In a statement released to the media on 30 April 2009, the Church of Our Saviour (COOS) said "No homosexual should ever be deprived of any right enjoyed by every other Singaporean." It is splendid news indeed that this church believes that since heterosexuals have a right to marry someone they love, so should homosexual Singaporeans. As far as Yawning Bread can recall, no other local church has so publicly supported full equality for gay people across all rights.
COOS has been linked to the controversy surrounding the takeover of the women's organisation AWARE by its members. The self-declared "feminist mentor" behind the new executive committee (exco), Thio Su Mien - the one who told the media that homosexuality is a man's issue - is also a member of the church.
In the statement published on www.asiaone.com, COOS denied that they were behind the takeover: "Church of Our Saviour did not initiate or instigate any campaign to take over the leadership of AWARE."
To press home the point, it also said that it hoped people would not hold the "wrong assumption that the exco is a pawn of the church or that it has intentions to turn it into a religious organization as that is totally untrue." It is interesting how the church is so certain that the new exco, who are not its pawns, do not have such intentions. If the new exco is independent of the church, how does the church control its intentions? I guess I don't understand the nature of divine insight.
COOS loves homosexual people. "Church of Our Saviour does not have an agenda against homosexuals. We are not antihomosexual ... We believe homosexuals should be extended understanding, kindness and love like every other human being."
It doesn't love gay activists, however, for it "does have a stand against the agenda of activists promoting homosexuality as a normal alternative lifestyle. Just as much as the Bible commands us to love the homosexual person, it also states categorically that homosexual practice is wrong."
It sounds like a rather complicated position, but we shouldn't nitpick. So long as the church supports full equal rights for gay people, we should give them some leeway. It would have been better though if COOS explained how happily married gay couples could consummate their marriages which the church so bravely supports as an equal right.