Shanmugam and pastors discuss gay issues

MINISTER for Law and Foreign Affairs K. Shanmugam met leaders of LoveSingapore, an informal network of 100 churches, to discuss views on gay issues.

In a Facebook post yesterday, Mr Shanmugam said Mr Lawrence Khong, who is pastor of Faith Community Baptist Church, had asked for a meeting, following Mr Shanmugam's meeting with lesbian group Sayoni some weeks ago.

Mr Shanmugam said he met Mr Khong, who chairs LoveSingapore, and his leaders last Friday and posted a link to what Mr Khong said about their meeting.

Mr Khong noted that their meeting had taken place on Total Defence Day and, "interestingly", they had met to "talk about defending the moral future of our nation".

Mr Khong, whose comments were also posted on LoveSingapore's Facebook page, said that it was their first meeting with Mr Shanmugam and he and his team "came away inspired".

He wrote: "The minister is a very good listener. His personable style sets the ambience for respectful dialogue."

Mr Khong also wrote that the pastors enjoyed their conversation with Mr Shanmugam on a "hot and emotional topic" and that they had "looked at it through different lenses and from many angles".

He said: "He (Mr Shanmugam) explained the multiple viewpoints on the topic, his engagement with many different groups, and how their viewpoints differed."

In response to the group's query, Mr Shanmugam stated that the position of the Government on Section 377A of the Penal Code, which bans gay sex, is as set out by the Prime Minister in Parliament in 2007, said Mr Khong.

The Government's position is that it will keep the law but not pro-actively enforce it.

Mr Khong and another pastor linked to the network, Mr Yang Tuck Yoong of Cornerstone Community Church, made the headlines last month when they spoke out about the gay community and Section 377A.

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

myp@sph.com.sg


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