"As a Catholic Christian I fully support the freedom of two consenting adults to marry one another regardless of their sex, sexual orientation or gender identity.
To make a vow to love another person with all they have and what they are is a beautiful thing from whatever angle you look at it. I believe that the Gospel calls out to people of goodwill and not just Christians to love and support all people without any prejudice.
I write in support and blessing for the marriage of Ouyang WenFeng and his partner Phineas.
Just as once upon a time when many men felt that women should be kept like properties at their whim, that women should not vote or participate in public life because they were deemed lesser than men; or when people were once stereotyped into various racial classes and those who were inferior in that class were treated as lesser humans; the challenge today is to extend that abhorrence we feel towards racism and sexism to that of the immorality of heterosexism and homophobia.
The calling from all our major faith tradition demands and challenges us to accord each human person the inherent dignity of being an equal member of the human family, what some of us within the Abrahamic traditions would call 'a child of God'.
A person is endowed with inalienable human rights, with that, the acknowledgement of the undeniable need of every person the basic right to share love and be loved.
With so much cruel and unkindly rage that has been directed towards Rev Ouyang and his partner from some quarters of our Malaysian community, the time is now for people of goodwill to rise up and challenge the sins and evils of heterosexism and homophobia; whether we do or do not yet understand the complexity of our human sexuality, we have lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex sisters and brothers as our family members, colleagues, friends, known or unknown to us.
As heterosexism and homophobia present its ugly face before us, it is a crucial opportunity for our community here to no longer be indifferent to the plight of these sisters and brothers of ours, often humiliated and abused by our silence.
Now is our opportunity to make the leap from hate to love, from ignorance to understanding, from silence and silencing to listening and celebrating their stories, our stories; it is a crucial and sacred pilgrimage we have to make for ourselves as Malaysians and as people of faith to say that the violence of heterosexism and homophobia must depart and no longer be part of our ways.
I am reminded by an Islamic scholar friend that marriage is differently experienced by different traditions, cultures, communities and individuals.
What used to be an exchange or handing over of property from a father to a prospective other privileged-male for their spreading of 'seeds', with an exchange of valuable currency we now symbolically name as 'dowry' is thank goodness no longer a real practice or belief.
There are historical notions that comes with marriage, if taken seriously would not have anyone come an inch close to it.
When we celebrate someone's marriage, we celebrate how they love each other above all other additional good or bad 'fruits' that marriage can bring.
Marriage equality for same sex couples are a natural progression in the face of our ongoing challenge against violent patriarchy and sinful heterosexism and homophobia that has cause so much grief to so many of our fellow human family.
As the Christian theologian Fr James Alison puts it wonderfully, homosexuality is a "non-pathological minority variant of the human condition", in my thinking, a community that is just and compassionate can be easily identified in the manner by which it cares for its vulnerable minorities, and our sacred faith traditions calls us to see the living Divine in the individual faces of these sisters and brothers of ours, often sadly mutilated- spiritually, psychologically, socially and sadly physically by our bigoted homophobic and heterosexist ways.
I recall the late Cardinal Basil Hume, Archbishop of Westminster who said in a pastoral letter that: "To love another is in fact to reach out to God who shares his lovableness with the one we love. To be loved is to receive a sign, or a share, of God's unconditional love. To love another is to have entered the area of the richest human experience, whether that love is between persons of the same sex or of a different sex."
With that let us think of those families, friends, colleagues, classmates who live in constant fear because of our society's bigotry through homophobia and heterosexism.
Think of that vulnerable young person who is constantly shamed and humiliated because he can't be anything but himself, just 'different' (aren't we all?); think of a closeted friend who is suffering because they are forced into the situation of an arbituary heterosexual marriage; think of a young person with deep psychological trauma contemplating self harm because of internalised and expressed homophobia and heterosexism directed towards them at home, in their community of worship, their place of learning, or their workplace.
All of these sisters and brothers of ours are forced to live a life of fear and shame because of our persistent ignorance, silent cruelty and disgraceful sense of entitlement.
One can only be so fortunate to witness a great sign of hope in our lifetime, and there are far and few between.
Within this context, as a fellow brother in this Malaysian part of the human family, I can only bless and give thanks for this great sign of hope and love, manifested in the form of the marriage of Ouyang WenFeng and Phineas, and that of Thomas and Apple in Batu Pahat.
I pray for the coming of a day when I will witness our lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex children, family, friends and colleagues proudly lift high their heads because we have finally come to realisation that their love is just as beautiful if not more; and that their courageous love and compassion that have overcome awful challenges and struggles most of us would never encounter let alone able to comprehend, will be finally be honoured and celebrated, love that is truly- sacred."