Malaysia’s first openly gay pastor said he will go ahead with plans to open a church allowing homosexual, bisexual and transsexual members despite government vows to block the plan.
Ouyan Wen Feng, an ethnic-Chinese Malaysian, announced last week that he would open the church by 2001.
“We are going to set up a church just like any other one but the only difference is that we affirm and welcome those who openly declare themselves gays, lesbians or homosexuals,"”Ouyang told AFP on Thursday.
The nation’s tourism Minister Adnan Tengku Mansor said last week that most Malaysians would not support the establishment of such church since they would want their country be viewed as a "family-oriented" holiday spot.
The pastor attempted to soothe negative responses, Thursday, stating the church would “follow all the rules by applying all proper licenses.”
Ouyan has lived openly as a homosexual since 2006, provoking the ire of Malaysia’s ethnic-Chinese Christians, whom are predominantly conservative.
Ethnic-Chinese Malaysian pastors blasted Ouyan from the pulpit, in May, after he was ordained at a widely-publicized ceremony in New York.
“This man Ouyan thinks homosexuality is acceptable because he lost respect for biblical authority,” said Zhong Heiming, senior pastor of Basel Christian Church of Malaysia. “He is continually trying to gain media attention to promote his flagrantly pro-gay agenda.”
“So, we shouldn’t even dwell on what he says – otherwise, we fall into his trap!”
Homosexuality is still seen as sodomy under current Malaysian law, which enforces the rule with whipping and prison terms of up to 20 years.