The Welsh Assembly has said it was not aware that a Christian charity with links to a homophobic Singaporean pastor had hosted events on its premises.
The Evan Roberts Institute held numerous events in the Assembly in 2018 and 2019.
The Christian charity, formed in 2013 to safeguard sites of religious and spiritual significance in Wales, is led by Darren Millar and Russell George, two Conservative Assembly Members (AMs).
The charity has strong financial ties with openly homophobic Singaporean pastor Yang Tuck Yoong.
Ptr Yang has described homosexuality as a sin, and has been reported to the police for calling on his church to ‘take a stand’ against homosexuality.
Numerous LGBTI rights advocates have pressured the two AMs to cut all ties with the controversial pastor.
A spokesperson for the assembly said it was up to AMs to make sure that facilities were used for ‘appropriate reasons’.
The institute described one 2018 event as a ‘huge success’, according to BBC News.
Millar, who sponsored the events in his own name, has yet to comment on the matter.
‘Rise up and take a stand’
Ptr Yang of the Cornerstone Community Church has maintained outspoken views on homosexuality for years.
In 2013, the Pentecostal minister said: ‘Homosexuality is a sin and it is far more rampant, militant and organized than most of us actually believe it to be’.
The pastor was also reported to the police for calling on his church to ‘rise up and take a stand’ against homosexuality in the same sermon.
In 2016, Ptr Yang wrote a blog post rebutting an online video in which a woman said she was a 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.’
Last week it was revealed that Ptr Yang’s church has financial ties with The Evan Roberts Institute.
The Cornerstone Community Church paid for renovations on a chapel in Swansea which the institute had saved from demolition in 2014, and was granted a 50-year lease by the institute.
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.
Pressure to cut ties
Millar, George, and The Evan Roberts Institute have said that they do not support Ptr Yang’s views on homosexuality. The AMs saying they do not condone homophobia or discrimination ‘of any sort’.
However, various human rights groups have urged the AMs to cut ties with Ptr Yang and the Cornerstone Community Church.
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.’
Cai Wilshaw of UK-based LGBTI media site Pink News also 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.’