Navdip Bains MP defends same-sex marriage that has drawn
flak in India
I am committed to supporting the Charter
Toronto, Feb 5, 2005
Canada's youngest South Asian MP is defending the same
sex marriage bill although it has triggered a storm
of protests among Sikhs in India.
Navdip Singh Bains says when he entered politics, he
resolved to stand by the Charter of Rights - and it
was in that spirit that he supported the same sex marriage
Bains, the Sikh MP who represents Mississauga-Brampton,
said he was committed to supporting the Charter of Rights
when he decided to fight elections.
"It is because of the charter that I decided to
vote for the bill. The same sex marriage issue is also
a question of giving rights to a minority group.
"I see this issue in this light only. If I decide
to vote against it, I will be breaching my resolve and
opposing the basic preamble of the charter," Bains
told the South Asian Observer.
The bill prompted a chorus of protests in Punjab, with
the head priest of the Akal Takht, the highest temporal
seat of the Sikhs, issuing an edict against it and asking
Canada's six Sikh MPs to take a stand against same sex
Calling it an anti-human tendency, the Akal Takht said
the "the idea of same-sex marriages originates
from sick minds".
Summing up his January visit to India with Canadian
Prime Minister Paul Martin, Bains said there was an
earnest desire on both sides to give a new fillip to
"Apart from science, technology and tsunami information
systems, for which an agreement was signed, a lot more
can be done. Both the prime ministers shared the view
on increasing cooperation," Bains said.
He said the sheer volume of people of Indian origin
living in Canada is enough to set both nations on a
more interactive path.
"I went to India after a long spell and it was
really thrilling. Apart from the official tour programme,
my personal visit to Punjab and my native village in
Rajasthan was a refreshing experience," he said.
Bains said his main focus during the Punjab visit was
on the education system, adding that he talked to students
to learn how the younger generation felt about the changes
taking place around them.
He also met Canadian High Commission officials for
a first-hand knowledge about the visa processing system.
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