A global survey, included in the report, was presented to 1,212 self-identified Sikhs from 31 countries. The purpose of this survey was to gain insight into Sikh thoughts and feelings surrounding sexuality today.
Sexuality is a confusing and often avoided topic. It is generally relegated to being a ‘private’ matter, and therefore not openly discussed or engaged with, even within close circles and small communities. Due to the taboo of discussing sexuality, many people struggle individually, often turning to religion for guidance or, more concretely, moral pronouncements.
The focus of this report is to understand sexuality in the context of a Sikh worldview, from a Gurmat (Guru’s Way) perspective, as inferred from Bani (wisdom), Tavarikh (history), and Rahit (lifestyle).
“Sexuality is not something that is frequently discussed in the Panth (Sikh Collective). It’s not a meaningful part of our education system. The report clearly outlines Sikh perspectives on major topics like lust, marriage, homosexuality, and polygamy. It also provides some tremendous step-by-step recommendations that both individuals and institutions can implement today. This is a conversation worth having.”
— Kulvir Singh, SikhRI Executive Director
This report presents recommendations based on the Gurmat components on both the individual and institutional levels. Bani, Tavarikh, and Rahit offer guidance to individuals on their journeys in understanding their sexuality, encouraging them to seek guidance from the Guru Granth Sahib, support from their peers, and to develop a personal relationship with IkOankar. The Gurmat framework offers guidance for institutions towards taking the lead on deeper discussions surrounding sexuality and queerness, providing resources, support, and education for teens and adults from the Gurmat perspective, rather than using fear and shame-based teaching.
The report concludes that fostering these attitudes of openness, non-judgment, and support at an individual level and amongst smaller communities within the Panth will ultimately lead to larger changes in sexuality being discussed individually and institutionally.
If you have any questions, feedback, or suggestions regarding the report or the State of the Panth series overall,
please contact Manpreet Singh at email@example.com
About State of the Panth
The State of the Panth series is a report on Sikh matters presented by the Sikh Research Institute to the global Sikh community. The series reports on matters affecting either a large section of the Sikh Nation or a perspective on critical issues facing the human race at large. It surveys the self-identified Sikhs on their stances. It outlines a Sikh perspective based on Gurmat (the Guru’s Way) traditions of Bani (wisdom), Tavarikh (history), and Rahit (lifestyle). It outlines recommendations for the individual Sikhs and Sikh institutions in best practice approach to strengthen the bonds within the community.
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