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17 Aug 2011

Malaysian pastor to register marriage on Aug 31, Malaysia's independence day

Despite criticism by a Malaysian politician, Rev. Oyoung Wen Feng has reaffirmed his intention to hold a wedding banquet in Malaysia next year.

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Openly gay author and pastor Rev. Oyoung Wen Feng says he plans to register his marriage with his Broadway musical producer boyfriend in New York on Aug 31, Malaysia's Merdeka (independence) Day. Last month New York became the sixth US state to legalise same-sex marriages.

Photos: Facebook. Top pic: Rev. Oyoung Wen Feng (left) and his husband-to-be Phineas Newborn III in a photoshopped poster from the gay classic The Wedding Banquet (1993). Bottom pic: The couple in Kuantan (Malaysia), Oyoung's hometown.

When contacted by Fridae, the New York-based pastor reaffirmed his intention to hold a wedding banquet in Malaysia next year despite criticism by a Malaysian politician.

"I believe, I deserve at least this very right to share my joy with my friends by dining together, even in Malaysia," said Oyoung who has mainly lived in the US since 1998 although he returns to regularly to Malaysia and other Asian countries to speak at churches or secular events.

Explaining his decision to register on Aug 31, he told Fridae: "(The date) is to honour my country, I am proud to be a Malaysian, even though the government sucks!

"But I believe things will get better, if all people will come out to fight for a better future, I am not talking about come out in terms of sexuality, but come out from fear, regardless what kind of fear it is, whether it is the fear of choosing ones career, or fear of coming out from a bad relationship, or fear of coming our from dictatorship and oppression."

Malaysia's Islamic Affairs Minister, Jamil Khir Baharom, recently described Ouyang's plans to marry as an example of "extreme freedom."

"We agree with human rights, but such extremism that allows man and man to marry will create social problems," the minister said. 

The 41-year-old, whose real name is Ngeo Boon Lin, responded to the minister's comments in a statement saying: "It is heartbreaking to hear some politicians in my beloved country call my love unethical or immoral simply because of the gender identity of my lover."

"I am not promoting homosexuality or gay culture but honesty, love, justice."

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

"Due to ignorance and prejudice, many gay people have to pretend to be someone whom they are not. Many have to hide themselves into the closet of heterosexual marriages, and it hurts their heterosexual spouses deeply. Thus, what I am doing in Malaysia, is not only for gay people, but to send a strong message to heterosexuals that you all deserve to be loved passionately by heterosexuals and no one should cheat on your love for the sake of survival. 

"I urge all reasonable and open-minded straight people to come out and speak up in order to break the conspiracy of silence, because silence kills. By keeping quiet, many good people have inevitably and unfortunately given their tacit consent to the oppressive culture that promotes homophobia and perpetuates ignorance." He said in a statement to Fridae.

Ouyang made national and regional headlines last week when he announced his intention to get married. He further urged Malaysians to come out and speak out to "break the vicious cycle" and help fight misunderstandings about the gay community. 

He first attracted public criticism in 2007 when he spoke to the local media about co-founding the Good Samaritan Metropolitan Community Church (GSMCC) in suburban Kuala Lumpur. The GSMCC is affiliated with the gay-affirmative Metropolitan Community Church of New York where Oyoung works as a staff pastor. 

Oyoung is currently on a speaking and book tour in Asia including China, Singapore, Taiwan and Malaysia.

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

 


 

Press statement from Rev. Oyoung Wen Feng

Aug 17, 2011

In June 2011, the United Nations Human Rights Council passed a resolution on human rights violations based on sexual orientation and gender identity, thus, it is heartbreaking to hear some politicians in my beloved country call my love unethical or immoral simply because of the gender identity of my lover. Many people in Malaysia, some of them are my friends, some are total strangers, gay and straight alike, have sent me blessings and congratulated me when they learn that I will be marrying my lover. I am deeply touched and moved by their gestures. My country, however, fails to uphold the principles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) is therefore particularly disappointing. 

For so long, gay people have suffered from discrimination not because of what we do but simply because of who we are. Our constitutional rights as a human being, taxpayer, and citizen to be treated equally has been denied. Due to ignorance and prejudice, many gay people have to pretend to be someone whom they are not. Many have to hide themselves in the closet of heterosexual marriages, and it hurts their heterosexual spouses deeply. Thus, what I am doing in Malaysia, is not only for gay people, but to send a strong message to heterosexuals that you all deserve to be loved passionately by heterosexuals and no one should cheat on your love for the sake of survival.

Thus, I urge all reasonable and open minded straight people to come out and speak up in order to break the conspiracy of silence, because silence kills. By keeping quiet, many good people have inevitably and unfortunately given their tacit consent to the oppressive culture that promotes homophobia and perpetuate ignorance. When straight people who know better about homosexuality refuse to speak up for gay people, they are guilty of the injustice done to gay people and also to themselves indirectly. It is therefore critical for everyone, especially heterosexuals, to come out and speak up in favour of homosexuals in order to challenge homophobic or social discourse and practice. 

As a Christian, I believe in love and I live in hope, I strongly believe that everyone should be treated with respect and dignity. If we all are willing to work together, I have no doubt that soon and very soon, love and fairness shall win! 

Malaysia

Reader's Comments

Comment #1 was deleted by its author on 2011-08-21 10:14
2. 2011-08-17 14:51  
Gosh look at that, another article about a christian from Sylvia Tan!!!!

Fridae, empowering Gay Christian Asians
Comment #3 was deleted by its author on 2011-08-24 17:51
4. 2011-08-17 16:40  
Maybe the minister concerned should be reminded to stay out of non Muslim affairs since we non Muslims always get reminders and threats to stay out of Muslim affairs. Fair right?

5. 2011-08-17 17:08  
Plwk, the statement from Jamil is part of the anti-Christian sandiwara playing now in a mainstream newspaper near you ;)

Bet if you ask him, personally he doesn't give a damn...
6. 2011-08-17 20:21  
?? @ buhauyise

What's with the condescension?

Awesome to feature progressive, open-minded, and level-headed role models, no matter what their religious affiliation; especially given the political climate of Malaysia. Awesome!
7. 2011-08-17 21:42  
Wish They All The Best
Comment edited on 2011-08-17 21:46:13
8. 2011-08-17 21:47  
Really a good news to all gays out there! Congratulations to both of them!
9. 2011-08-17 22:43  
hooray!! dun forget to invite me yer.. all the best to u and brings the love forever.
10. 2011-08-17 22:45  
I'm not a Christian and have no 'organized religious' affiliations. Judea Christianity and Islam , both sharing single -god precepts and have many common roots, I find , are intolerant of homosexuality. Buddhism is the most tolerant. But I congratulate the pastor for his open marriage and his courage for speaking out and encouraging the gays of the world to come out.
11. 2011-08-17 23:44  
I just want to say that its great that they are standing up for what they believe in.. I know that it gets better so with this i'm taking small step for a better life with my partner.. Congrats to both of them..
12. 2011-08-18 00:59  
wah, is so happening here, malaysia will become very famous soon :-)
13. 2011-08-18 07:53  
Happy ever after !
Congratulation !
14. 2011-08-18 08:59  
Blissful Blessings to you both..Congratulations!!
15. 2011-08-18 09:40  
Inspirational. Congratulations to them.
16. 2011-08-18 10:10  
Congratulations to Oyoung and his partner. We need more role models like both of you!
17. 2011-08-18 12:22  
Congratulations!!!!!
18. 2011-08-18 13:39  
oh yes eric goh... we sure need more role models like them....

happy couple: go for it!!! u both deserve it!! :-)

xo
19. 2011-08-18 16:01  
Congratulations!!!!! happy couple: go for it!!! u both deserve it!! :-)
20. 2011-08-18 19:47  
Yes I am next! I am marrying myself! Another FIRST for Malaysian (and regional) history.

How's that for 'extreme freedom' Mr. Minister Terrorist?

This country is filled with racist and bigoted individuals due to the 'extreme religion'. It is going from bad to worst. Can't agree less with Oyoung re. the govt. sucks here. The level of corruption scares many more so than gay marriages. Hypocrisy knows no boundaries.

21. 2011-08-19 19:14  
Congratulations! Syukur, tahniah(In Malay)! May God bless both of you! The Queer Revolution shines...
22. 2011-08-20 10:27  
Congrats!
23. 2011-08-20 12:55  
"...it is heartbreaking to hear some politicians in my beloved country call my love unethical or immoral simply because of the gender identity of my lover."
_____________________

I find this statement really creepy. Partly because I hate the word "lover" -- that one should have just died with the 70s. But to say it's because of a "gender identity"? What the hell is that? Wouldn't it be sufficient to just say it's because of his gender? Are they not the same? Is his "lover" really a transsexual woman who gender-identifies as a man? One could certainly take it to mean that, as this "lover" is never once referred to as "he" or "she."

Just odd.
24. 2011-08-20 13:20  
Congratulations! The advent of true love, really looking forward to that day!
25. 2011-08-21 01:06  
what ever.
26. 2011-08-24 10:17  
Congratulations! The advent of true love, really looking forward to that happiness
27. 2011-08-24 13:07  
What a bold move. Who does he think he is. I'd mock him like no other if he gets in trouble.
28. 2011-09-03 03:58  
Congratulations to the bravery and go-getting spirit of this great-looking couple. ;-)
29. 2012-01-11 13:35  
it is the year 2012 and most of asia anti-gay is unbelievable!

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