CHANDIGARH: Taking a U-turn, the Shiromani Gurudwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) on Sunday went ahead and honoured Ontario premier Kathleen Wynne who paid obeisance at the Golden Temple amid controversy over her support for same sex marriages. Though Kathleen was accorded a warm welcome, she was not offered ‘Siropa’ (robe of honour), by the SGPC.
She was welcomed by Harcharan Singh, Chief Secretary of the SGPC who presented a gold-plated photo of the Golden Temple, along with set of Sikh religious books to her.
The SGPC had decided not to offer a ‘Siropa’ to her honour because of being a lesbian, who favours homosexual marriages, which the Sikh religion strongly condemns.
As Kathleen Wynne reached the main gate of the Golden Temple, senior staff members including special staff of Information Centre receive her and escorted her up to the sanctum sanctorum while walking on the marbled periphery of around the temple.
Sources said that after having tea and snacks, Kathleen also visited the langar hall (community kitchen) and cooked food with rest of the devotees. In the visitors book before leaving the Golden Temple, Wynne, wrote, “Thank you for the very humbling and special visit to this beautiful scared palace.”
She was accompanied by Minister of Economic Development, Employment and Infrastructure Brad Duguid, Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and International Trade Michael Chan and Associate Minister of Health and Long-Term Care Dipika Damerla, as well as Members of Provincial Parliament Harinder Takhar, Amrit Mangat, Vic Dhillon, Indira Naidoo-Harris and Bob Delaney.
Wynne’s visit had sparked a controversy when Shiromani Gurudwara Parbandhak Committee President Avtar Singh Makkar said that she won’t be given ‘siropa’.
In 2005, the then Canadian prime minister Paul Martin’s visit to the Golden Temple came against the backdrop of the House of Commons debate on the legalisation of same-sex marriage.