Permission for Sikh-based marriages of same-sex couples

Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill 2013
Lord Singh of Wimbledon

This amendment would specify who, in Sikhism, can authorise the marriage of a same sex couple of whom at least one is housebound.

This is Number 22 in . For the .


This is a specific person and ties UK Sikhism in law to the Shri Gurdwara Parbandhak Committe in Amritsar India. I have no idea (again) about the hierarchies, but specifically tying it to any particular person, especially one from outside the UK does lead me to tentative concerns.


Clause 5
Page 6, line 39, at end insert “and for Sikhs, the relevant governing authority is the
Shri Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) in Amritsar India”

Bill Text: 

5 Opt-in: other religious ceremonies
After section 26A of the Marriage Act 1949 insert—

26BOpt-in to marriage of same sex couples: other religious ceremonies

(1)A marriage may, in any of the following cases, be solemnized on the authority of two certificates of a superintendent registrar.


(6) Case C is where—
(a) the marriage is of a same sex couple according to religious rites or usages (other than the rites of the Church of England),
(b) one or each of the couple is house-bound or a detained person,
(c) the marriage is at the usual place of residence of the house-bound or detained person or persons, and
(d)the relevant governing authority has given written consent to marriages of same sex couples according to those religious rites or usages.

(7) For that purpose—
“relevant governing authority” means the person or persons recognised by the members of the relevant religious organisation as competent for the purpose of giving consent for the purposes of this section and for Sikhs, the relevant governing authority is the Shri Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) in Amritsar India;
“relevant religious organisation” means the religious organisation according to whose rites or usages the marriage is to be solemnized.

(8)Subsection (6) does not authorise a marriage that may be solemnized under subsection (2) or (4).”.