The criminal law should exist to protect society and not be perverted into an instrument of prejudice
The Free Community Church urges Singaporeans to follow the example of MM Lee to discuss homosexuality openly with reason and not allow Christian fundamentalists to hijack the discussion with their homophobic scare tactics
The Free Community Church lauds MM Lee's call for a pragmatic approach and are organising the first ever dialogue on the Church and Homosexuality where both sides of the debate will be presented and discussed in rational and compassionate manner
It is very heartening to read MM Lee’s recent comments on Singapore's need to decriminalize homosexual behaviour between consenting adults. The Free Community Church ("FCC") appreciates the significance of his comments in the evolution of societal understanding of homosexuality in Singapore. MM Lee’s opinion on homosexuality being a genetic variation as supported by the doctors he consulted presents a far more rational, professional and constructive approach to this issue. His urge for people not to pretend that it does not exist is significant.
FCC calls on the Government to adopt the view of the Law Society that s.377A should be repealed as "the retention of s.377A in its present form cannot be justified." The Law Society view that "the criminal law’s proper function is to protect others from harm by punishing harmful conduct. Private consensual homosexual conduct between adults does not cause harm recognisable by the criminal law" is sound and should be adopted. To continue decriminalising homosexuality will bring the law into disrepute by using it as instrument of unjustifiable discrimination.
FCC also calls on the religious groups in Singapore, particularly segments of the Christian church that have consistently pushed a rabidly irrational homophobic agenda to take counsel from MM Lee's approach and discuss the matter openly and sensibly instead of resorting to scare tactics (see Appendix 1). All the major religions of the world have progressed through the centuries with constant review of their teachings in the light of new human experience and understanding of the world. Buddhism, the religion of most Singaporeans has always taken a non-discriminatory approach to homosexuality. The Christian church does well to learn from our fellow Singaporeans.
To this end, SAFEHAVEN, a ministry of Free Community Church to the gay and lesbian community, is organizing the first ever public dialogue on homosexuality and Christianity which presents the diverse spectrum of views. The dialogue will involve established theologians, psychologists and pastoral workers who hold diverse opinions on the subject (see Appendix 2 -- Christian Perspectives on Homosexuality & Pastoral Care,10 May 07, 7:30pm, Amara Hotel).
Dr Peter Goh
Free Community Church
66 Bayshore Road, #05-09
Example of homophobic scare message being passed around
by Christian leaders
—– Forwarded Message —-
From: Shalom Singapore <enquiries@desireofa llnations. org>
To: Shalom Singapore <enquiries@desireofa llnations. org>
Sent: Thursday, 5 April 2007 9:05:48AM
Subject: Fw: Urgent Matter of Great Importance - Penal Code Amendments
I write to alert you to a matter of grave urgency and importance. It’s responding to the government’s amendment of the Penal Code, especially the section pertaining to homosexual behaviour. The official invite for public feedback was issued months ago. You’ll see this in the attached pdf file “Penal Code Amendment”. The relevant part is Section 10 which covers “carnal intercourse against the order of nature”. The debate on the draft amendments takes place in Parliament in July/August.
Read PDF file “Proposed reform”. The Gay & Lesbian Lobby is working overtime to have the law changed so that our nation becomes increasingly amenable to its agenda which is as follows:
1. Decriminalize homosexual practice.
2. Criminalized any public negative comment or statement against homosexual practice. (Some pastors in the State of Victoria, Australia are now in jail because of this)
3. Legalize same sex marriages.
4. Legalize adoption by same sex partners. (Roman Catholic adoption agencies have closed down in Britain because they now have to allow their children to be adopted by same sex partners).
5. Have homosexuals classified as an ethnic group or race so that their rights are enshrined.
6. Make it compulsory by law that homosexual practices are taught to children in all schools. This is already happening in some parts of the world. They have already published colourful and explicit textbooks for this purpose!
While some denominational leaders have made Christian views known, our government’s approach on public morality is based on the weight of public opinion. Hence the greater the number of similar opinions the greater the weight government will give. I have been reliably informed that NOW IS THE TIME TO SUBMIT OUR FEEDBACK. I want to call for a mobilization of Christians and concerned people to give immediate personal feedback to the government.
Please share this with your church leaders and members as once the law is passed in favour of the gay agenda, there’ll be no turning back the gradual undermining and destruction of Biblical family values, as well as the freedom to preach godly sexuality standards, as in now happening in parts of Britain, Australia and the US.
The feedback site is www.reach.gov.sg. Scroll down to “Something To SAY?” and click on “Email Us today”.
The subject line should always mention: Penal Code Amendment:
All a person needs to do is write is something like: “With respect to the coming Parliamentary debate on the above subject, I would like to state that I’m against passing laws to allow same sex marriages or homosexual practices.”
A mother could send in something like: “I have three young children and I’m against any legislation that allow for same sex marriages.”
Other possible statements:
I don’t hate homosexuals, but I don’t believe their lifestyle is good for the future of our country.
I believe that real family is made from Dad and Mum, not Dad & Dad, or Mum & Mum.
Please don’t allow our country to be influenced by people who are confused about their own gender. Please don’t legalize same sex marriages.
I also attached articles and news reports on the effect of law changes in some places. This shows what Christians would be up against if we don’t act now. Please note the highlighted and underlined statement in the article “When will the law change”.
As a start, you, your family and staff can do the feedback today. The MHA will acknowledge your comment. You can see it’s easy. Feel free to email me if you have any questions. I’ll be out of town till 12 April.
Church of Our Saviour
The following letter was sent by Safehaven to all churches in Singapore inviting them to an open dialogue:
What are you afraid of?
Now that even Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew has raised it, why are we still afraid to talk about homosexuality in a level-headed way in our churches? Why aren’t we engaging other Christians in debate? Are we so afraid that our God of truth is not able to prevail over differing views that we must hide from robust discussion.
Safehaven (www.oursafehaven. com), a ministry of The FREE Community Church is not afraid to lead in creating dialogue on this topic of homosexuality – even with views that differ from ours. We pursue truth not ideology. For we believe that in the end, the truth that remains is that we are ALL in need of God's grace and healing.
On 10 May 2007, 7.30pm at the Amara Hotel, Safehaven will assemble a panel of speakers, including esteemed theologians, experts in counselling and psychology, to share their "Christian Perspectives on Homosexuality and Pastoral Care."
The topics to be addressed include the following.
• What are the biblical perspectives on homosexuality?
• How is God working in the gay community?
• How can the church reach out to homosexuals?
• Testimonies by gay and ex-gay Christians
We invite you, your colleagues and fellow pastors to this ground-breaking event. For the first time in Singapore, Christians from both sides of the divide on homosexuality will come together to share their perspectives at the same venue.
The sharing by the speakers will be followed by a question and answer dialogue. We welcome you to come and share your questions and perspectives whole-heartedly with sincerity and respect.
Please RSVP by emailing me at email@example.com, or mobile 9384-8587, and feel free to contact me if you have any queries.
Christian Perspectives on Homosexuality and Pastoral Care
Date: 10th May 2007, 7.30pm
Venue: Amara Hotel, 165 Tanjong Pager Road, Singapore 088539
The distinguished panel of speakers include,
Dr Tan Kim Huat
Chen Su Lan Professor of New Testament
Trinity Theological College
Rev Dr Yap Kim Hao
First Asian Bishop of The Methodist Church in Malaysia and Singapore
Council Member, Inter-Religious Organization
Pastor, Real Love Ministry (ex-gay ministry)
Counselling and Care Centre