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11 Aug 2011

Malaysia's gay pastor to marry, says "keep coming out" to fight homophobia

"Gay people cannot just blame straight people for not understanding us," says Rev Oyoung Wen Feng, an openly gay Malaysian-born, New York-based author and pastor, who will be speaking in Singapore, Taipei and Malaysia this month.

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Rev. Oyoung Wen Feng, an openly gay Malaysian-born, New York-based author and pastor, is set to marry his Broadway musical producer boyfriend this month or in early September with ceremonies planned in New York and Malaysia.

Top: Rev Oyoung Wen Feng, photo: Facebook. Bottom pic: Proposal in church, photo: Youtube video.

Oyoung, whose real name is Ngeo Boon Lin, was in Hong Kong last week to launch a new book when he said in an interview with AFP  that his partner Phineas Newborn III had popped the question on June 26, two days after New York City legalised same-sex marriage.

“He went to a church and wrote a song for me. He proposed at the end of the song in public,” said the former newspaper columnist who now serves at the Metropolitan Community Church (MCC) in New York.

Oyoung, who has published 23 books of which half have gay-related themes, regularly returns to Malaysia where he had co-founded a gay-affirmative church in suburban Kuala Lumpur.  The church has been operating quietly for several years before it made the local headlines last September. Male-to-male sex is illegal under Malaysian laws.

In the AFP report that has since appeared in new sites around the world from Thailand to France, he urged Malaysians to come out and should speak out to "break the vicious cycle" and help fight misunderstandings about the gay community.

"When society discriminates against gay people, you only push gay people into the closet. When gay people stay in the closet, people don't know what is gay or homosexuality and because of ignorance they keep discriminating and that will perpetuate prejudice."

"Gay people cannot just blame straight people for not understanding us. Gay people should keep coming out and straight people who are okay with homosexuals should also come out to say publicly that being gay is okay – 'I'm okay with my gay friends'," he said.

Oyoung himself was married to a woman for nine years until he "came out" publicly in 2006.

"She encouraged me to come out. She asked for a divorce, and this is the biggest gift she could ever give me, she literally set me free. I owe her big time," said the 41-year-old who’s currently pursuing his doctoral degree in theology.

Oyoung will be speaking and/or having book signings in Singapore, Kuala Lumpur and Kota Kinabalu, Sabah this month.

Singapore

 同志教育,同志也需要edugaytion!
An Afternoon Dialogue with O.Young (in Mandarin)
Date:  13 Aug 2011 (Sat)
Time: 3-5 pm
Venue: Free Community Church
Free Community Church
56 Lorong 23 Geylang, Level 3, Century Technology Building, Singapore 388381
Admission is free and all are welcome.

Sunday Service (in English and Mandarin)
Date: 14 Aug 2011
Time: 10.30 am
Venue: Free Community Church
Admission is free and all are welcome.

Taipei, Taiwan
Christianity and homosexuality talk (in Mandarin)
Date: 21 August 2011
Time: 7 - 9pm
Venue: Yiguang Church / 義光教會 (More info)
Address: Taipei No. 16, Lane 31, Sec (Daan Forest Park, go straight across the Dante Hotel alley about 100 meters) /
106台北市信義路三段31巷16號
Click here for more info (in Chinese)

Book signings in Malaysia
欧阳文风新书发佈会:《同志教育》及《这是爱,就这么简单》

Kota Kinabalu, Sabah
Date: 25 Aug 2011 (Thu)
Time: 8pm - 9pm
Venue: Celyn Hotel, City Mall, 1st Floor Kinoundusan Room
Address: Unit No S-0-3 & S-1-3 City Mall, Lorong City Mall, Jalan Lintas, 88300 Kota Kinabalu

Kuala Lumpur
Date: 27 Aug 2011 (Sat)
Time: 2pm - 2.45pm.
Venue: BookFest 2011 @ KLCC,Hall 1

 

Reader's Comments

Comment #1 was deleted by its author on 2011-08-12 01:32
2. 2011-08-12 01:34  
I concur.
Comment #3 was deleted by its author on 2011-08-13 13:39
4. 2011-08-12 03:38  
A truly wonderful article. We fought the fight here in Canada, and won. Thank you for this great article on the importance to come out. Please "keep coming out", it's the only way to true happiness for gay men and women in this world!
5. 2011-08-12 03:38  
A truly wonderful article. We fought the fight here in Canada, and won. Thank you for this great article on the importance to come out. Please "keep coming out", it's the only way to true happiness for gay men and women in this world!
6. 2011-08-12 07:09  
Oyong Weng Feng,
Proud with you!
祝福你!
我也会像你一样,勇敢起来!
You are my inspiration....
Comment #7 was deleted by its author on 2011-08-14 10:36
Comment #8 was deleted by its author on 2011-08-14 10:35
9. 2011-08-12 09:03  
Amen ... one has to grab life by its balls and walk the talk :-)
10. 2011-08-12 09:07  
wow, he's coming to KK, Sabah too!!! awesome!!! *thumbs up* d(^__^)b
11. 2011-08-12 10:06  
Dear Pastor,

I have sinned. I had impure thoughts of thee. Please forgive thy son.

Sincerely,

Detru
12. 2011-08-12 10:11  
"Malaysian-born, New-York-based"
"married to a woman for 9 years"
"SHE encouraged me to come out, SHE asked for a divorce, SHE literally set me free"

Errrr.... what is it that makes me uneasy when I read that this guy now comes to Asia to give lectures about finding the courage to come out... ? Sorry for not joining the loud praise but something just doesn't add up here.

Also, if his sermon boils down to "gay people cannot just blame straight people for not understanding us", sorry but I find the argument pretty thin, guilt ridden and hypocritical.
13. 2011-08-12 10:39  
What makes you uneasy Yveserwan? Many gay people come out later in life even though they were married to the opposite sex... I'm happy for him that he found the strength to lead an authentic life and had an understanding spouse. This guy is Malaysian and lived most of his life there before going to do his postgraduate studies in the US. I personally feel heartened that he's contributing to his home country rather than ignoring or abandoning it. Thanks Oyoung for being an inspiration to the rest of us.
Comment #14 was deleted by an administrator on 2011-08-13 10:00
15. 2011-08-12 11:02  
I am glad Fridae featured this article, instead of listening to certain guy's unreasonable demands for Fridae to stop featuring any article on gay issues/events among religious groups.

Fridae's featuring of such articles is a good way to encourage the effort of religious people to reduce homophobia among their religious communities, and it also helps us to keep in touch with the status and progress of reducing unreasonable discrimination among some religions (just as Fridae also bring us news on the progress of reducing structural discrimination against GLBTQ among policies and laws in even countries far away from Asia).



Comment edited on 2011-08-13 17:43:32
16. 2011-08-12 12:21  
I've got arguments that are pretty thin, guilt ridden and hypocritical too. Cos gay people are their own worst enemy.... 30% of their discrimination is societal, 70% is self inflicted
Comment #17 was deleted by its author on 2011-08-13 17:04
18. 2011-08-12 14:47  
Rev. Boon is my pastor here in NY. To hear Rev. Boon speak is to hear someone who truly believes in God's power and that we can make a difference while we are on this earth. To address No. 12, if there is something that does not add up about Rev. Boon it is that he chooses to constantly step out of his comfort zone to reach out to gay Asians who live in fear and hopelessness. He could easily have settled into a nice married life here in NY, enjoying everything this city has to offer. But as Poster 13 commented, he chooses to return to his motherland and tries to bring about positive change. Our church prides itself on dialog and inclusion--God loves us all, and therefore, we should all love each other. We will never accomplish this if all we do is point fingers of blame.
19. 2011-08-12 15:50  
I agree with Yverserwan! It's so easy for this pastor to preach to us Malaysians. He doesn't live here! So easy to say things when you know you can just come and do your preaching and 'balik' to your comfy New York where it's Not a crime to be gay or live together as a gay couple or tell the authorities that you just had sex with another man! Why not practise what you preach, pastor. Come back to your country of birth , help fight to improve the rights of your fellow gay brothers? I'm sure you are more needed here than in New York.

This pastor is already 'out'-good for him. But, that doesn't give him the right to patronise gays for staying in the closet. It's up to each individual at what point in their life they feel comfortable to be 'out of the closet'. Listening to the pastor preach gives me the impression that 'now that he's out , everyone should be too'. I find it hypocritical that for a big part of his life, he not only stayed in the closet but affected the life of another fellow human being, his wife. And now he tells us that we should all "keep coming out". He should realise that many gays are in the position he was in then and just not ready to be out. Asking all to "keep coming out" is like saying that now that I'm out , all should be too. As if his coming out be the benchmark for all gays!
20. 2011-08-12 16:38  
wow, thank you 'spatho69' for this unexpected and thoroughly well thought out support/contribution. It's also comforting to see that you, for one, actually got my point : what I find disturbing is NOT the fact that the guy lives in NY, NOT the fact that he was married for 9 years (and you are SO right about how it affected the life of another individual) and NOT the fact that his coming out was largely thanks to his wife (as he honestly puts it)... these events are indeed very common and a feature of so many gay lives. No, it's the PREACHING and the patronizing attitude that bugs me, and you phrase it a lot better than I did when you write : "now that he's out, everyone should be too".
And 'seoulseeker' it would be just great if you could tune down the holier-than-thou attitude so typical of religious people... this is a conversation board where people voice opinions. That's what a conversation board is for! If these opinions happen to differ from your own, no need to bring Almighty God into it and chastise them for "pointing fingers of blame". I feel that's what Caesar is saying too and I couldn't agree with him more on this particular issue.
21. 2011-08-12 17:06  
I don't usually reveal my identity not because I m ashamed being me. We human most the time has this prejudice view.

I take advantage of being closet, say someone I know has bad words on gay, I usually respond by saying "Y? Do u usually hv hatred towards ppl different from u?". I find it useful. I know certain closets will join the bad-mouth situation to cover they gay identity but I don't think it is necessary, if u learn to use smart conversation sometimes.

If ppl knew I m gay, I believe they will respond like because u r gay, of course u sided them...
22. 2011-08-12 17:43  
Yup, the "come out of the closet" invocation is a bit tough to swallow. I believe it's a personal choice that each individual needs to make for him or herself. It's about personal space and comfort zones. I say, bravo to Boon for walking the talk but respect the personal space of other no-so-gutsy, still-in-the-closet gay men and women.
23. 2011-08-12 17:54  
You wouldn't happen to have studied in a Jesuit's college by any chance, would you, Wed ? just asking hihihi.
24. 2011-08-12 18:41  
Wonderful! Very heartwarming.
Shame about the negative comments on what is a positive and encouraging story.
Comment #25 was deleted by an administrator on 2011-08-13 08:34
26. 2011-08-12 18:53  
#23 Ahem...i m a fool, mind to elaborate abt yr question?

Wat is Jesuit's college? Never heard of, so No. hehe. My background is marine science. ;p
27. 2011-08-12 19:23  
It was a joke, Wed, and you are no fool, come on. I'll answer in more detail privately so this page can stick to the topic.
Comment edited on 2011-08-12 19:24:38
28. 2011-08-12 20:31  
Hope Christianity will soon become a gay religion. I'm Buddhist i dun really give a darn =P
Comment #29 was deleted by its author on 2011-08-12 20:31
30. 2011-08-12 20:38  
Yes it's very important one should always stay in one's comfort zone and never come out.

Also, say what you want on this opinion board but make sure you're always ne-ga-tive or you'll be personally attacked by #25 or his acolyte.
Comment #31 was deleted by an administrator on 2011-08-13 10:01
32. 2011-08-12 22:22  
Whether a gay individual is out or not is a matter of preference, and the pastor should not in fact encourage people to be out. It all depends on each and every individual comfort zone.

Sometimes being out bring more harm than good. How often in Asian societies do we see gays being chastised and isolated by their family members cause they are gays? Its easier to say than done. And judging from some of the negative gay cultures that we see all over the world, being out is seriously nothing to be proud of.

I feel its more important to be out as a responsible human than being a gay. But unfortunately, lots of us still havent crossed that boundary yet and still in the midst of educating ourselves. Its true we want normal society to accept us, but the reality is we will never be normal. Despite all that level of acceptance, deep in their hearts, the straight society still view us as an outcast living in the fringe.

So I still believe its still in our best interest to keep our identity private. Just like the straight people who never go out and tell everybody that they are straight, why must we do likewise ?
33. 2011-08-12 22:55  
@32, mica, Yes it's very important one should always stay in one's comfort zone and never come out. We must be negative about our gayness.
34. 2011-08-13 01:36  
Wow, it's a very complex situation here, but I think it's a bit too much if a pastor, who is gay, encourage people to be out.. And the 'best' thing is he's married to another guy..
A straight pastor who encourage people to except themselves, is ok..
But a married gay pastor who encourage people to come out?
I suppose the bible against male2male sex, so does the pastor ever have intimate moment with his husband? If he doesn't, I feel sorry to both, they just miss the best part of marriage.. If he does have, so it's like teachers that teach you not to do this and that, but they openly do it..
How can he preach when he openly do the wrong thing (according to the bible, the thing that he preaches)?
Come on.. if my pastor is gay and he is married to other guy.. Even I'm gay and christian, I'll doubt his preaching especially that relate to gay theme..
I do hope religions will except gays too but didn't expect till this extend.. Haha..
Or does he only talk about gay? then maybe he should become an LGBT activist instead of pastor..
This one will be a very long topic to discuss..

Sorry for the negative comments..

Shalom
Comment edited on 2011-08-13 12:19:31
35. 2011-08-13 08:44    
Hey people, please keep to the discussion and keep it free of personal attacks. Any comments containing personal attacks even if they contain material relevant to the topic will be deleted from now.
Comment #36 was deleted by an administrator on 2011-08-13 09:57
Comment #37 was deleted by an administrator on 2011-08-13 09:57
38. 2011-08-13 10:00  
In the progress of the LGBT community, we need people fighting from within and people fighting from outside of their own country. If we want others to love and accept us for our personal choices, we must also extend the same courtesy towards others.

In Malaysia, there are prominent gay activists like Pang Khee Teik and Hafidz Baharom living inside the country and fighting the good fight from within. Rev Oyoung's mobility outside of Malaysia brings the plight of Asia's LGBT to many other countries, via his books and talks. I have personally benefited from his writings in his books - regardless of where he lives and marries. In fact, his writings are what I shared with my parents, as they do not read Western, gay-friendly literature.

The LGBT community has been taught to discriminate against ourselves for decades - we're accepted if we get married and have children, we'll be accepted as long as we shut up, we'll be accepted as long as we're celibate and not act upon our urges - so much so that within our community, some gay people would rather attack our own than think about how to contribute positively to their gay friends. "But he's a Christian pastor, so he cannot speak out for gay rights" (we have a Singaporean pastor who speaks for gay people too, and we love him). "But he's not living in his own country, so he has to surrender his rights to speak." There is always a good excuse to ask a gay person to shut up.

Oyoung's urge for Asian gay people to come out is sincere. He's not asking any of us to personally come out, just those who feel they can. No one is forcing anyone out of the closet. The hard truth is, you don't get rights unless you fight. The countries with gay rights are the countries with people who are willing to stand with their community, speak out and take personal risks.
39. 2011-08-13 10:59  
For god's sake, does he have to be a pastor? There are just too many things that do not match up.

First of all, from his religious standpoint, being gay is condemned in Christianity. How does he live with the Christian philosophy that does not accept him as a moral human being? Try being a gay politician. That fits better. And try taking on a religion that actually accepts you. You'll live better.

Second, from his ethical standpoint, how does he compensate his 9-year-married wife with? He just wasted and ruined her nine years of life! Although it's understandable that back in the old days being gay was faced much more strongly with prejudice and hatred, he could have remained single and faced his solitude like a man. And not lied, toyed, or cheated on anyone's feelings. Although the article makes it sound like the wife is supportive, do you really think such selfishness deserves any support? "Set you free?" More like, get the EFF out of my life you liar and don't ever come back again. Let's take a step back and try to think in the shoes of the wife.

In the end, there is nothing heroic about him. He is just a coward and a loser. His ethics is seriously astray and this is just an example that can hurt the gay image in public. Yes, I would not like anyone with such a life history to advocate for gay rights. It's embarrassing not because he's gay, but because he has been living in such pathetic lies, from religion to relationships. Truly, the fact that he's a pastor only makes things worse by 10 times.

Anyway, good luck with your new marriage with your new sweetheart. But, remember: what goes around comes around.
Comment edited on 2011-08-13 11:07:51
40. 2011-08-13 11:16  
I do certainly agree, but also disagree with some of the messages that he is bringing across. But them again, at least someone gives a damn and is willing to step forward and do something about it.

At the end of the day, it is not easy to please everyone and im sure this is not a popularity contest. But then again, hopefully, he wont stumble others along the way.
Comment #41 was deleted by an administrator on 2011-08-13 16:39
Comment #42 was deleted by an administrator on 2011-08-13 16:40
43. 2011-08-13 13:06  
LOL at all the haters here!! You make it sound as if Rev. Boon is holding a gun to the heads of gay Malaysians and forcing them to come out! I love it how people can judge someone without ever having met them or listened to them.

As for yveserwan who says: And 'seoulseeker' it would be just great if you could tune down the holier-than-thou attitude so typical of religious people... this is a conversation board where people voice opinions. Well, the last time I checked, I am a person and I am just as entitled as you are to voice my opinion. No where did I claim to be better or holier than you. In fact, I extolled the values of "dialog and inclusion". I don't like it when fanatical religious zealots tell the world what to believe. Nor do I appreciate it when hysterical atheists tell me what to believe. The tone of my post was explanatory. The tone of yours was mean-spirited, vindictive and rude.

44. 2011-08-13 13:11  
Amen, Seoulseeker, but ts ts ts watch out, because your comment could well be removed as it's such a vicious, mean spirited and rude personal attack ! calling me a "hysterical atheist" !!! wow ! wouldn't you yourself call that judging me without having ever met me ? Good heavens, how very VERY unholy of you !
Oh well... use LOL as much as you like, but a sense of humour is what you don't seem to have... ooops ! should I take that out as a "personal, mean spirited and rude personal attack" too ?
girls, girls.... girls will be girls.... and that includes our Faceless Censoress apparently !
Comment edited on 2011-08-13 13:22:52
45. 2011-08-13 13:20  
Yveserwan, you are a drama queen, LOL! There is a difference between attacking someone's words and attacking the person himself. Please understand this difference before addressing me again.
Comment edited on 2011-08-13 13:21:49
Comment #46 was deleted by an administrator on 2011-08-13 16:40
Comment #47 was deleted by an administrator on 2011-08-13 16:40
Comment #48 was deleted by an administrator on 2011-08-13 16:40
Comment #49 was deleted by an administrator on 2011-08-13 14:36
50. 2011-08-13 14:43  
Not much live and let live going on here... I came out, or more properly, was outed by my wife of many many years, she remains my best friend, we share a house, family and at last honesty. But my journey is my own, everyone has their own journey through life, some need religion, some not, some are brave, some not. In the end, we reap what we sew and our lives are tossed about by the conditions in which we find ourselves. Some of the bravest people I know are not out, struggle in so many ways and make me feel so proud to be a gay man. Like a few before me, I am Buddhist, but i do give a damn, and if the Rev and this chatter can help just one person, fantastic.
Comment #51 was deleted by an administrator on 2011-08-13 16:40
52. 2011-08-13 15:12  
I dont really want to get into this brawl, but surely the art of debate, and thats what we are doing, is to put forward our ideas and feelings with passion and power, but not to degrade or dennigrade any others. Whilst I have some sympathy (as a westerner) for no censorship, I have also spent enough time in Asia to know that this is not the Asian way and for us westerners to impute our own views in a forum that is clearly driven by, supported by and motivated towards, Asians is not acceptable. There are ways to get our thoughts and feelings across, subtle, clever and convincing. It may not require a sledge hammer, just careful thought. I urge you all to sit back and be aware that we need in the end, to move forward, put our feelings and thoughts strongly and convincingly, but with care for others.
Comment #53 was deleted by an administrator on 2011-08-13 16:41
Comment #54 was deleted by an administrator on 2011-08-13 16:41
55. 2011-08-13 16:06  
WTF???!!! My comments was deleted???

here we are talking and applauding about coming out and blah blah blah but what about censorship??? maybe we should all talk about personal opinions and be ALLOWED to speak our mind without afraid of being censored and comments removed. wheres the democrasy? urrrgh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

*ptuiii!!!
56. 2011-08-13 16:34    
No 49 by schonramo was removed because it was a personal attack on Oyoung's wife. The comment was offensive, uncalled for and adds no value to this discussion.

Please feel free to disagree with other commenters (or the editor) but there's no need to get personal. Any form of trolling (messages that may send the discussion in a fruitless direction or messages posted with the (perceived) intention of provoking other commenters or the staff at Fridae will be deleted; repeated violations will result in the user's right to comment here suspended for a length of time at our sole discretion.
57. 2011-08-13 16:51    
If anyone requires more information about being gay and Christianity:

Rev Dr Yap Kim Hao: Christian perspectives on homosexuality
http://www.fridae.asia/newsfeatures/2007/05/11/1849.rev-dr-yap-kim-hao-christian-perspectives-on-homosexuality

Homosexuality and the Bible
http://mccchurch.org/resources/mcc-theologies

What the bible says–and doesn’t say–about homosexuality
http://www.soulforce.org/resources/what-the-bible-says-and-doesnt-say-about-homosexuality
Comment #58 was deleted by its author on 2011-08-13 22:02
59. 2011-08-13 22:48  
confuse, blur, complicated, a lot of ???????........................
60. 2011-08-13 23:16  
Time may lapse. Hopefully U may afford to keep saying keep coming out after 5 five years or may be more. Then let us judge U r a real and sincere.
Guy who is in happiness now.
61. 2011-08-14 01:54  
He should look at the camera when he speaks , cos he speaks well apart from the shifty eyes .
62. 2011-08-14 02:49  
i think many are mistaken by his good intention. I do not know about him, but i truly believe that his intention is not evil. That is just a suggestion from him. He never forces everybody to come out now. And i am pretty sure that he knows everyone needs a right time to come out. So people, please look at it in a positive way.
Comment #63 was deleted by its author on 2011-08-14 02:49
Comment #64 was deleted by its author on 2011-08-16 23:16
65. 2011-08-14 09:25  
Tuolanko@39: I agree with your analysis in general but want to say that based on my understanding, Christianity, the branch that is Catholicism, distinguishes between homosexual orientation and homosexual sex. It has compassion for the former but advises against the latter. Whether Metropolitan Community Church is a branch of Christianity, and whether it concurs with the Catholic position on homosexuality I do not know.

I also would like to add that the pastor's premise, ignorance perpetuates prejudice, assumes that knowledge is the cure. The assumption is a hope and it is this hope that the pastor is selling.

Unfortunately, the consumers of this hope will be disappointed for it is unconditional acceptance, not knowledge, that can cure prejudice. This conclusion is based on two select but telling examples. First, Asians and blacks, known to the world, are being discriminated against in certain countries and even the gay ones are shunned in some gay circles. Second, the handicapped, also known to the world, are being discriminated against, even in homogeneous societies. There are many, many other situations where knowledge does not prevent prejudice. That simply is a fact of life.
Comment edited on 2011-08-14 09:49:27
66. 2011-08-14 10:19  
But not all that easy for Malay guyz in Malaysia, when a country is run by its politics.......
67. 2011-08-14 10:44  
My Two cents.

1. First of all I am happy for them to be together and get married. I wish them all the best and all the many more good years together.

2. But why become a pastor and bring religion into the picture ? This I am a bit uneasy and uncomfortable. There are so many vocation that he can choose and still be together.

3. As to coming out ? Well I think let's leave it to each and everyone of us to be in or out of our own comfort zone. Some choose to stay in the closet while some choose to come out. Whichever choice one makes , let us embrace and accept him / her.

4. One very important observation that I would like to make here is , can PLU try to portray our presence , our existence in a more subdue manner ? Every time I see activities that are geared towards gays , it's always topless , promiscuous sex , sweaty bodies , tight shorts and tight tees...I know we all have a choice. I respect everybody, but if we want the main stream to accept our lifestyles , I feel we just have to take ourselves more seriously. If the impression we give to the outside world is all about raunchy sex activities , how then can you expect the mainstream to take us seriously ?? I know I will ruffle many feathers here , but it's just my own personal opinion. No one needs to agree to disagree with me. Cheers !
Comment #68 was deleted by an administrator on 2011-08-14 21:05
69. 2011-08-14 13:20  
On 67: matahari_gar, sir, although I disagree about bringing religion into the picture, your post is worth a LOT MORE than two cents. Try TWO MILLION BUCKS. You are ABSOLUTELY RIGHT in that we are promoting marriage and yet the gay pride parades are portraying our presence and our existence as some type of orgy. We need to get serious, and quit acting as if it were 1975 for the hetero world. Our hetero friends got past these things decades ago and we need to also. I am personally acquainted with a couple who have been together for 30 years. One had a stroke and his husband is still devoted to him, forsaking all others. What can I say? They are saints, and I am a sinner...but case dismissed by OLJC.

Now for religion, and faith, sometimes religion can counter act faith and our relationship with God. Our Lord never set up a bunch of complicated rules and regs that have nothing to do with The Word, and I think that argument gets lost in the fog of discussion here. So that is MY two cents ;)
70. 2011-08-14 13:56  
Bla...bla...bla...

Why blame the guy? (no matter who he is, he is human being also). He asked people to come out from the closet and if you chose not to, it is your choice. 3 thing you can do as a gay in Malaysia

1) Fight for your right, the more the merrier
2) Leave Malaysia - go to the country that tolerance about gay
3) Keep yourself in the closet - swallow everything and don't complaint !

The guy definitely chose no 2 and then no 1
I believe no 1 takes a LOT of courage and required a LOT of energy. I believe most of countries that tolerance about the gay life have gone through the no 1 for so many years. Bottom line, the choice is yours.
"Clap your chest, ask your appetite"

N

71. 2011-08-14 16:21  
I wonder what does the ex-wife of Oyoung has to say on this topic... Surely her thoughts will provide a more balanced view to some of the comments here. To the News Editors of Fridae, why don't you consider doing an interview with the ex-wife instead of re-hashing the same story that every news agency all over the world is reporting on.

We talked about religions and the linked to gay themed subjects but we never really ask the Rev himself if that was his intent. For all we know he could be speaking out for gays but just happens to be a pastor in his profession. I'm giving him the benefit of the doubt.

Cheers..
72. 2011-08-14 16:52  
Seems to me that religion is the biggest catalyst of confusion and confrontation in regards general life style choices and directions. And then to give it creditability they have the cheek to lecture about it as well. Not sure to laugh or cry about that. Face a fact that religion itself is a bad bad bad thing and perhaps if we were all to ignore religion entirely there would be a lot less persecution and judgement of a persons life style choice in the first place.
Anyway on more personal note and to number 70. Please marry me, I want to have your baby :-)
Comment #73 was deleted by an administrator on 2011-08-14 21:05
Comment #74 was deleted by its author on 2011-08-14 17:18
75. 2011-08-14 17:16  
Comment #71. That was what I suggested along with other comments and I was accused of personally attacking hIs wife by the
Editor. Sigh...

Maybe next topic we Asians should tackle Is : freedom of speech and censorship.
76. 2011-08-14 19:12  
I think that the fact that Oyoung's wife was supportive demonstates the deep love that was shared between the two of them. It is a poignant example of true selflessness. My best wishes to them both as they continue in their lifes journey in whatever direction.

To soulseeker: I always value and appreciate your comments. I read them with interest and often with humor.
But one little bit of advice to you: ignore him. (you know to whom I refer)

Comment edited on 2011-08-14 19:13:38
77. 2011-08-14 19:48  
Well done Rev. Oyoung Wen Feng! Do not worry about criticisms, even though I fully understand that your life and some of your works are being questioned.

No one is perfect. We all have good and bad points. We all learned through time.

But, I fully support your fight for gay rights. Gays must unite and come out to fight for their rights. In some countries, there are discriminations and hostilities against gays. All gay people have the responsibility to fight and put an end to all discriminations and injustices against gay people.

As one voice, we can change government policies, win equal rights and improve the life of gay people. Gay people are normal like anyone else. I have gay friends who are doctors, lawyers, lecturers, governement officials and they are intelligent people. Gay people should not be bullied into silence. We have to speak up against injustices and clear any misconceptions that the public have against gay people.

I hope for a day when everyone, gays or straights, transexuals and bisexuals are treated fairly without prejudice and discrimination, live harmoniously with each other and as responsible citizens to contribute well to the development of the country.

Again, Rev. Oyoung Wen Feng, I can empathise with your efforts to fight for gay rights, and working hard to help gay people to rid off their fears. Thank you on behalf of gay people.
Comment #78 was deleted by an administrator on 2011-08-14 21:04
79. 2011-08-14 21:45  
Congratulations to Mr Ouyang and his partner! I believe in one day, they are more people coming out because they have no more fear...........!
80. 2011-08-14 22:04  
Yverserwan, I've personally heard his talk and speeches in person and what Rev O Young means is that we should come out and step out of our fear of being known as gay, to bringing awareness to society and shedding light to the existence of homosexuality, thus breaking down walls of unjust and discriminative perceptions society has about homosexuality, it is NOT AT ALL forcing his beliefs on us to come out simply because he did, he was previously married due to the pressures of society and at the same time being confused like how I'm sure we all did, and now he's back to Malaysia to bring equality between humanity and homosexuality. His goal is to challenge the cultural believes and adapt to the existence of uncharted waters like in Malaysia where homosexuality is normally seen as odd, a sin and not a norm.. his efforts are noble and Yverserwan for you to enforce such preconceived perception without personally knowing or understanding him just solely based on this article and quoting words from Rev O Young is exactly the mentality he is challenging..
81. 2011-08-15 09:03  
my comment was also removed, although it was not attacking anyone this time, probably simply because the editor knows I am anti christian and anti religion.

It's quite clear now what is going on. Fridae has been infiltrated by Christians and we are all being forced to follow a Christian agenda. The comments from 56 and 57 make this very clear.
82. 2011-08-15 11:41  
As expected, the Islamic Affairs Minister has made a statement that "the authorities will take the relevant actions" to prevent "social ills"..while I totally support Trev Ouyang marriage & reception here, the flip side of it is that it has given the ruling regime a chance to spin this to get back the conservative Muslim vote. The propaganda machinery is going to have a field day with this, so guess I'll have to lok forward to another 8 years of my taxes being lost through corruption & inefficiency
83. 2011-08-15 13:13  
Well the propaganda machinery, corruption & inefficiency in Malaysia is more likely than not going to continue whether or not Oyoung is getting married. But I guess those people who commented that it's "so easy" for Oyoung to preach to Malaysians by not being in Malaysia to face up to his talk and actions will just have to swallow their words... Whoever thinks it's "so easy" to do what Oyoung has done or is doing should feel free to try to do more/better than him. It's just ridiculous for the Utusan Malaysia newspaper to demand that the govt try to stop his marriage from happening when it's LEGAL in New York where he and his partner live?!
84. 2011-08-15 13:17  
www.godisimaginary.com

I can't get too excited about a gay pastor when it's religion alone that is responsible for so much suffering and repression in the world, particularly towards gay people and women. I long for a world free of these archaic nonsensical beliefs in invisible sky fairies.

As for the opening sentence in this article, I'm not sure that a great many gay people are really that concerned with being "understood" by straight people. I think most just want to be left alone and enjoy equal rights. Personally, I don't need validation or understanding.
85. 2011-08-15 13:31  
"I'm not sure that a great many gay people are really that concerned with being "understood" by straight people. I think most just want to be left alone and enjoy equal rights. Personally, I don't need validation or understanding."

Unfortunately, equal rights or respect won't happen if people in general (including politicians and lawmakers) think gay people are paedophiles, perverts and/or suffer from mental illness. I think that's the "understanding" we are talking about or at least what I think is being meant. And for gay people to be left alone, that will only happen when they think gay people are ordinary and just like everyone else; and that putting "gay" in a newspaper headline will not sell more copies.
86. 2011-08-15 15:45  
oh #84, i concur... at last an intelligent comment... i say again, all religion is bad bad bad :-)
Comment #87 was deleted by its author on 2011-08-21 10:16
Comment #88 was deleted by its author on 2011-08-16 16:24
89. 2011-08-16 16:24  
I also concur. Religion (regardless of its form, name or geography) is man-made.

Faith is not. It comes from within when God reaches out to you in love, and you will never feel faith until you reach out to Him. It is kinda like meeting a beautiful person on a bus or airliner, when you think you are too ugly to say anything to them, yet yet they beckon you to respond.

You are not ugly! God wants us, and needs us, yet He gave each of us a free will to say, "Yes" or "No", to Him. But it is in the Spirit. It has nothing to do with getting horny, just something like a parting glance (remember the movie?) .

A personal relationship with Our Lord has nothing to do with religion, or hate we have seen in history. It is love, and nothing less. I believe it. It says so in Scripture. Muslims, Christians, Hindus, Buddhists, atheists, agnostics, you name it.

And yes the Vatican needs to offload property to feed the poor. Lord knows the rest of us donate much. Get out of the worldly, anti-Jesus mindset already, Vatican.
Comment #90 was deleted by its author on 2011-08-21 10:16
Comment #91 was deleted by its author on 2011-08-18 01:26
92. 2011-08-18 01:26  
I do buy into the theological notion of virgin birth. It is an article of faith, not religion. Religion is primarily faith based ritual. I am not interested in ritual, but truth. Not everyone buys into this faith. Caesar said he does not. I am OK with that. So there you have it. I do hope all find the answer. Thanks Ceasar, for your civility of expression.
93. 2011-09-01 21:10  
I read a few books of Mr. Oyoung. I never think Oyoung represent an image of pastor, I am more agree for his role in leading a social movement, such as human right (gay right) movement. The role of a Pastor is not as simple as any one can imagine.

Christianity is not just a religion. It is about the relationship between man kind and God. Being a Christian is not just reading the bible and go to church on Sunday. Experiencing God from time to time is what a spiritual Christian should have.
94. 2011-09-01 21:24  
God do not hate Gays. God only hate sins. Look 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 -- " 9 Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men[a] 10 nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. "

And at Romans 8:5-8 said -- 5 Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. 6 The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. 7 The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. 8 Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God.

If we believe in God, because of the truth, we want to live a better life that set us free from the bondage of sins. It very easy for us to know, if we are not spiritual , then we are living with the flesh desires. If we are a pastor, we should always remember one thing --> do not disturb the bible teaching.

You can represent any kind of human right movement on this earth, but please do not disturb the bible teaching. I will continue praying for Oyoung's spiritual growth.

95. 2011-09-01 21:33  
The world is not as simple as you think it is. There is a spiritual warfare that beyond what our eyes can see. It is about being in the light or in the dark. Satan is the father of all lies, for whatever the flesh desires wanted is not the need, most of the time bring disappointments and hurts.

God know what is really good for us. It just that you might not know what are the blessing that he had prepared for you. He created you and he know your destiny.
96. 2011-09-07 01:34  
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