FCC Sunday Service (Aug 31 2008), Speaker: Clarence Singam

Saturday, August 30, 2008

31 Aug 2008 (Sun) - 10.30am
FCC Main Hall
56 Geylang Lor 23
Level 3, Century Technology Building
All are welcome!

Face(t)s of God Series

Worship Leader - WAILING LIONG
Guitars - NATHAN GOH
Prayer - MARK CHIA
Communion - CYRUS HO
Service Pastor - JORG DIETZEL

Click here for instructions on how to get to church
____________ _________ _________ _________ ____

Next Women's Nite 30th August 2008: When The Words Don't Come Easy‏

Friday, August 29, 2008

Your hands are sweaty, your mouth dry, and your heart is hammering in your chest. Yet you still can't seem to find the right words to say: I'm attracted to women.

"I'll wait for the right time," you tell yourself.
"I'll lose the friendship," you say.
"My parents will never accept it," you think, and hurt, inside.

But will the right time come? How do you know how your friends will react? And what if, just what if, your parents do accept it, over time?

Join us this Women's Nite for a heart-to-heart talk about what it takes to share that special part of yourself.


*Women's Nite August 2008
Saturday 30th August, 7pm *
Venue (in Singapore) will be disclosed upon registration.

Limited to 30 invites, so please register with your full name, contact number, the full name/s of your guests, if any, and the type of halal food or drink you would be contributing to the potluck.

Although Women's Nite is open to women of all orientations, please let us know if you are straight, or are bringing along straight guests, so that we can be sensitive to the needs of all women present.

Please send your details to women.snite@gmail.com [women dot snite at gmail
dot com]

Registration closes at midnight 29th August 2008

ST: Sleepy, oops Speakers' Corner (Aug 29)

Aug 29, 2008
Sleepy, oops, Speakers' Corner
It's now up to citizens to respond to the chance given by Government
By Chua Mui Hoong
SO SPEAKERS' Corner is set to become Demo Corner.

At least, if activists and citizens make use of the space.

The Government's move this month to allow outdoor demonstrations at
Speakers' Corner without the need to get a prior permit, has drawn
mixed reactions.

The 'half-full' camp hail the move as the latest in a series of small
steps of political liberalisation taken by the politically risk-averse
People's Action Party Government.

Other recent moves along this line include the 2000 decision to
designate Hong Lim Park as a venue where public speeches can be made
without a permit. Then there was the decision to allow indoor events
to proceed without a permit in 2004.

The 'half-empty' camp say the change is too little, too late, and is
in fact an insult to the spirit of the Constitution which guarantees
free speech.

Some in this camp say the latest move confines activists' zeal and
cramps their style by limiting protests to one venue.

People are of course entitled to their view of the issue. But it would
be a real pity if those in the 'half-empty' camp chose to disdain the
relaxation of rules, and never make use of the extra space - both
physical and political - given by the state.

In the end, whether Speakers' Corner remains a Sleepy Corner as it is
now - or whether it becomes a Sparkling Corner where sparks fly -
depends entirely on activists and citizens.

In the eight years since Hong Lim Park in the Chinatown area was
designated Speakers' Corner, little has changed in the area on the

The first year of its operation did see some public and media
interest. When it was launched in September 2000, 25 people registered
to speak. In the first year, one man, Mr Tan Kim Chuang, spoke 88 times.

The early years saw some testing of the rules and innovative use of
the space.

A group wanted to organise a run to mark International Human Rights
Day in December 2000 but this was turned down. In the end, local
activist group Think Centre and the Open Singapore Centre held a
protest to mark the day, chanting slogans and displaying banners
calling for an abolition of the Internal Security Act. This was deemed
an 'illegal assembly' and the organisers questioned, but let off with
a warning.

The venue was also used for a book launch and an advertising campaign
for a magazine, among other things.

Again applying the half-full or half-empty test, it is tempting to say
that Speakers' Corner has had little impact. Fiery speeches are few.
Most days, Hong Lim Park remains the haunt of the birds and elderly
folk who congregate there, especially on weekend evenings when the
outdoor stage of the Kreta Ayer Hong Lim Community Club in the park is
used for Chinese opera shows.

In fact, the impact of Speakers' Corner lies precisely in its

Eight years on, it has been established clearly that allowing free
speech, unpoliced, in one venue did not cause riots either in Hong Lim
Park or anywhere else in Singapore.

In the give-and-take tussle between the state and citizens, activists
learnt to use the space without disruption while the state -
especially the folk at the neighbourhood police post in the park -
learnt that relaxing free speech rules does not invite chaos if
citizens are responsible.

The most interesting and little-remarked aspect about the change, is
the decision to put the administration of the corner under the purview
of the National Parks Board (NParks), not the Singapore Police Force.

Hong Lim Park after all is one of the chains of parks under NParks and
came under the police only because of law and order concerns over
Speakers' Corner.

Moving it back to NParks' charge hints at the comfort level of the
police with citizens' ability to organise themselves peacefully. It is
a calculated risk for law enforcers - one they are prepared to take
only because of the eight years of calm at Speakers' Corner.

With the decision to allow protests at Speakers' Corner, the state has
thrown down the gauntlet to citizens, especially activists clamouring
for the right to hold demonstrations and protests.

We can debate whether the move was a rearguard or vanguard measure -
whether it is too little, too late, or whether it is in fact an astute
move to satisfy the vocal minority, ahead of the comfort level of the
silent majority of citizens.

What is more critical is how the space is used, and whether citizens
test the ground there.

For a start, will activists make use of the space for protests? Some
including Think Centre's Sinapan Samydorai have said they will.

Second, will citizens turn out in force to support these demonstrations?

Third, how will they conduct themselves? And fourth, how will
enforcement agencies respond to mass demonstration turnouts which may
be peaceful but provocative?

Unless these are tested on the ground, via actual demonstrations, the
rules will never be spelt out.

I am confident demonstrations will be organised and that Singaporeans
will support these, at least in the initial months. The momentum can
be sustained if activists seize the imagination of the public.

As for the state, the rhetoric so far from NParks suggests the
Government is more concerned about the state of the shrubbery than
with law and order concerns.

This remains to be seen.

Will police stand idly by if large crowds turn out to demonstrate
against rising costs or the Electronic Road Pricing hikes? What if a
fledgling Gay Pride March comes up against a rival protest organised
by Christians who are against homosexual activity?

Only with experimentation can activist groups and the state come to an
understanding of just where the limits of peaceable protest are in

Whether peaceful protests will take place in Orchard Road one day,
depends entirely on how citizens and enforcement officers square off
in Speakers' Corner in the years ahead.

Action for AIDS (Singapore) looking for Programme Manager

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Action for AIDS (Singapore)

Formed in 1988, Action for AIDS (AfA) is a voluntary community based organization and a registered charity. We are also a registered IPC under the Ministry of Health. Our objectives are to provide support and assistance to persons living with HIV and AIDS (PWAs); to increase awareness, education and understanding of AIDS and HIV infection; to combat discrimination and stigmatisation of (PWAs) and their loved ones; and to encourage AIDS-related research activities in Singapo

Designation: Programme Manager


- Minimum A level or Diploma

- Keen interests in MSM (men who have sex with men) issues and HIV/AIDS

- Open-mindedness, Integrity & respect for diversity is necessary for this role

- Articulate and confident

- Proactive, possess a strong sense of responsibility & great efficiency

- Can do attitude, resilient, hardworking and fully hands-on

- Excellent command of English and good working knowledge of a local second language will be an asset

- Good in Microsoft Office especially Excel and PowerPoin

Job Description:

Reporting to the President, the person is expected to:

- Manage the MSM Programme

- Operationalised planned outreach activities

- In-charge of collating data from various research initiatives

- Any other administrative and logistical duties as and when required to fulfill the objectives of the organization

What to do next:

If you think the role suits you, you are invited to write in to us with a cover letter, stating your motivation for applying along with your CV. Please also indicate your salary expectation including your last drawn salary. Send your application to: daniel.tung@ afa.org.sg.

The Phnom Penh Post: Opening up to gay tourists (Aug 28 2008)

Opening up to gay tourists
Written by Dean Williams

Bars and boutique hotels are tapping into a growing, multimillion-dollar niche market by putting out the welcome mat for gay and lesbian travellers

Linga Bar owner Martin Dishman says he’s proud to have opened Cambodia’s first gay bar.
SIEM Reap is successfully tapping into the substantial revenue generated by the gay travel market, as an increasing number of travel agents, hotels, and tour and promotions companies target what's known as the "pink dollar".

According to a 2006 US Travel Industry Association survey, nearly half of gay and lesbian tourists seek a destination that is "gay-friendly", and Siem Reap has seen a surge in businesses marketing themselves as gay-friendly.

Dirk De Graaff and his partner Tum Hantitipart have been managing the gay-friendly Golden Banana Guest House and Boutique Hotel for two years. De Graaff said it's difficult to assess the increase in gay guests, but he estimates it to be about 40 percent.

"The gay-friendly label means that when tourists arrive they know that we will not look at them strangely if two guys book in, or two girls book a room and want to sleep together. In many other hotels, if two guys come in, they are offered two beds because they are presumed to be friends instead of partners," he said.

Discretionary income
Gay tourism has become a substantial global market. A Tourism Intelligence International report in 2000 said 10 percent of international tourists were gay or lesbians, accounting for more than 70 million arrivals worldwide.

This segment has few family responsibilities and often has large pools of discretionary cash for travelling. American gay and lesbian tourists are estimated to generate US$55 billion a year, about 10 percent of the total US travel industry.

Popular gay internet Asian accommodation guides list at least ten gay-friendly Siem businesses, and De Graff said many Siem Reap hotels are now jumping on the gay-friendly marketing bandwagon.

"We are gay-owned, some staff are gay, the management is gay, and I think that makes a difference. But, if a five-star hotel wants to market themselves as gay-friendly, then that's good because it signals that there is nothing weird about being gay."

We won’t look at them strangely if two girls book in and want to sleep together.

Nick Downing, general manager of Hotel de la Paix, said the hotel is gay-friendly. "We see it as a small but important market for us, and it's growing, especially in the context of Siem Reap."

He has also noticed an increase in gay travel operators.

"We have had two tour operators come through in the last month specialising in gay tourism, from Singapore in particular, but there are also more independent gay travellers staying with us now."

Downing attributes this to cultural attitudes in Siem Reap and Cambodia in general. "The people are very accepting, I don't feel a sense of prejudice here," he said.

At Siem Reap's popular Linga Bar, owner Martin Dishman said he's proud that when he opened the bar four years ago, it was Cambodia's first gay bar.

Dishman has since opened the boutique The One Hotel, Hotel Be and a spa for men. He said he can't quantify the increase in gay tourism in actual numbers, but revenues at the Linga Bar have increased annually.

"In the first year, 60 percent of our business was straight and 40 percent gay. The business has increased but now we have more gay customers than straight, and that leads me to believe there are more gay visitors coming to Siem Reap," Dishman said.

He added that opening the Linga Bar and The One Hotel was a business decision based on his being gay and targeting a market, and that a lot of his success is due to location and timing.

"There were no gay bars in Siem Reap, and I was only the fourth business on this street," Dishman said.

He said he also wanted to be a role model in the community. "That is why the place is very open, accessible to everyone. We are not here to hide anything in dark rooms."

Like De Graff from Golden Banana, Dishman also sees the increase in marketing toward gay clientele.

All things to all people
"What I think gets overdone is where huge chain hotels adapt their marketing strategies, when you see an advertisement for a Hyatt with a male couple embracing in the pool. It puts me off," Dishman said. "To me it's wrong; they're trying to be all things to all people."

De Graff also sees a difference in the gay market attracted to Siem Reap. The party crowd might come to Siem Reap for a few days, but they behave differently because they want to see the temples, "I think the interesting thing about Siem Reap is that it's a cultural destination, which draws a different crowd of more culturally-minded people. There are less of the people that want to dance all night and sleep all day," De Graff said.

"The guests in this hotel generally want to get up early to see the temples and in the evening they want a nice drink or a nice dinner and that's about it."

Dishman agreed. "People are coming here to see temples. Siem Reap's gay bars are usually closed by midnight, and it's not typically a party place."

Siem Reap may never boast an annual gay pride celebration, as in many other tourist-oriented cities, but gay business is here to stay.


ST: No gay Anglican bishops, if new plan gets backing (Jul 28)

July 28, 2008
No gay Anglican bishops, if new plan gets backing
LONDON - HOMOSEXUAL clergy will be barred from becoming bishops in the
Anglican communion under controversial new plans backed by the
Archbishop of Canterbury.

Liberals will be warned that they face expulsion from the heart of
Anglicanism unless they respect the ban, London's The Sunday Telegraph
reported yesterday.

An American church caused deep divisions between conservatives and
liberals when it consecrated Mr Gene Robinson as the first openly gay
Anglican bishop in 2003. There have been reports that it is prepared
to consecrate more homosexual bishops.

The Archbishop of Wales, Dr Barry Morgan, told the Telegraph that he
would be willing to do the same.

The proposal to ban future consecrations is the most significant move
yet over the issue.

A paper on the issue, commissioned by Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan
Williams, will be debated by 650 bishops today at the ongoing Lambeth
conference, the once-a-decade gathering of the Anglican Communion.

The debate is set to start the first real clash of the conference,
with liberal bishops expected to fight any attempt to curb their
autonomy, said the report.

However, Dr Williams is determined to impose tighter governance of the
77-million-member Anglican Communion to try and hold it together.

The paper, titled How Do We Get From Here To There?, says it is vital
that an Anglican Covenant be agreed so that churches around the world
will be mutually accountable and united by a common set of beliefs.

This must happen as soon as possible, it says, to prevent further
haemorrhaging of the Anglican Communion over the issue of homosexual
clergy. And until a consensus is reached, American and Canadian
churches must refrain from consecrating more homosexual bishops and
carrying out blessing services for same-sex couples, it says.

If the conference agrees to the recommendations, it will give Dr
Williams a mandate to exclude rebel churches.

Liberals in the Church of England who have stood by the American
church will be dismayed by this return to a conservative position.

Dr John Saxbee, the Bishop of Lincoln, said that while he supported
dialogue, he was opposed to the idea of a covenant. 'We need to be a
broad Church offering hospitality to everyone,' he told the Telegraph.

AWARE Beauty Redefined Photo Competition

*AWARE Beauty Redefined Photo Competition*

an initiative for budding photographers that encourages them to challenge
and redefine interpretations of beauty.

Young women and men are requested to *submit photos* of a person/people that
they consider beautiful. Creative, new interpretations of beauty are
encouraged. Each entry should include a 100-word statement on why the
photographer considers the subject beautiful.

Top photographs will be featured in the AWARE Beauty Redefined
Travelling *Photo
Exhibition* at the public libraries, in a *Zo Cards* campaign, and in the
AWARE *2009 calendar*! *Prizes* will also be awarded to the top three
entries. Top photos will be selected based on the artistic and technical
expertise of the photograph, as well as the impact of the 100-word
statement. Entries should be submitted to redefined@aware.org.sg.

This is a great opportunity for budding photographers to gain *national
recognition* and *win prizes*.

This project was developed in response to growing concerns among young women
and men over body image. Recent reports have found that over 1 in 2
Singaporean teens feel they are too fat; over 8 in 10 want to change the way
they look; and 1 in 5 would consider plastic surgery. (Singapore Medical
Journal) As this is an issue that affects our young people, AWARE believes
we should all work towards improving the self-esteem of ourselves and those
in our society.

We kindly ask for your assistance to *help publicize our photo competition*.
We hope you may endorse the program by

1) printing and displaying our poster;

2) encouraging your members to participate;

3) emailing competition info to your members.

Feel free to contact me with questions at 6779-7137. We thank you for your
support in challenging the limited definition of beauty and improving the
self esteems of young women and men.

With Gratitude,


Tenley D Peterson
Manager of Public Education & Public Relations

*Block 5 Dover Crescent #01-22
Singapore 130005

Tel: 6779 7137 | Fax: 6777 0318 | URL: www.aware.org.sg
Helpline: 1 800 774 5935 (3pm-9:30pm; M-F, except public holidays)

AWARE is Singapore's leading advocacy group dedicated to promoting gender
equality and understanding. Since its inception in 1985, AWARE has brought
women's perspectives to national issues and has focused on Research &
Advocacy, Public Education, and Direct Services. Our mission is to identify
areas for improvement in gender equality, encourage positive change, and
support women in realising their highest potential. We believe that gains
made by women are not gains made at the expense of men. Rather, they are
gains which benefit families and society as a whole. AWARE is a
not-for-profit non-government organisation and is funded solely by
donations, grants, and member subscriptions.

TodayOnline: A more open field (Aug 26 2008)

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

A more open field

S’poreans can now stage demos using loud hailers, placards, and hold overnight candlelight vigils

Tuesday • August 26, 2008

derrick A paulo
deputy news editor

BURN an effigy of a Singapore political leader? Organise a gay pride event outdoors? From next week, protests like these will have a place in Singapore.

These were some of the scenarios put to the Police, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) and the National Parks Board (NParks) yesterday when they announced the details on liberalising the use of Speakers’ Corner in Hong Lim Park to allow public protests. None of the agencies objected.

“We want to be as open as possible,” said MHA senior director (policy and operations) Tai Wei Shyong at the press conference yesterday.

He did concede that because of the many possible scenarios that could arise, the liberalisation of Speakers’ Corner will be a “work in evolution”.

Come Sept 1, Singaporeans can organise and participate in any demonstration at Speakers’ Corner — except those that involve race and religion — without having to obtain a police permit.

Permanent residents (PRs) can also participate in these demonstrations, in recognition of the stake they have in Singapore. But they have to apply for a permit if they wish to give a speech or organise a protest themselves.

Foreigners will have to apply for a permit to conduct or participate in any activity — to make the distinction that the political rights of citizens are different from those of non-citizens. Which raises this possible scenario: What happens if a foreigner joins the protest without the organiser’s knowledge?

“The rules will be interpreted reasonably ... If there’s no way to stop him, we’ll look at that,” said Mr Tai. The rules will be administered by the NParks. Its chief operating officer, Dr Leong Chee Chiew, said he was not anticipating “worst-case scenarios”.

Since Speakers’ Corner was set up on Sept 1, 2000, there has not been any breach of the rules, according to Singapore Police Force director (operations) Wong Hong Kuan. During this time, there was a total of 2,144 registrations involving 508 speakers.

With the liberalisation, the 7am-to-7pm restriction will be abolished, thereby allowing all-night vigils. Any form of banners, placards, posters and other visual aids can be used for speeches or demonstrations, as long as they do not contain violent or obscene messages or any that pertain to race or religion.

And on top of making a scene, NParks will allow the use of loud hailers and other amplification equipment between 9am and 10.30pm in Hong Lim Park, which can hold 3,000 to 4,000 people.

A point to note: A group of protesters may have to share the park with other protesters. NParks’ new online registration allows you to head down to Hong Lim Park immediately after you register — there is no booking system.

“We work very much on the basis of trust. We are not going to do screening and make sure you speak on what you said you will speak on. But if you give information, you must know you’re accountable for it,” said Dr Leong.

The mandatory registration information includes your personal details, the date and nature of the event and the topic.

Would the police have any knowledge of the registrations with NParks? They would not rule it out yesterday.

“What if someone puts on the website that he’s going to do bad things?” Mr Wong offered as a scenario.

But he wanted to “dispel the perception that there’s a preponderance of police presence” at Speakers’ Corner, which is located next to Kreta Ayer Police Station.

He said that police presence would be kept “minimal”. But the police will intervene to enforce law and order or if there are complaints from the public.

“There are no limits (to the protests) subject to public safety ... for example, the crowd is so big that it obstructs the public,” said Mr Wong.

An agitated crowd is fine – demonstrations are designed as such, noted Mr Wong – but he suggested that organisers choose “some calming words” or call the protests off if they cannot control the crowd.

Lawyer and activist Chia Ti Lik believes this step to open up is “an attempt to return control over something (the government) won’t be able to control”.

“Their stand against demonstrations won’t hold up in real democracies,” he said.

So, will there be any takers for public protests come September?

Gay rights activist Alex Au does not plan to “dignify tokenism”, but the Animal Concerns Research and Education Society is in discussions to organise a demonstration, its executive director Louis Ng told Channel NewsAsia.

NParks is ready to take on this new role.

“Our primary motivation is to keep Speakers’ Corner for use in as well-maintained conditions as possible ... If there’s a need to make good on anything, we can follow up,” said Dr Leong.

“So, don’t damage our shrubs.”

Which means effigies can be burnt – but with care. - Additional reporting by Esther Ng

Pelangi Pride Centre Re-Opens at DYMK on 6th September 2008 (4-8pm)

Monday, August 25, 2008

Hi all

YES! We are BACK! :) Please pencil this in your diaries, PDAs, blackberry, whatever.. :P that PPC@DYMK will be open on the first Saturday of September - 6th September from 4-8pm.

For those who have borrowed books when we were at Rowell Road, Mox and so on, it's a chance to see the library in the new space and to chill out in the rather nice and lil cosy cafe. (Got [nice] coffee/tea and non-alcoholic drinks too!!!)

Our friends at DYMK have also worked out a special beverage/cake deal for PPC users so that everything is a lil cheaper during Saturdays, 4-8pm.

$2 for Soft Drinks (Normally $5)
$3 for Juice (Normally $6)
$5 a cup of Coffee (cos expensive beans) (Normally $8)
$5 a pot of Tea (cos expensive bag) (Normally $8)

Tea time special - Any cake with coffee/tea $8

We will also be open for the rest of the Saturdays in September so if you don't get a chance to say hello on 6th September, there are other opportunities!

See you soon!
The PPC Team (Eileena, Nam Khim & Charm)

DYMK is located at 9 Kreta Ayer Road - http://www.pelangipridecentre.org/contact/contact.htm

FCC Sunday Service (Aug 24 2008), Speaker: Fong Chee Meng

Sunday, August 24, 2008

24 Aug 2008 (Sun) - 10.30am
FCC Main Hall
56 Geylang Lor 23
Level 3, Century Technology Building
All are welcome!

The Heart of God

Worship Leader - VICTOR LEE
Prayer - JAIME LOW
Service Pastor - JOSHUA TAN

San Francisco Chronicle: Beijing's homosexuals live in the shadows (Aug 22 2008)

Friday, August 22, 2008

Beijing's homosexuals live in the shadows
Peter Fimrite, Chronicle Staff Writer
Friday, August 22, 2008

(08-22) 04:00 PDT Beijing -- The Beijing Olympics have not changed anything for Benjamin Han. He is still gay, still single and still compelled to hide his orientation from public view.

The 28-year-old employee of a large international public relations firm is one of an estimated 5 million to 10 million gay men in China who live, for the most part, in the shadows.

Homosexuality has only been legal for 11 years in China. Although the Chinese Psychiatric Association took it off the list of psychiatric disorders in 2001, same-sex unions are still considered immoral by the authorities.

The modernization of Beijing in preparation for the Olympics actually made things worse for gays. Several gay clubs were bulldozed during the frenzy of street-widening and high-rise building during the run-up to the games.

"It's probably more restricted in Beijing than in other cities in the country," said Han, sitting in a fashionable bar near his home in east Beijing. "In general, it is still very much a taboo topic. You don't talk about it at work, you don't talk about it with your family. You only talk about it when the other person knows something about it already and you really trust them."

The government-controlled media in China sometimes hints about the subject, but it is never openly discussed. Han said he knows several Chinese journalists through his work who have told him there have been written notices from the propaganda department telling them not to bring up the subject.

Han was born in suburban Guangzhou. He was an only child, which is standard in China, and both of his parents worked, so a nanny took him to school. He said his mother and father were not like most other Chinese parents, who make most decisions for their children.

"I was growing up on my own most of the time," he said. "It is not that they didn't care. It is that they just couldn't understand what I was up to."

He came to Beijing in 2000 to study English and American literature and culture at the Beijing Institute of Technology. He continued his studies for one year in the United Kingdom, which opened his eyes to a wider world.

"There is a degree of choice and freedom that does not exist here," Han said. "It was more or less a surprise."

But Han, who goes by a Chinese name with his family and friends in China, never told his parents that he is gay and does not plan to do so. Only a few of his friends know the truth.

His mother has been pressuring him to get married and have children, and he keeps putting her off.

"I actually tried to have a girlfriend to please my parents," he said of a two-year relationship he had with a childhood friend that ended three years ago. "It was difficult in the sense that I didn't want it to get too far."

Han tells his mother now that he doesn't want to get married because he wants to concentrate on his career.

Despite these pressures, he sees himself as lucky that his work allows him to travel, meet people and stay informed, whereas most gay men and lesbians in China live lonely, secretive lives, in which finding partners can be an ordeal.

The only gay club left in Beijing is a place called Destination, a gray concrete block near several glamorous heterosexual night spots near the west gate of Workers' Stadium in eastern Beijing's Chaoyang area. On weekend nights, it is packed with trendy young Chinese residents, corporate mavericks, Olympic tourists and expatriates. Han said many call it "Desperation."

Lesbians are not much better off. There is just one club, West Wing, that caters to them.

There is a group called Pro Men, which hooks up professionals who are gay, Han said, and gay-themed Web sites featuring local chat rooms. There is even a chat room for gay Buddhists. But, for the most part, the gay scene in Beijing is restricted to clandestine Internet affairs. No one is openly hostile, according to Han, but the community is ignored, passed off as a Western problem.

"I would like to see a more liberal media environment where people could comment on the subject and have a discussion," Han said. "You see that in places like Hong Kong and Thailand. Singapore is also closed, but they have at least opened up discussion."

There were promising signs a few years ago when several new gay clubs opened and some of the trendy night spots began holding gay- and lesbian-friendly nights. In 2005, there was an International Gay and Lesbian film festival in Beijing. But tourists can no longer expect to learn about the gay life of emperors on a tour of the Forbidden City.

"Things could change in China in the next 10 years, but I'm not looking forward to the wait," Han said. "This is a Confucian society, and these values are not going to go away."

E-mail Peter Fimrite at pfimrite@sfchronicle.com.


This article appeared on page A - 12 of the San Francisco Chronicle

Summary Analysis of Lambeth Conference 2008

Thursday, August 21, 2008

LAMBETH CONFERENCE: Summary Analysis of Lambeth Conference 2008

Date 2008/8/21 14:20:00 | Topic: Theology, Research ...

LAMBETH CONFERENCE: Summary Analysis of Lambeth Conference 2008

From the American Anglican Council
August 21, 2008

Executive Summary

1) Before it began, the 2008 Lambeth Conference was designed to not have any resolutions or votes. The conference was centered on dialogue. While bishops discussed important matters, no formal conclusions, resolutions, or positions were produced by the conference. Instead, organizers developed reflection and observation documents that merely illustrated what the bishops discussed.

2) Archbishop Rowan Williams gave three main addresses at the conference. In them, he advocated for a communion covenant and urged the bishops to seek what he called true Christian unity. The Archbishop also set out an agenda that, among other items, included: a) Calling a Primates meeting in early 2009. b) Seeking detail on a proposed .pastoral forum.. This forum is similar to those called for by the Dar Es Salaam Communiqué and Windsor Report. c) Building .bridges. with the GAFCON primates. d) Continuing the development of the Covenant which is expected to be finalized and sent to the provinces after the ACC meeting in May, 2009.

3) Other than the bishops, there were three main groups contributing to the Lambeth Conference.

a) Windsor Continuation Group - Appointed by the Archbishop of Canterbury, this group brought few original ideas to the conference. The WCG reaffirmed all three moratoria recommended by the Windsor Report and clarified that the moratorium on same-sex blessings included all celebrations and not just the creation of official liturgies. Their .observations. document did call for a .faith and order commission. that, if implemented, would be a fifth instrument of communion.

b) Listening Group - Made up of 16 bishops from the conference, this group created a .narrative. that described the discussions and thoughts of the bishops at Lambeth. The .reflections document. was not put before the conference for a vote of approval.

c) Covenant Design Group - This group met during two days of the conference and held hearings at which bishops gave input and commentary on the Covenant design process and current draft. The group did not make a revision to the current .St. Andrew's. draft but is expected to meet in September of 2009.

4) The Episcopal Church was highly invested in shaping the conference's outcome and media coverage. TEC urged its bishops to publically minimize the conflict and disunity in the Communion and instead focus on the church working together in mission as the key means of unity. Additionally, in their indaba groups some TEC bishops misrepresented the facts surrounding litigation in the U.S., falsely claiming TEC was the defendant in the many lawsuits that have been filed against former TEC churches. 5) In remarks after the conclusion of Lambeth, Episcopal Church and Anglican Church of Canada leadership and LGBT advocates are claiming they will not stop their advance toward .full inclusion..  


1) Attendance

a) "...the total number of Anglican bishops who pre-registered was only 617, and not all of them were present. ...Conference organizers included all of the ecumenical bishops in attendance to arrive at the total of 670 present when registration closed on July 21.... (Source: The Living Church, August 3, 2008)

2) Agenda a) ....Instead of the classic communiqué or resolutions style of communication this year's conference will produce a reflections document... Among the desired outcomes anticipated by this diverse group from across the Communion was not so much debates, position papers, votes and resolutions but participation on an equal footing, listening as well as speaking and the emergence of wisdom and a common mind. The answer to the question how do we achieve that end was indaba. .... (Source: Kenneth Kearon in an email to Lambeth attendees. STAND FIRM)

b) ....And our hope is that we shall end up with a Reflection' from the Conference that is not a set of resolutions and decisions, but which does genuinely change the situation and take us forward. It's a difficult balance to achieve. All of us are involved in making it work..... (Source: Archbishop Williams' first Presidential Address)

c) The Episcopal Church was highly invested in shaping the conference's outcome and media coverage. Ruth Gledhill of the London Times discovered TEC hired a public relations firm that developed .talking points. for its Bishops to aid their efforts. The goal of the .talking points. was to craft a message of unity and downplay the division in the Anglican Communion. (Source: Ruth Gledhill, London Times and the Anglican Communion Institute's analysis)

d) LGBT activists also sought to influence Lambeth. In spite of TEC's pleas to include him, Bishop Gene Robinson was not invited to Lambeth, but he maintained a visible presence in the Marketplace and at various fringe events. A large contingent of well- funded gay activists was present, according to a report by Anglicans United.

3) Three Main Committees a) Windsor Continuation Group - formed by the Archbishop of Canterbury in February, 2008, the Windsor Continuation Group (WCG) was asked to .address outstanding questions arising from the Windsor Report and the various formal responses from provinces and instruments of the Anglican Communion..

i) The members of the group are: The Most Revd Clive Handford, former Primate of Jerusalem and the Middle East (chair) The Most Revd John Chew, Primate of South East Asia The Right Revd Gary Lillibridge, Bishop of West Texas The Right Revd Victoria Matthews, former Bishop of Edmonton The Very Revd John Moses, former dean of St Paul's, London

The Most Revd Donald Mtetemela, Former Primate of Tanzania Consultants: Dame Mary Tanner, Co-president of the World Council of Churches Canon Andrew Norman of the Archbishop of Canterbury's Staff Canon Gregory Cameron of the Anglican Communion Office (Source: Anglican Communion News Service)

ii) Contributions/Observations - The WCG presented its .observations. to the conference in three sections with the following disclaimer: .This document is NOT a report by the Windsor Continuation Group. It constitutes their preliminary observations on the life of the Communion and of the current state of responses to the recommendations of the Windsor Report, and offering some suggestions about the way forward. These observations are offered to the Lambeth Conference for conversation and testing. Are they an accurate description of the current state of our life together?. (Source: Windsor Continuation Group)

(1) Titled. Where we are: the severity of the situation," the first section of the observations candidly described the status of the Anglican Communion. Some of the descriptions are as follows:

(a) There are competing value systems at work and a lack of clarity about a shared value framework.

(b) There is inconsistency between what has been agreed, and what has been done.

(c) Suspicions have been raised about the purpose, timing and outcomes of the Global Anglicanism Future Conference; there is some perplexity about the establishment of the GAFCON Primates' Council and of FOCA which, with withdrawal from participation at the Lambeth Conference, has further damaged trust.

(d) The symptoms of this breakdown of trust are common to all parties in the current situation - felt and expressed by conservative and liberal alike

(e) Parties within the Episcopal Church have sought allies within the wider Communion, who are seen as only too willing to respond.

(f) All this amounts to a diminishing sense of Communion and impoverishing our witness to Christ, placing huge strains on the functioning of the Instruments of Communion.

(2) Titled. Where would we like to be: Towards a Way Forward," the second set of .observations. advocated the timely creation of a covenant, critiqued the instruments of communion, and suggested the furthering of four processes that would lead toward reflection and thus common understanding in the communion. Those four processes are: (a) The Listening Process
(b) The Hermeneutics Project - The Bible in the Church
(c) The Principles of Canon Law Project
(d) A Faith & Order Commission These last two processes are linked. During the conference, the Principles of Canon Law Project was presented to the conference in the form of a book. The book was written by the Anglican Communion Network of Legal Advisors. Canon Lawyer John Reece said the project aims to describe general principals found in various Anglican Communion provinces.

Using the work done by the Network of Legal Advisors, the WCG recommended a .Faith & Order Commission. that would .give guidance on the ecclesiological issues raised by our current crisis'. . Some claim the .Faith & Order Commission would become a fifth instrument of communion. When asked to comment on the proposed .Faith & Order Commission,. Archbishop Williams had this to say: .'...there is a very strong feeling that we need another level of structure to have a clearing house for some of these issues.' He added: 'I don't want to say anything about the detail because it's a flag raised to see who salutes it.' He said the proposal was being discussed by bishops in their indaba groups today. We'll see how it flies.'. (Source: Anglican Journal, July 25, 2008)

(3) Titled .How do we get from here to there," the third set of .observations. brought two issues that .need addressing.. Those issues are:
(a) Moratoria - .the celebration of blessings for same-sex unions,
(b) consecrations of those living in openly gay relationships, and
(c) all cross border interventions and inter-provincial claims of jurisdiction.. NOTE: the WCG attempted to clarify what .moratorium. meant by saying, .Our understanding is that moratorium refers to both future actions and is also retrospective: that is that it requires the cessation of activity. This necessarily applies to practices that may have already been authorised as well as proposed for authorisation in the future.. However, spokesperson Archbishop Clive Handford said at a press conference that the WCG was not recommending that Gene Robinson resign.
(b) Pastoral Forum - .the swift formation of a 'Pastoral Forum' at Communion level to engage theologically and practically with situations of controversy as they arise or divisive actions that may be taken around the Communion.. NOTE: while it did say that the Archbishop of Canterbury would preside over the forum, the WCG did not provide any further detail on how the forum should operate.

b) Listening Group - made of up one representative from each of the 16 indaba groups, assisted by Canon Gregory Cameron of the Anglican Communion Office, and chaired by Archbishop Roger Herft of Perth, Australia the Listening Group was charged to generate the conference's .Reflections Document.. (Source: Anglican Communion News Service) NOTE: While the 16 representatives of the Listening Group were elected by their peers, the group's final document/reflection was not set before the conference for a vote of approval or disapproval. One description of what the final document would represent called it .an account of what has transpired at this gathering of Anglican bishops.. Also, the first page of the final reflections documents reads, .This document is not the primary outcome of this Conference...The status of the document is that of a narrative. It seeks to describe our lived experience and the open and honest discussions we have had together on the daily themes of the conference..
i) The members of the Listening Group were: Roger Herft, Australia Andrew Proud, Jerusalem & the Middle East Alan Abernethy, Ireland Howard Gregory, West Indies Sue Moxley, Canada KG Daniel,South India Peter Lee, Southern Africa James Ochiel,Kenya Jo Seoka, Southern Africa Ezekiel Kondo,Sudan Neil Alexander, United States Roger Chung Po Chuen,Indian Ocean Gerry Wolf, United States David Njovu, Central Africa Bill Godfrey, Southern Cone Michael Perham, England Thomas Soo, Hong Kong Gregory K Cameron, ACO (Staffing) ii) The following are some excerpts from the 44-page Lambeth Indaba reflections document. NOTE: The document was replete with ambiguous and/or contradictory statements. (Source: Anglican Communion News Service)

31. We affirm that the Church is called to be faithful in the exercise of its mission in the context within which it is located with due regard to culture... The Bible must be taken as authoritative guiding principle in our proclamation of the gospel.

41. ...The Communion must recognize the individual Provinces as self- determining Provinces... At the same time the Communion must help the Provinces, Dioceses and local churches to recognize the value of the gifts they bring to the whole Communion...

58. ...We commit ourselves to discerning and interpreting local needs in a way that leads to action, because this is being prophetic. Taking due regard of local contexts, we commit ourselves to advocating and lobbying ...on the many issues of social justice we find in our world.

60. ...Environment is the top priority for some provinces and must be a high priority for all of us.

73. ....Churches should act together in all matters except those in which deep differences of conviction compel them to act separately.... we have to recognise that what affects one affects all, and that it behoves each Church to live in accountability to the rest of the oikumene.

89. The purpose of dialogue is not compromise, but growth in trust and understanding of each other's faith and traditions.

111. ... For some, the new teaching cannot be acceptable on biblical grounds as they consider all homosexual activity as intrinsically sinful. Tension has arisen when those who hold the traditional teaching are faced with changes in the Church's life or teaching without being able to understand or engage with a clear presentation of how people have come to a new understanding of scripture and pastoral theology.

112. ...In some parts of the Communion, homosexual relations are a taboo while in others they have become a human rights issue.

119. It was also reported that there has been positive effects in parts of ... the world when homosexual people are accepted as God's children, are treated with dignity and choose to give their lives to Christ and to live in the community of faith as disciples of Jesus Christ with fidelity and commitment.

133. ...We are clear that the Word of God does not change from place to place and its light and truth applies throughout the whole of God's world. At the same time we acknowledge that our ability to hear God's Word is profoundly affected by the context in which we listen for it.

c) Covenant Design Group - The Covenant Design Group met during the conference. The group's chairman, Archbishop Drexel Gomes, said the Lambeth bishops were .invited to commend or to challenge what has been produced and to respond in a way that will inform the debate about the Covenant in the Communion at large.. At a press conference, Archbishop Gomes said the Covenant would not steer the communion towards legalism but that it depended on .mutual cooperation.. According to a Lambeth press release, .All presenters agreed that at this stage in the design process, there is no clarity about what will happen to provinces who feel they cannot sign a Covenant, and noted that such consequences will be determined as the process unfolds. They also agreed, however, that the design group was not in a hurry and that it would need to allow time and space for provinces to reflect on how they might respond.. i) The members of the Covenant Design Group are:

The Most Rev. Drexel Gomez, West Indies

The Rev. Victor Atta-Baffoe, West Africa

The Most Rev. Dr. John Chew, South East Asia

Sriyanganie Fernando, Ceylon

The Rev. Dr. Kathy Grieb, USA  

The Rt Rev. Santosh Marray, Indian Ocean

The Most Rev. John Neill, Ireland

The Rev. Canon Andrew Norman, Archbishop of Canterbury's representative

Chancellor Rubie Nottage, West Indies, Consultan

The Rev. Dr. Ephraim Radner, USA

Nomfundo Walaza, Southern Africa

The Rev. Canon Gregory Cameron, Anglican Communion Office, Secretary While no official revisions or changes were made to the current draft, the next steps of the design process were outlined. Those steps are:

ii) The Covenant Design Group will meet in September, 2009 in Singapore.

iii) .A =Lambeth Commentary' would be compiled after the Conference and would feed into Provincial discernment in 2008 and 2009.. (NOTE: It appears that this will be a document reflecting various Lambeth Bishops' thoughts on the process and current draft.)

iv) .In April 2009, the Group would meet to draft a third version of the Covenant for presentation to the meeting of the Anglican Consultative Council in Jamaica.. (Source: Anglican Communion News Service and Lambeth News)

4) Rowan Williams - The Archbishop of Canterbury gave several addresses to the bishops including three main .presidential. addresses. In each address, Archbishop Williams attempted to further reveal his strategy and thinking on the Lambeth Conference and the future direction of the Communion. The following are some excerpts of those addresses: a) First Presidential Address: July 20 - Opening of Conference i) ....And our hope is that we shall end up with a =Reflection' from the Conference that is not a set of resolutions and decisions, but which does genuinely change the situation and take us forward. It's a difficult balance to achieve. All of us are involved in making it work.....

ii) ....It's my conviction that the option to which we are being led is one whose keywords are of council and covenant. It is the vision of an Anglicanism whose diversity is limited not by centralised control but by consent - consent based on a serious common assessment of the implications of local change....

b) Second Presidential Address: July 29 i) ....I spoke about council and covenant as the shape of the way forward as I see it. And by this I meant, first, that we needed a bit more of a structure in our international affairs to be able to give clear guidance on what would and would not be a grave and lasting divisive course of action by a local church.... ii) ....Properly understood, a covenant is an expression of mutual generosity - indeed, =generous love'... part of what this means is finding out what the other person or group really means and really needs.... iii) ....To the innovator, can we say, =Don't isolate yourself; don't create facts on the ground that make the invitation to debate ring a bit hollow'? Can we say to the traditionalist, =Don't invest everything in a church of pure and likeminded   souls; try to understand the pastoral and human and theological issues that are urgent for those you are opposing, even if you think them deeply wrong'? I think we perhaps can.... iv) ....We need to speak life to each other; and that means change. I've made no secret of what I think that change should be - a Covenant that recognizes the need to grow towards each other (and also recognizes that not all may choose that way). I find it hard at present to see another way forward that would avoid further disintegration....

c) Third Presidential Address: August 3 - Concluding Address i) ....What I am saying, in effect, is that every association of Christian individuals and groups makes some sort of =covenant' for the sake of mutual recognition, mutual gratitude and mutual learning.... ii) ....A fellow-Christian may believe they have a profound fresh insight. They seek to persuade others about it. A healthy church gives space for such exchanges. But the Christian with the new insight can't claim straight away that this is now what the Church of GOD believes or intends; and it quite rightly takes a long time before any novelty can begin to find a way into the public liturgy, even if it has been widely agreed.... iii) ....To say that the would-be innovator must be heard gratefully and respectfully is simply to acknowledge the debt we always owe to those who ask unfamiliar questions, because they prompt us to explore our tradition more deeply.

It's worth adding, too, that the call for a moratorium on interventions across provinces belongs in the same theological framework. Such interventions often imply that nothing within a province, no provision made or pastoral care offered, can be recognizably and adequately Christian; and this is a claim not lightly to be made by any Christian community regarding any other without grave breach of charity. And it seems to be widely agreed in this Conference that internal pastoral and liturgical care, strengthened by arrangements like the suggested Communion Partners initiative in the USA and the proposed Pastoral Forum we have been discussing, are the way we should go if we want to avoid further ecclesial confusion.... iv) ....We have quite a strong degree of support for a Pastoral Forum to support minorities, a strong consensus on the need to examine how the Instruments of Communion will best work, and a recognition - though still with many questions - that a Covenant is needed. We have a strongly expressed intention to place our international development work on a firmer and more co- ordinated footing. Where will the work be done? Before the ACC meeting next year - which will be a significant element in implementing our vision - I intend to convene a Primates' Meeting as early as possible in 2009. I shall look within the next two months for a clear and detailed specification for the task and composition of a Pastoral Forum, and I shall ensure that the perspectives of various groups looking at the Covenant and the Windsor process, as well as the Design Group for this Conference help to shape the implementation of the agenda outlined in the Reflections document, and are fed into the special meeting in November of the Joint Standing Committee of the Primates and the

ACC. We may not have put an end to all our problems - but the pieces are on the board. And in the months ahead it will be important to invite those absent from Lambeth to be involved in these next stages. Much in the GAFCON documents is consonant with much of what we have sought to say and do, and we need to look for the best ways of building bridges here.... (Emphasis Added)

d) In his final presidential address, Archbishop Williams described an .agenda. that the reflections document presented. He also gave more detail on this .agenda. at the final press conference. Williams claims the following items are part of this agenda: i) Almost everyone wants the three moratoria on SSBs, homosexuals in the episcopate, and border crossings to actually happen. ii) There is .a strong consensus on the need to examine how the Instruments of Communion will best work.. iii) Some sort of covenant is desired, although the extent of its power is still to be determined. iv) Most think that a Pastoral Forum would help the situation and he is looking for detail on how it will be formed. (1) The WCG, Lambeth Design Team, and Covenant Design Group will have input on the composition and description of the Pastoral forum. v) There is already scheduled a meeting of the JSC and ACC in November. (1) This meeting may address the creation of a Pastoral Forum vi) He will call a Primates meeting in early 2009 before the ACC meets. vii) He would like to .build bridges. and connect with the GAFCON primates and ask them their take on the covenant.

5) Post-Lambeth a) Episcopal bishop will ordain gays Source: The Boston Globe August 7, 2008 ....Bishop M. Thomas Shaw, head of the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts, said in an interview upon his return from London that he will continue to ordain gay clergy, which he called "pastorally important." He also said that local priests will continue to bless same-sex marriages, although Shaw said that those priests are doing so on their own and that "I haven't authorized anybody to do anything." As for whether he would follow up on his earlier intention to push for ending the moratorium on gay bishops and allowing church recognition of same-sex marriage when the Episcopal Church meets at its General Convention next year, Shaw said he would now wait until he meets with all the American bishops next month to decide how he will proceed....  

b) Episcopal priest "not going to change" Source: London Telegraph Date: August 4, 2008 ....The Rev Susan Russell, the head of the pro-gay Integrity USA group, said: It's not going to change anything on the ground in California. We bless same-sex unions and will continue to do so.'.
c) Bishop of California cannot abide by moratoria Source: Bishop Marc Andrus Blog ....Archbishop Rowan in his final presidential address, given just after we received the reflections document noted that, .There will be some who cannot abide by these moratoria, and in this they signal that there are steps to deeper unity they cannot take; or it may be that they conceive of deeper unity in other ways.. I take this to be a profound and generous idea. In not abiding by the moratorium on same-sex blessings I take it as incumbent on me and on us in the Diocese to actively labor to both understand the position of those to whom that moratorium is important, and to convey the reality of our life together to the world. I must redouble my efforts at inhabiting a deeper unity....
d) Bishop of Los Angeles, Jon Bruno: "inclusion is a reality" Source: Episcopal Cafe ....And finally, a clear statement that at least one bishop is not in favor of a moratorium on gay blessings: The Rt. Rev. Jon Bruno, Bishop of Los Angles, on how the proposals for the suggestion that the Episcopal and Canadian churches stop blessing same-sex relationships would be received in his diocese: .With fear and trepidation for some of us. It's important we remember it isn't even a report. It is a reflection. .I can only say that inclusion is a reality in our diocese and will continue to be. For people who think that this is going to lead us to disenfranchise any gay or lesbian person, they are sadly mistaken..
e) New Jersey Bishop reaffirms support of same-sex couples Source: North Jersey The spiritual leader for North Jersey Episcopalians said Thursday he will continue supporting the blessing of same-sex couples. There have been recent calls for a moratorium on the ceremonies from fellow bishops in the Anglican Communion - a global Protestant body that's threatening to break apart over homosexuality. "We in this diocese and I as bishop are continuing to support relationships of fidelity and commitment and give them the full blessing of the church," Bishop Mark M. Beckwith, of the Diocese of Newark, said Thursday in an interview. ...Beckwith, a strong Robinson supporter, acknowledged that the continuing dispute throws into question whether the American church can elect another gay bishop in the future. "That doesn't sit well with me," Beckwith said. "I hope we could do this again and raise up another gay or lesbian, but there are a lot of things in play, and it is unclear." The Diocese of Newark, which represents about 27,000 Episcopalians, is one of the most liberal dioceses in the nation and was among the first to ordain homosexuals to the priesthood. That will continue, Beckwith added.

"That's not an issue as far as I'm concerned," Beckwith said. "We continue to ordain anyone who has a passion for ministry."... f) Church Already Showing „Restraint. with Blessings SOURCE: LIVING CHURCH AUGUST 8, 2008 Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori said The Episcopal Church already has been in a .season of gracious restraint. regarding the blessing of same-sex unions and consecrating partnered homosexuals to the episcopate, and said she doesn't expect that to change before next summer's General Convention. .I don't see there is any church-wide push to end that in the coming months,. Bishop Jefferts Schori said. .General Convention is the only body that really can decide to do anything significant related to [these issues]. Individual bishops have always made their own decisions within the canonical responsibilities of their dioceses..

Bishop Jefferts Schori made her remarks during an internet webcast Aug. 7, where she was joined by New York Bishop Mark Sisk in discussing the recently completed Lambeth Conference. Asked how Lambeth's proceedings will affect the status of gay and lesbian Episcopalians, Bishop Jefferts Schori said, .we were very clear for an overwhelming majority of the bishops of this church that the well being and adequate and appropriate pastoral care of gay and lesbian members of the church is a significant mission issue for us. We have been having conversations and debate for more than 40 years,. she continued. .Even though other parts of the Communion may not understand that, we have been working at this for a long time. Our conversations are not going to end. One bishop came up to me and said, =What you're doing is making it very difficult for me, but your job is not to make my life easier. You need to be paying attention to the pastoral realities in your own context as I need to be in mine',. the Presiding Bishop noted. Bishop Sisk asserted that for The Episcopal Church .there is only =us,' not a =them and us'.. He said the roles of gay and lesbian people have been .affirmed time and time again.. Both bishops said they were struck by what they characterized as a lack of  understanding in other parts of the world about The Episcopal Church. .I was surprised at questions about basic theological tenets and whether we really believe them or not,. Bishop Jefferts Schori said. .It's a reminder that even though we may think all Anglicans believe the basics of the faith, not everybody believes that we believe them.. In regard to the development of an Anglican covenant, Bishop Jefferts Schori said .there was great willingness to think about a covenant that spoke positively about what we do share as members of the Communion.. She said she saw .really no interest in producing a covenant that defined who could be excluded.. g) Some Canada Anglicans may reject same-sex moratorium

Source: Reuters August 6, 2008

OTTAWA (Reuters) - There seems little chance that all Canadian Anglican clergy will honor the moratorium on blessing same-sex unions requested by the worldwide Anglican communion.

Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, leader of the global Anglican church, warned on Sunday that the 80-million-member church would be "in grave peril" if the U.S. and Canadian branches did not agree to moratoriums on same-sex blessings and on the ordination of gay bishops.

But the head of the Canadian church, Archbishop Fred Hiltz, told Reuters in a phone interview on Wednesday it would be especially tough for Bishop Michael Ingham of the British Columbia diocese of New Westminster to halt the homosexual blessings altogether.

h) Archbishop of Canterbury compares gay relationships to marriage Source: The Telegraph August 7, 2008 By Jonathan Wynne-Jones and Martin Beckford

(NOTE: The private correspondence referenced below was written over a two-year period from 2000 to 2001.)

In private correspondence, seen by the Daily Telegraph, Dr Rowan Williams, refutes the Anglican Communion's traditional teaching that homosexuality is sinful. Furthermore, he expresses his hope that the Church will change its position to be more accepting of gay partnerships... "...The Bible does not address the matter of appropriate behaviour for those who are, for whatever reason, homosexual by instinct or nature," Dr Williams writes. "By the end of the 80s I had definitely come to the conclusion that scripture was not dealing with the predicament of persons whom we should recognise as homosexual by nature.

"I concluded that an active sexual relationship between two people of the same sex might therefore reflect the love of God in a way comparable to marriage, if and only if it had the about it the same character of absolute covenanted faithfulness..."

i) TEC Bishops Claim they are being Sued Source: Bishop of Lichfield .In the discussion afterwards we are told that the US House of Bishops has regretted for the hurt it has caused and its lack of consultation and has issued a public apology - though no one has the exact wording. We are also told that the Canadians have voted against same-sex blessings - though two dioceses are pressing their bishops to change that. We are told that in the lawsuits in America between parishes and their dioceses it is the dioceses who are the defendants and the conservative parishes who are the accusers.. NOTE: In reality, TEC dioceses are responsible for initiating many law-suits. Some examples are:

i) Christ Anglican Church in Mobile, AL (plaintiff was the Diocese of the Central Gulf Coast---the suit settled before trial);

ii) St. John's Episcopal Church in Fallbrook, CA; St. Anne's, in Oceanside CA; and Holy Trinity, in Ocean Beach, CA (plaintiff in all three cases is the Diocese of San Diego--- apparently after not being allowed to amend an older suit, the Diocese simply filed a new one)

iii) Against St. James Anglican Church and two others in Newport Beach, CA (Diocese of Los Angeles is plaintiff---the case is now being reviewed by the California Supreme Court)

iv) St. John's Anglican Church in Petaluma, CA (Diocese of Northern California is plaintiff)

v) Against Bishop Schofield and the diocesan investment fund in the Diocese of San Joaquin, CA (for an update on that suit, see this post, as well as earlier ones you can find in the Guide)

vi) Trinity Anglican Church in Bristol, CT (recently settled)

vii) Rector and former vestry of Bishop Seabury Church in Groton, CT

viii) Redeemer Anglican Church in Jacksonville, FL (plaintiff was the Diocese of Florida)

ix) Christ Church in Savannah, GA (plaintiff is the Diocese of Georgia)

x) All Saints Church in Attleboro, MA (plaintiff was the Diocese of Massachusetts; the case settled in 2007)

xi) St. Andrew's Anglican Church in Morehead City, NC (plaintiff was the Diocese of East Carolina and those members of the parish who had not voted to join AMiA; following a jury mistrial, plaintiffs obtained summary judgment which was affirmed on appeal)

xii) Church of the Good Shepherd in Binghamton, NY (The information above was compiled by Allen Halley. Please click on the link to view more examples of law-suits filed by TEC dioceses.)


Independent: Homosexuals are being courted by employers - from spooks to the city

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Homosexuals are being courted by employers – from spooks to the city

By Jerome Taylor
Tuesday, 19 August 2008

When Angela Mason began her 10-year directorship of the Stonewall gay
lobby group in 1992, she had a friend in the corporate world who had
two phones in his house. One he used to take personal calls for him
and his partner. The other was for the office. When it came to being
out and proud in the workplace, few and far between was the employee
who would happily step out of the closet and declare: "I'm gay, let's
do business."

When Angela Mason began her 10-year directorship of the Stonewall gay
lobby group in 1992, she had a friend in the corporate world who had
two phones in his house. One he used to take personal calls for him
and his partner. The other was for the office. When it came to being
out and proud in the workplace, few and far between was the employee
who would happily step out of the closet and declare: "I'm gay, let's
do business."

"People used to genuinely fear that they would lose their jobs if they
were outed, and many did," Mason remembers. "If you were found out it
was absolutely the end."

It was with some sense of satisfaction, therefore, that Ms Mason read
the news this week that MI5 was finally going to step out of the
closet itself and begin openly recruiting people from within the gay

One of the last bastions of the British establishment, a place that,
until the early 1990s, had actually banned hiring gays because of
fears that outed spies could be blackmailed, had finally capitulated
and realised that if you want to hire the best talent, you have to
look at all sections of society. The days of the Oxbridge don giving
white, male graduates a tap on the shoulder and a nod towards Thames
House were truly over.

The domestic intelligence service is now not only going to start
actively employing openly gay recruits, it is also hiring Stonewall (a
group once associated with, and run by, former radicals such as Ms
Mason) to advise the security services on how to encourage its spies
to be more open about their sexuality and how to persuade more gay
applicants to apply for jobs there.

But as dramatic as MI5's announcement seems, it is part of a much
wider silent revolution that Stonewall has been pursuing for much of
the past decade – persuading the corporate world to love gays. And in
the past few years it finally seems to be working.

In the late 1970s, Ms Mason, a young member of the anarchist Angry
Brigades group, was tried and acquitted for planting bombs on the
doorsteps of Conservative politicians. She divorced in the 1980s to
live with her lesbian lover and, by 1992, had been appointed director
of Stonewall.

With such an anti-establishment figure heading Britain's foremost gay
lobby group, Stonewall might have been expected to continue with the
sort of tactics that had made its new director so notorious. Instead,
Ms Mason, and Ben Summerskill, her successor as chief executive, did
something far more radical – they took Stonewall mainstream and began
charming, rather than confronting, the corporate world.

The outcome of that tactic is that MI5 has now joined more than 430
companies, representing more than four million employees, who have
signed up to Stonewall's list of "gay-friendly employers". Those on
the list actively recruit gay people and monitor the sexual
orientation of their staff to ensure against silent discrimination.

Many encourage their gay and lesbian staff to take part in Pride
events as well as supporting the events financially. They are also
expected to have clear and publicised policies for dealing with cases
of sexual discrimination and encourage the promotion of openly gay
staff on to the board or senior management team.

With 15,000 gay students leaving university every year and an
estimated 1.7 million gay men and women of working age, Stonewall
began persuading companies that discriminating against gay employees
was simply bad for business.

The corporate world began to see sense. Where once people were fired
for their sexual orientation, major corporations now jostle with each
other to prove their equalitarian credentials.

To provide an incentive, Stonewall began producing an annual list of
"top gay employers". Local authorities, charities and the voluntary
sector all scored well but, every year, more and more mainstream
corporations began appearing on the list.

By 2007, IBM, LloydsTSB, KPMG and Goldman and Sachs all came in the
top 10 and the pro-pink feeling is spreading. This year, Pinsent Mason
became the first law firm to be included in the Top 100 gay employers
and next year Stonewall expects to have at least 16 more.

"The trick is to present the business case to corporate employers,"
says David Shields, director of workplace programmes at Stonewall and
the man who has spearheaded their campaigning in the corporate world.

"It simply doesn't make good business sense to have a reputation for
being a workplace that is not open to gay and lesbian employers.
Graduates who were out and proud at university are simply not willing
to hide away once they get into the workforce. They'll simply take
their skills to another company."

For Mr Summerskill, persuading MI5 to become a gay-friendly employer
was proof that even those organisations not historically thought to be
friendly towards the gay rights movement are, in fact, coming in from
the cold.

"I think what's really interesting about our corporate approach in the
past three years is the sheer variety of companies we have attracted,"
he says. "Many of them are not the usual suspects you would have
signing up, and I think what we did with MI5 is an example of that.
These are very counter-intuitive organisations. Even though the ban on
recruiting gay spies was lifted more than a decade ago, the message
had trouble sinking in.

"But MI5 is so focused on recruiting the very best talent that they
realised it was critically important to hire staff from all walks of

Ashley Steel is the only known lesbian on the board of a Square Mile
company. She came out five years ago after spending some time working
for KPMG's offices in San Francisco.

"I think once I'd fully come out I knew I couldn't go back in," she
says. "I've been at KPMG for more than 23 years now and it is a
completely different place to what it used to be."

She says major corporations are so keen to harness the best talent
that former prejudices have had to be dropped.

"If there is a war of talent going on, then why on earth would you
want to put people off who are gay or black or female? It simply
doesn't make business sense. And I think clients want to see a diverse

She believes there is still some way to go – after all, there is no
openly gay person on the board of a FTSE 100 company. "Groups like
Stonewall were originally set up to change the law and they did. We
have thing like the equalities bill and civil partnerships. But
changing a law doesn't change a person's behaviour, and that is what
they are trying to do with the corporate sector."

Angela Eagle, the first lesbian MP to come out while still in the
House of Commons, agrees. "What we have is legal equality in theory,
but that does not necessarily eliminate the discrimination that
continues to exist," she says.

But for Ms Mason, who now works at the heart of government advising
local authorities on equalities and cohesion with the Improvement and
Development Agency, the corporate change of heart could hardly be more

"Those companies that have positive employment practices do it
precisely because it signifies modernity," she says. "It's cutting
edge and glamorous. There's still lots to do but when I look back, we
have come miles and miles."

Six pioneers in the corporate world

Ashley Steel, KPMG

A vocal and openly gay director at KPMG, Ashley Steel is the only
known lesbian on the board of a Square Mile company. She has regularly
spoken out about how the corporate world needs to do more to promote
gay people in the workplace. She came out only after working for KPMG
in San Francisco. In 2005, she became KPMG's first board champion on
sexual orientation.

Paul Tanner, 90TEN

The owner of the PR agency 90TEN, Paul Tanner specialises in public
relations for the gay and lesbian communities. He has launched
numerous health initiatives to encourage gay men to vaccinate
themselves against hepatitis A and hepatitis B as well as being hired
by a number of prominent NHS trusts to improve their sexual health

Sir Michael Bishop, BMI

A former baggage handler at Manchester airport, Sir Michael, above,
turned BMI into the UK's second largest airline after BA. Not known
for speaking out about gay rights, his presence at the head of BMI
proves being out and gay shouldn't stop you getting ahead in business.

Robert Taylor, Kleinwort Benson Private Bank

One of the City's best known openly gay movers and shakers, he earnt
his stripes at Coutts & Co where he was head of private banking. Is
now chief executive of Kleinwort Benson Private Bank.

Angela Mason, activist

Radical campaigner turned government insider, Angela Mason began her
political career as an anarchist with the Angry Brigades in the 1970s
before coming out in the 1980s and taking up the gay rights cause.
Served as director of Stonewall throughout the 1990s, making it more
mainstream, charming corporations and leading the fight for the repeal
of Section 28. She now chairs the Fawcett Society, a women's rights
campaigning organisation

Charles Allen, Global Radio

A former chief executive of ITV, the openly gay Charles Allen is now
one of the most powerful figures in the world of radio. His company,
Global Radio, is the UK's largest radio provider and includes the
popular Heart, LBC and Galaxy radio stations.

Pelangi Pride Centre has Moved! (August 17)

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Dear all,

A big "Thank You" to all the volunteers, the dragon boaters and the 3 drivers (who volunteered the lorry and the 2 cars), who helped out with the big move on Saturday 16 August 2008.

Our thanks also to Dr Kaan Sheung Kin (affectionately known to all of us as Sheung) for generously housing PPC in his home and opening his home to the community every saturday since March 08.

Pelangi Pride Centre will be closed for the next 2 weeks for us to settle down in our new home.

We will re-open on the 6th of September 2008.

Please watch this space for more info about future activities in our new home.

With thanks,

Charm, Nam Khim and Eileena.

My bit of earth in the sun by Christine Suchen Lim

Friday, August 15, 2008

My bit of earth in the sun 10 min
Three writers share their hopes for Singapore this National Day
By Christine Suchen Lim

*I believe I first learnt to love Singapore when I walked by the sea under
the angsana trees every morning. That quiet place touched me somewhere
beyond my rational brain. It reached into my soul.*

*S'pore may now be a gleaming jewel, but it is her ancient voice and
earthy quality that I love*

Neither the People's Action Party Government nor my parents could claim her
for me. It was the sea and the trees that did it. And an ancient voice
beneath Singapore's skin of modernity.

I was 14 and miserable when I first stepped off the train at the railway
station in Keppel Road. Singapore was not the smart little red dot and
global city that she is today. She was a frowsy woman with unkempt hair
infested with lice. An urban, brown sprawl of shophouses.

Everywhere I looked, there were houses, and no trees. Decrepit shophouses
crowded Tanjong Pagar and Chinatown, crammed with people, spilling out onto
the pavements and covered walkways. Mothers and grandmothers - with babies
and toddlers strapped to their backs - washed, cooked, ate, quarrelled and
cursed the world, the Government and one another.

The covered walkways of Chinatown were noisy public rooms by day, and
dormitories by night when homeless old folk and unmarried males slept on
makeshift beds of planks and cardboard. Large brown rats scuttled along the
drains, inches away from the feet of diners having supper.

Besides the rats, stray cats, dogs and gangsters ruled Chinatown. Each time
my stepfather parked his car there, he had to pay an urchin to guard it if
he didn't want it vandalised. I did not feel safe. In my teenage
imagination, Singapore was a city of rats and gangsters.

Her physical geography was also unimpressive. There were no hills in the
city's skyline. Having grown up on the green isle of Penang in the shadow of
Penang Hill, I missed the pale view of blue hills on the horizon.

Fortunately, I was sent to Katong Convent, which was by the sea then. My
daily morning walk along the beach, from the former Odeon cinema to the back
gate of the school, pulled me out of misery. Trees shaded the beach. Wild
grass, creepers and bushes grew haphazardly. The winding sandy path did not
hurry me to my destination, the way a straight concrete path tends to do.

As the sun rose over the sea, Malay fishermen trawled the shallow waters
with hand-held nets for shrimp and fish. The peace and quiet of that daily
scene comforted a confused and rebellious 14-year-old who had to adapt to a
new family, a new school and a new country.

Looking back, I believe I first learnt to love Singapore when I walked by
the sea under the angsana trees every morning. That quiet place touched me
somewhere beyond my rational brain. It reached into my soul, perhaps it was
my intuition, I don't know, but it spoke to me. That quiet place became my
bit of earth in the sun when I was 14, and hated this island.

*Feelings take form *

Quiet places and nature can shape our feelings for land and country, far
more than national campaigns and national education policies. Far more than
even our national favourite hawker food. If there were no more Hainanese
chicken rice, laksa or char kway teow, would you still come back if you and
your family were living overseas?

Let's do a striptease. Strip Singapore of her jewellery. First, remove her
shopping malls and places of civic pride. Remove everything lauded 'world
class' by the mass media. Next, remove all her 'M's - MM, SM, PM and the
entire Cabinet of ministers. Then, strip her of her prosperity. Clothe her
in poverty. So poor that she could not afford to stage National Day Parades.
Would you still love her then? Would you?

I would, because I have heard her ancient voice in the quiet places like
that sea and that beach along the East Coast 46 years ago. And that ancient
voice was not the voice of Stamford Raffles or Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew.

It was the voice of an ancient island once known as Temasek and Singapura,
once a part of the ancient kingdoms of Majapahit and Sri Vijaya, once the
bit of rock on which our forefathers found a foothold and hammered out a

That voice has been muted for years by the pressure of our modernity. That
shallow sea and beach have since become the bustling neighbourhood of Marine
Parade, and Katong Convent is no longer by the sea. The sea has been filled
and reclaimed.

The two pictures of urban mess and rustic peace that I have painted above
encapsulate the gains and losses we have experienced as a people. The urban
mess is gone. In its place, we have gained a gleaming city, but lost our
quiet places, lost the spontaneity of our greenery and our sense of the
ancient and sacred in nature.

Our children see nature in neat grids, rows of trees and bushes planted at
regular intervals. Sometimes, I wonder if this planned orderliness was
designed to reflect our political control or whether it was an unplanned
by-product of it. Grids remind us of boundaries.

In the 1970s, I lived in Ang Mo Kio. From my window on the 10th floor, I
looked down on a path of beaten earth, zigzagging across the open space of
neatly planted grass. That crooked path gave me hope at a time when many of
my friends had left Singapore because they could not stand the tight
political control then.

I, who did not leave, clung to the hope that this crooked path gave me. A
path of beaten earth, made by anonymous feet that quietly went off tangent;
feet that refused to follow the straight-as- the-crow- flies concrete path
built by the authorities.

That path taught me a lesson. An authority can dictate a path, but it does
not necessarily mean that we can't walk off tangent and create our own path.
And sing our own song.

In the 1980s, at the height of the Speak Mandarin campaign, I overheard two
cleaners, an Indian woman and a Chinese woman, sitting in a quiet corner of
the Bukit Timah campus. They were sharing bread and feeding the birds,
chatting in a mix of pasar Malay and the Hokkien and Teochew dialects.

Formal education does not encourage this inter-language mixing. And yet, it
is often this willingness to mix (or campur-campur) languages that helps us
bridge race, language and culture to connect with others.

The two cleaners showed me that, if hearts were willing, words would be
forged in the smithy of willing hearts to connect regardless of campaigns.

We, Singaporeans, are creative in mixing words from different languages.
Just listen to our street lingo be it Singlish, pasar Malay or pasar
Mandarin. Our linguistic mix-and-match creativity is spontaneous, often
mischievous. No law can outlaw our people's creative tongues.

A quiet place, a crooked path and two cleaners make me proud of the earthy
Singapore beneath the one adorned with 'world class' jewellery.

She is the one I love when I speak of land and country. Hers is the voice
that our writers and poets hear in quiet places, when we listen not to the
news, but to the songs and stories embedded in this bit of earth.

For what is homeland
In which we planted
Our hopes, lives,
Dreams and memories?
But a bit of earth.

*The writer is the author of Fistful Of Colours, which won the Singapore
Literature Prize, and A Bit Of Earth, a novel shortlisted for the same
prize. Her latest book is The Lies That Build A Marriage. *

Women's Nite August 2008

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Your hands are sweaty, your mouth dry, and your heart is hammering in your
chest. Yet you still can't seem to find the right words to say: I'm
attracted to women.

"I'll wait for the right time," you tell yourself.
"I'll lose the friendship," you say.
"My parents will never accept it," you think, and hurt, inside.

But will the right time come? How do you know how your friends will react?
And what if, just what if, your parents do accept it, over time?

Join us this Women's Nite for a heart-to-heart talk about what it takes to
share that special part of yourself.


*Women's Nite August 2008
Saturday 30th August, 7pm *
Venue (in Singapore) will be disclosed upon registration.

Limited to 30 invites, so please register with your full name, contact
number, the full name/s of your guests, if any, and the type of halal food
or drink you would be contributing to the potluck.

Although Women's Nite is open to women of all orientations, please let us
know if you are straight, or are bringing along straight guests, so that we
can be sensitive to the needs of all women present.

Please send your details to women.snite@gmail.com [women dot snite at gmail
dot com]

Registration closes at midnight 29th August 2008


About Women's Nite

Women's Nite provides a safe, neutral and alcohol-free space for lesbians
and bisexual women in Singapore to discuss the issues relevant to their

The event, held on the last Saturday of every month, was started in December
2003. Over a potluck dinner, we hold discussions on wide ranging topics like
self acceptance, homophobia, relationships and identity. We also invite
special guests to field questions on legal rights and sexual health, and
conduct art and dance therapy nights.

To check out the past months' events, or find out more, please go to
To get email updates on each month's event, please visit

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/women_snite to join our mailing list.

As far as possible, we would like to keep this space commercial free. To
advertise events and projects, please email us at

Herstory @ The Boiler Room (Aug 14)

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Herstory @The Boiler Room 14 Aug 2008
Fancy a LIVE RnB concert with HOT & SEXY french dancers? That's what you'll get at the next Herstory @The Boiler Room. We promise you a night full of HOT Babes, Great Entertainment and Good Music. Get ready your dancing shoes and standby to dance your night away. See you @The Boiler Room on 14 Aug 2008. You know you won't want to miss this.

The Olympic Games Fever!! We are looking for creative individual to take part in our Most Creative Olympic Games Gear Competition. Mix and Match your wardrobe, create your own sports wear style or simply show us how good you look in your sports attire. Most Creative Sports Wear wins 1 bottle of Vodka + 1 Pair Free Party Pass to the next Herstory Party.

Collect the NEW Herstory Party Card
Never miss a great party again with this newly launched Herstory Party Card.
Specially for all Herstory Parties Supporters, collect the NEW Herstory Party Card and claim your perks.
Herstory has lined-up a year's worth of great fun and surprises for you. Collect a stamp each time you attend our Herstory party. Every 3 stamps will entitle you to a FREE entry to our party. Get all 9 stamps and you will receive a fabulous mystery gift! (It's so good that you must own it, serious!)
Party on grrls, and we’ll see you there.

Sign up for 1 Year of Herstory BLACK to receive:
Privilege online surfing @www.herstory.ws
Herstory Black Membership Card valid for 1 year
1 FREE Party Entry Pass
LePride’s Car Decal

Don't miss Herstory Grrls Only Party happening at ZOUK and The BOILER ROOM at St James Power Station.
Whether you want to sit and chat or dance and cruise, you're guaranteed to find something you'll like at Herstory Party. See ya..

Herstory Goes RnB LIVE + Most Creative Olympic Games Gear Competition starts at 11.00pm

Party Theme
The Olympic Games Fever!! Since we can't bring Olympics Games to the club, we wear them. Come in your favourite sports gear. Be it your sexy tennis skirt, your smart golf outfit or even your hot running shorts, we welcome you to take part in our Most Creative Olympic Games Gear Competition. First 50 comes in Sports outfits before 10pm gets FREE ENTRY. Most Creative Sports Wear wins 1 bottle of Vodka + 1 Pair Free Party Pass to the next Herstory Party.

Programme Highlights
Chillout 9pm-10pm
Showtime RnB LIVE + Most Creative Olympic Games Gear Competition 11.00pm
Chart Topping Hip Hop and Sexy R&B Dance Music 12am-2.30am (by The Boiler Room resident DJ)
Pop Hits Dance Music till 3am (by The Boiler Room resident DJ)

Drinks Promotion
One for One on all standard housepour 9pm-10pm

No Cover Charge
Applies to all members/non members
Herstory Members - $5
Non Herstory Members - $10
Entry for men - Subject to Approval at Door ($15)
POLICY : Mainly womyn with men as guests

Table Reservations
Email: party@herstory.ws
SMS: +65 91700517

St James Power Station
3 Sentosa Gateway
Singapore 098544

Harbour Front Station

9pm - 3am
Every 2nd Thursday Monthly

FCC Sunday Service (Aug 10 2008), Speaker: Miak Siew

Saturday, August 9, 2008

10 Aug 2008 (Sun) - 10.30am
FCC Main Hall
56 Geylang Lor 23
Level 3, Century Technology Building
All are welcome!

Face(t)s of God Series

Worship Leader: KENNY ONG
Communion: CYRUS HO
Prayer: DAN LOH
Service Pastor: SUSAN TANG

TheBearProject Charity Art Show

TheBearProject Charity Art Show

Last year, Singapore's first "bear" community group
TheBearProject made its debut at The Pink Picnic, an
impromptu National Day gathering at the Botanic
Gardens. This year, we've decided to make a bigger
splash with our first-ever event at the Indignation
festival. It's a charity art auction featuring art
works by our members and invited guest artists, and
you're invited!

Bear culture is well-established in Western countries
and in certain Asian countries like Japan, Taiwan and
Hong Kong, but many in Singapore's gay community are
still coming to grips with it. Burly, rambunctious and
sporting regulation crew cuts, goatees and knee length
shorts, Singapore bears have hung out at bars like
Same and the now-defunct Oso for years. But it was
only last year that they came together as the
TheBearProject, a social networking group founded by
Ernest Yeo and Gary Lim. The group now comprises
roughly 120 bears, bears-in-training and bear

Why an art auction? Well, there's a wacky,
irresistible ring to the notion of big heavy guys
peddling fine art. And since quite a few of us members
in TheBearProject were in the creative industries, we
thought: why not organise a little art show of our own
works, and auction them off to our members for
charity? We also managed to rope in local guest
artists that we know personally, who have kindly
contributed original works for the show.

So come along to Play on the night of August 16 for an
art auction with a difference. Bid on art pieces from
eleven TheBearProject members (including cartoonist
Otto Fong, newspaper columnist Ignatius Low and
graphic designer Gary Lim), and prominent local
artists and photographers like Heman Chong, Jeremy
Sharma, Tay Kay Chin and Chan Wai Teik. There's also
a stunning series of six paintings from
noted lesbian artist Genevieve Chua. Starting bids
range from just $100 to $2,500.

Here are the details:
Date: 16 August, 2008 (Saturday)
Venue: Play (21 Tanjong Pagar Road)
Time: 7.30pm onwards
8pm: Official opening
8.30pm: Interviews onstage with featured artists
9.15pm: Bids closed

The event is in aid of The Triangle Project and
several other charities. The Triangle Project was
started in 1992 by local theatre group The Necessary
Stage with the aim of providing opportunities for the
less privileged to watch theatre. The Necessary Stage
matches donors and charities with the former buying
tickets to our productions for the beneficiaries. This
scheme has proven to be very successful and numerous
beneficiaries of Voluntary Welfare Organisations have
experienced theatre as a result.
Half the proceeds from the art sale will be donated to
The Triangle Project and the rest will be anonymously
donated to charities tending to the needs of children
and needy families in Singapore. A full list of
donations will be posted on our website after the

You can view all the artworks on sale at:

This Indignation event is open only to invited guests,
so please RSVP by providing us your
1) Name
2) Contact no.
3) Email
to thebearproject.charity@gmail.com
RSVP closes on the 14th August 08, midnight. So please
do register early!

See you at the event!

TheBearProject Charity Art Show Organizing Committee

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