stop civil weddings over gay marriage becoming law

UK Sikh temples told to stop civil weddings over gay marriage becoming law

Sikh temples are stopping all civil ceremonies over same-sex marriages becoming law in England and Wales.

Sikhs in England, a specialist advisory body, has told the places of worship gurdwaras to deregister as a venue for civil weddings.

They are doing this out of fear they could be forced to conduct same-sex marriages, despite constant government assurances no religious body will be forced to carry them out.

If the gurdwaras do deregister as wedding venues, they could still perform ceremonies but they would have no legal force.

Couples would have to attend another ceremony in a registry office or other registered venue in order to have a legally binding marriage.

Harmander Singh, principal adviser to Sikhs In England, told The Telegraph: ‘We are concerned that the quadruple lock isn’t going to be worth the paper it is written on.

‘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, because the quadruple lock means nothing under subsidiarity.’

During the House of Lords debates, Lord Singh was one of the most homophobic voices in the chamber.

He had called for a referendum on same-sex marriage and said it would also ‘dilute’ opposite-sex marriage.

Under the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act, signed into law by the Queen last week, it is written any religious organization or an individual religious leader cannot be forced to bless same-sex weddings. This does not apply to registrars.

Other groups, such as the Roman Catholic Church, the orthodox Jewish organization United Synagogue, have also opposed same-sex marriages.

None of those groups have so far volunteered to give up their marriage license.