July 22, 2013

At least one religious group in the UK is throwing a mini-tantrum over the country’s Same-Sex Marriage Act, which (hooray!) received Royal Assent this week. Fearing that future legal challenges will force them to perform same-sex marriages, Sikh temples in England have been advised by a special advisory board called — and you’ll never see this coming — Sikhs In England to halt all civil marriage ceremonies, effectively rendering Sikh marriages non-binding in the eyes of the law.

According to the Telegraph, the Sikh huffiness about same-sex marriage isn’t a binding decree like something handed down from his Popeness — the advisory council is merely offering advice to Sikh places of worship (gurdwaras) in England. The advice, though, is being taken pretty seriously, and Sikh couples hoping to have their one-stop marriage needs satisfied by gurdwaras might instead find themselves compelled to register for two ceremonies — a purely symbolic religious ceremony and a civil ceremony that would actually have legal merit.