Saturday August 13, 2011
KUALA LUMPUR: The self-confessed Malaysian gay pastor and his African-American partner are planning to tie the knot at the end of the month in New York.
Rev Ou Yang Wen Feng, 41, and his partner Phineas Newborn III, 47, a Broadway musical producer, also planned to have a Chinese wedding banquet and traditional tea ceremony in Kuala Lumpur eventually.
“We are still in the planning stage but we will register as spouses first in New York. We plan to tie the knot on Aug 31 as it is Malaysia's National Day. It means a lot to me,” he said in an e-mail interview recently.
Ou Yang had told AFP in an interview that Phineas popped the question on June 26, two days after New York City legalised same-sex marriages.
Ou Yang, who now serves at the Metropolitan Community Church in New York, said his family members met Phineas last year and they liked him very much.
“To find a partner to spend your life with is not easy, ” he said, adding that he planned to come back to Malaysia for holidays next year.
“Phineas is an intelligent person and I feel that I can learn a lot from him and engage in stimulating conversation. He is very focused and determined to achieve success in whatever he pursues and has a very strong will to overcome life's challenges.
“He is connected to his own spirituality and supports my church work. We learn a lot from each other,” he said, adding that Phineas has a 14-year-old daughter Zaya who lives in the same neighbourhood.
“So we see her all the time,” he said, adding that Phineas was just like him - a closet heterosexual who finally came out to be who he is.
Ou Yang said “coming out” took place in 2006 after nine years of childless union with his now ex-wife, whom he described as an “angel”. Ou Yang grew up in a conservative Christian family.
Ou Yang, a former columnist with Sin Chew Daily, is currently in Hong Kong promoting his book on homosexuality and Christianity.
“I was also invited to speak in some churches in Hong Kong. I also spent some time in China. I was invited to talk in Chengdu and Guangzhou,” he said.