Singapore church publishes pro-377A guide

[UPDATED 10:31pm 18 February 2014. Adds in the seventh paragraph the clarification of pastor Lawrence Khong about the guide. His full statement can be read here.]

"I am young and single. I am writing because I shudder at the way society is going today."

"I have homosexual friends. I do not discriminate against them. I care about them. But I do not support their alternative lifestyles.

"I wish to register my point of view that gay and lesbian behaviour is unnatural. Same sex marriage is wrong. It must not become the norm in Singapore."

These excerpts are just some of the ways readers of a guide on how to support Section 377A of Singapore's Penal Code are taught to write to a minister or the government feedback unit REACH.

A leaked copy of the guide, which is believed to be written by senior pastor of Faith Community Baptist Church (FCBC) Lawrence Khong, has been circulating online.

The contact email addresses provided in the guide are to persons working in LoveSingapore, a movement chaired by Khong which involves several churches including FCBC.

Khong on Tuesday clarified that the guide is meant to promote support for the retention of Section 377A and it not against people who practise alternative sex.

Under Section 377A, any male person who, in public or private, commits, or abets the commission of, or procures or attempts to procure the commission by any male person of, any act of gross indecency with another male person, shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to two years.

In the guide titled “family.foundation.future SUPPORT 377A a simple guide to giving feedback” which is believed to be addressed to pastors and leaders under the LoveSingapore movement, Khong urged the church to take action against the repealing of Section 377A, noting that the homosexual issue has a “negative impact on the moral future of Singapore” if the church remains part of “the silent majority”.

“Repealing 377A will, in effect, decriminalise sodomy or legalise homosexual acts. This will lead to the legalisation of same-sex marriage down the road. We must unite to keep 377A intact as the moral norm, the law of the land,” said the pastor of the megachurch.

There have been various calls for Section 377A to be repealed in recent years.

In November 2012, a gay couple, who have been together for 15 years, filed a legal challenge in the High Court against Section 377A.

The issue of repealing or retaining Section 377A has also been brought up in Parliament in recent years.

In the guide, Khong also detailed ways to register the church’s “unwavering support” for Section 377A.

Among his suggested actions are posting a Facebook status update with the statement, “ I support 377A”, liking any pro-Section 377A Facebook comments and stating support for Section 377A with a comment like “377A: Don’t Repeal!” or “Keep 377A” on a 4 January 2013 post on Law Minister K Shanmugam’s Facebook page.

The pastor of the megachurch also urged the church to write in to Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean, cabinet members and feedback unit REACH about their support of Section 377A.

To aid them, Khong provided 12 samples of how to write to the cabinet members and REACH.

He also noted that the church should not follow the samples verbatim but express their concerns in their own words and writing style and be “civil and succinct”.
 
Here are a few of the samples, in addition to the excerpts given above:
 
“The voice of the LGBT is growing louder. If they succeed in repealing 377A, this will lead to a loss of religious freedom as seen in other countries. Out goes religious harmony, something so unique to Singapore. It’s crazy. We build with one hand and destroy with the other. Do the right thing, 377A must stay!”
 
“As parents and responsible citizens of Singapore, we are very disturbed by recent reports of sexual acts posted on the internet, teachers having sex with their students, sexual acts performed in public areas, etc. We worry about this growing trend of sexual liberalism. And now, some are seeking to repeal 377A. This will only result in greater sexual liberalism and the erosion of cherished family values. Please DO NOT allow 377A to be repealed!”

Khong also listed in his guide recent news stories related to homosexuality in Singapore as well as suggestions on how to end the letter.

Besides taking action via social media and sending letters, Khong also suggested that members can bring the issue up with their Member of Parliament during the “Meet the People” sessions.

While Khong stated in the guide that it is not meant for mass distribution as “not everyone will understand the rationale” behind what his team is doing and “not everyone will be sympathetic”, the leaked copy has been making its rounds on social media.
 
The FCBC senior pastor has always been vocal about his support for Section 377A.
 
In an interview with The Straits Times in September last year, Khong talked about how he’s against allowing the homosexual lifestyle to become normalised in society.

Yahoo Singapore has written to LoveSingapore for comments.

Related stories:
AGC urges public against commenting on Section 377A
Church pays $7,000 compensation for dismissed pregnant staff who had affair
Petitions put spotlight on Health Promotion Board’s FAQ on sexuality

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