Malaysia

Gay pastor union will cause social ills, Jamil Khir says

Jamil expressed concern the gay marriage would “encourage liberalism in Malaysia”. — File picJamil expressed concern the gay marriage would “encourage liberalism in Malaysia”. — File picKUALA LUMPUR, Aug 14 — Islamic Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom claimed social problems will arise if a self-confessed gay Malaysian pastor proceeds with his wedding soon.

Rev Ou Yang Wen Feng, 41, and his African-American partner are planning to tie the knot at the end of the month in New York and hold a reception later in Malaysia.

“It is one of the tenets of liberals; they believe in freedom in the name of extreme human rights.

“We agree with human rights but such extremism that allows man and man to marry will create social problems,” he told reporters after the launch of the Groundbreaking Ceremony for the Al-Hijrah Surau here at the Pantai Ria housing project.

The minister said Malaysian civil law does not allow same-sex marriages.

“To me, as the minister in the Prime Minister Department in the religious context, I think it will encourage liberalism in Malaysia and this understanding is worrisome,” he said.

Jamil Khir stopped short of saying the marriage should be stopped, but added that the relevant authorities will take the appropriate action.

Ou Yang, who now serves at the Metropolitan Community Church in New York, said he planned to come back to Malaysia for holidays next year after his wedding to partner Phineas Newborn III, 47, a Broadway musical producer.

He said his “coming out” took place in 2006 after nine years of childless union with his now ex-wife, whom he described as an “angel”. Ou Yang grew up in a conservative Christian family.

Ou Yang, a former columnist with Sin Chew Daily, is currently in Hong Kong promoting his book on homosexuality and Christianity.

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