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Police report filed against pastor

A researcher said pastor Yang Tuck Yoong of Cornerstone church had asked members to prepare for "war" on gay issue. -ST
Tessa Wong

Sun, Jan 27, 2013
The Straits Times

SINGAPORE - A police report has been filed against the pastor of Cornerstone Community Church, Mr Yang Tuck Yoong, over comments he made about the gay community last week.

Researcher Scott Teng, 29, lodged the report on Thursday night over a post Mr Yang made last Saturday on his church's website, saying it was "an incitement of violence".

Originally titled Firing The First Salvo, Mr Yang asked church members to prepare for a "war" on the issue of homosexuality. He also urged the church to be "battle ready". Mr Yang later changed the title to Times and Seasons and removed references to the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community.

He clarified earlier this week that he had been using "spiritual terms" that some misconstrued.

Mr Teng said on Thursday that he was "appalled and worried that there might be followers who would take his words literally and get physically violent with the LGBT". He added that Mr Yang's post is "something that I see as an incitement of violence towards another community, and hence I filed the police report".

Mr Teng said he is gay but not part of any gay rights group.

Mr Yang declined to comment on Thursday night. The police report comes after Mr Yang and Mr Lawrence Khong, pastor of Faith Community Baptist Church, spoke up on homosexuality.

Mr Khong had read out a statement to Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong when the latter was touring Marine Parade two Sundays ago, and later wrote a Facebook note on the issue.

Their efforts were part of a collective response by leaders of an informal church network, LoveSingapore, to an upcoming constitutional challenge to Section 377A of the Penal Code.

LoveSingapore was planning to mobilise more than 40,000 Christians to speak up against a repeal. Others, such as the Humanist Society and actor Lim Yu Beng, called for a repeal.

The Attorney-General's Chambers on Tuesday warned that public statements on the topic run the risk of being sub judice, as the matter is before the courts.

Police on Thursday night confirmed that they had received Mr Teng's report and were looking into it.

twong@sph.com.sg


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