Taiwan Church News
November 14 – 20, 2016
Pastors Of Tainan Presbytery And Tainan Christianity Association Take Actions To Oppose Legalization Of Marriage Equality Act
Reported by Chen Yi-fan
In the morning on November 14, dozens of pastors from Tainan, Kaohsiung, and Ping-tung assembled at Tainan’s Barclay Memorial Church to express their strongest opposition to the impending legislation of the so-called “marriage equality act” which had passed the first reading in the congress.
There will also be a national press conference, scheduled on the morning on November 17 at the Legislative Yuan, expressing these pastors’ protesting voices to Tsai administration on her tolerance of same sex marriage and the related legalization.
In the assembly at Barclay Memorial Church, some PCT pastors even heavily bombast the editorial – Love Without Condition – of the 3375th issue of Taiwan Church News and other articles in the opinion edition for an unabashed support for the third gender and a suspicious tolerance about same sex marriage.
Rev. Li Chong-wei, Moderator of Kaohsiung Presbytery, reiterated that the PCT’s pastoral letter on same sex marriage issued in 2014 is still valid. He truly hoped all faculties and clerics in PCT seminaries and general assembly office could comply with this pastoral letter on their talks about same sex marriage.
Though freedom to speech is critically important for our society, Rev. Wang Tze-hao, of San-I Church, stressed that yet the most important criteria for the church’s moral decision is still the Bible. Rev. Wang asked the audience to think the following questions: if there is any public hearing on the legalization of same sex marriage? Is there any consensus in Taiwan society? Is there any poll asking people’s opinions?
In addition, following the ruling of EU court, Rev. Wang proposed rights of same sex marriage should not be confirmed as one of human rights. The case same sex marriage, though, is won in US supreme court via a constitutional appeal, Taiwan should instead appeal to referendum and consider the ruling practice in Germany, suggested Rev Wang.
Rev Tsai Wei-en, pastor of Kang-san Church shared the formation of the PCT’s pastoral letter on same sex marriage and stressed this is the greatest common denominator of PCT facing the challenges of LGBT communities. Almost all members of PCT General Assembly Office and its committees, seminaries, and college student centers support the same sex marriage, while 90% of PCT local churches strongly oppose this idea, regretted Rev Tsai, “and consequently we face the same conundrum like the election of US, the church elites dominates the power of discourse [but the grass root churches are so furious!].”
Reminding the formal importance of the PCT’s pastoral letter on same sex marriage, Rev Tsai reiterated the spirit of PCT resides in treasuring an open discussion and paying respect to the officially announced document. Rev. Tsai also gave his complaints toward this paper, “It’s OK Taiwan Church News(TCN) always stands by the same sex marriage. But where could we find any articles against same sex marriage published in it? The values of this church paper are totally biased!”
Against Rev Tsai’s bitter allegation, Rev Fan Lang-ting, President of Taiwan Church Press, responded in a later interview, saying that there is absolutely no twisted ideologue behind TCN journalism in reporting the church issues. TCN, self-designated as an ideal communication platform, anticipates different opinions, rooted in our confessional faith, to come in and work together to find out the truth and solve the problem!”, replied Rev Fan.
Translated by Peter Wolfe
Dozens of pastors from Tainan, Kaohsiung, and Ping-tung assembled together to express their strongest opposition to the impending legislation of the so-called “Marriage Equality Act” at Tainan’s Barclay Memorial Church in the morning on 14 November 2016.
Photo by Chen Yi-fan