Two members of the Welsh Assembly have been urged to cut ties with a Singaporean pastor who has made numerous homophobic comments.
LGBTI rights supporters have condemned Conservative Assembly Members (AMs) Darren Millar and Russell George for their organization’s financial ties with Pastor Yang Tuck Yoong.
The Singaporean pastor has a history of making homophobic comments, including calling homosexuality an ‘abomination’ in a sermon.
Millar and George are trustees of The Evan Roberts Institute, which has financial links to Ptr Yang’s Cornerstone Community Church.
While the two politicians say they do not share his beliefs, human rights groups are pressuring the AMs to cut all ties with Ptr Yang and his organization.
‘A homosexual Christian is an oxymoron’
Ptr Yang’s church has financial ties with The Evan Roberts Institute, a charity formed in 2013 to safeguard sites of religious and spiritual significance in Wales, BBC News reports.
The Cornerstone Community Church paid for renovations on a chapel in Swansea which the institute had saved from demolition in 2014.
Ptr Yang also aided the group with the purchase of the Bible College of Wales.
Millar visited Asia in 2015 to meet with the leaders of Cornerstone Community Church, where he ‘thanked God’ for Ptr Yang’s support.
However, Ptr Yang has maintained outspoken views on homosexuality for years.
In 2013, Ptr Yang was reported to the police for saying ‘Homosexuality is a sin and it is far more rampant, militant and organized than most of us actually believe it to be’, and calling on the church to ‘rise up and take a stand’.
Three years later, the Pentecostal minister wrote a blog post rebutting an online video in which a woman said she was lesbian and a Christian.
‘She’s promoting the virtue of being a happy homosexual Christian,’ Ptr Yang wrote. ‘Let me put it in simple and unambiguous terms: A homosexual Christian is an oxymoron.
‘You cannot live a lifestyle that the Bible condemns and say you’re a believer in Jesus Christ at the same time,’ his blog entry added.
‘Not compatible with humanitarian values’
A number of human rights groups and LGBTI rights advocates have condemned the pastor’s comments and urged the assembly members to cut ties with Cornerstone Community Church.
Well-known human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell said Ptr Yang’s views were ‘not compatible with humanitarian values’.
‘The Evans Roberts Institute should not be associated with him or his church in any way,’ Tatchell added. ‘These AMs should either stand down from the institute or make sure it has broken all ties with the pastor.’
These condemnations were echoed by Cai Wilshaw of UK-based LGBTI media site Pink News.
‘The pastor’s views are not only homophobic but dangerously so when you think of the message it sends to, for example, a child in Wales who is being bullied for their sexual orientation or gender identity,’ Wilshaw said.
‘It’s completely unacceptable for these politicians to have social, financial and legal links with someone who has such dangerous extremist views […] If they’re not willing to educate themselves about LGBT rights then they should think about resigning.’
Millar and George and The Evan Roberts Institute have said that they do not support Ptr Yang’s views on homosexuality, with the AMs saying they do not condone homophobia or discrimination ‘of any sort’.