Ontario’s Premier Kathleen Wynne was on Sunday accorded a red carpet welcome at the Golden Temple in Amritsar but was not offered the traditional ‘Siropa’ (robe of honour) by the Shiromani Gurudwara Prabandhak Committee due to her views on same-sex marriages.
Wynne paid obeisance at the shrine and also cooked food at the community kitchen.
She was received by the senior staff members of Golden Temple, including special staff which usually receives the VVIPs during their visit to the holiest shrine of the sikhs. The Premier was presented a gold plated photo of Golden Temple along with a set of Sikh religious books by the Chief Secretary of SGPC, Harcharan Singh but was not offered the ‘Siropa’.
The SGPC had on Saturday announced that it would not offer her the ‘siropa’. Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Gurbachan Singh said, “The SGPC’s decision was correct not to offer her Siropa. To pay obeisance in the Golden Temple is everyone’s right, but to give siropa to dignitaries, Sikh tenets need to be followed carefully.”
Former Akal Takht jathedar Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti had issued an edict in 2005 against same-sex marriages. Same-sex marriages is a practice opposed by the Akal Takht, the highest temporal seat of the Sikhs.
SGPC’s senior Information officer Gurbachan Singh, who was accompanying Wynne during her visit in the shrine, said.
“The premier was also apprised about the Sikh history with regard to the Golden Temple.” “The Ontario premier took keen interest in Sikh history,” he added.
Later, she also visited the ‘Langar’ (community kitchen) where she cooked food with rest of the devotees. In the visitor’s book, the premier wrote that it was a very humbling experience to have visited the sacred place.
On a 10-day business trip to India, Wynne is making a strong pitch for Indian companies to invest in her province.