The pastor of a megachurch in Singapore has used a religious service as a platform to rally his audience, which included former Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong, to lobby the government to keep a law that criminalises gay sex.
In August 2012, the Singapore High Court moved to consider whether Section 377A of the Penal Code is unconstitutional. This section states that a man who “commits any act of gross indecency with another man” will be punished by law.
There will be two cases before the court on 25 January and 14 February, which will call for the law, in place since colonial times, to be declared unconstitutional.
Mr Goh was prime minister until 2004, and currently holds the title of Emeritus Senior Minister. He had been on a “walkabout” to get in touch with the people of his constituency when it was announced that he would attend the church of Pastor Lawrence Khong.
Mr Khong preached to the Faith Community Baptist Church and Mr Goh that “[Family] comprises a man as father, a woman as mother, and children” and that “a looming threat to this basic building block [was caused] by homosexual activists seeking to repeal Section 377A of the Penal Code.”
A statement on the church website said: “Reverend Khong used the opportunity to highlight to Mr Goh that homosexual activists have been increasingly stepping up to challenge this framework, especially in their efforts to repeal Section 377A of the Penal Code – a move detrimental to family and family ties.”
The Faith Community Baptist Church boasts a membership of 10,000 people, making it more than large enough to earn the “megachurch” classification. It is thought that several hundred people attended Mr Khong’s service.