HONG KONG (Christian Examiner) – The leader of Catholics in Hong Kong, one of China's most densely populated cities, has issued a pastoral letter to his congregants encouraging them to elect candidates for local public office who hold traditional views on the family and marriage and oppose proposals to open Hong Kong to same-sex marriage.
In the letter dated Nov. 5, two days before Hong Kong's annual gay pride parade, Cardinal John Tong wrote "extreme liberalism, individualism, sexual liberation and the gay rights movement, under the guise of equality and the fight against discrimination, have all along been advocating the enactment of a Sexual Orientation Discrimination Ordinance (SODO) and the recognition of same-sex marriages."
Tong told the nearly 400,000 Catholics in Hong Kong "the core values and key concepts of marriage and of the family" are being challenged, undermining the "foundation of society."
Hong Kong's district council elections are scheduled for Nov. 22.
The election of candidates who want to push the gay rights agenda, Tong said, has proven to be "trend" contrary to democracy. He cited the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, in which the court voted 5-4 to allow same-sex marriage nationwide.
"One instance of the foregoing trend is the USA Supreme Court ruling last June which imposed the recognition of same-sex marriages on all the 50 States of that country, including those states which through a democratic voting system have previously voted against the recognition of same-sex marriages," Tong said.
This isn't the first time Tong has criticized the court's decision and taken on Justice Anthony Kennedy, specifically. Tong wrote in another pastoral letter in September that Kennedy, who wrote the majority opinion for the court, had destroyed millennia of legal (and biblical) precedent for marriage as a union between only men and women.
"Those Judges who handed down the judgment are not God. None of us are. The truth is no human being has the power to change the true nature of the human person or override the truth of marriage. In the words of Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, 'the unique meaning of marriage as the union of one man and one woman is inscribed in our bodies as male and female' and 'the protection of that meaning is a critical dimension of the 'integral ecology' that Pope Francis has called upon us to promote.'"
The cardinal also criticized a recent "Workshop on Love-making Techniques," hosted by a "so-called Christian student's organization" at a local university. In the letter, Tong said the program of the conference including demonstrations of sex toys and erotic massages from sex workers. Sexual liberalization, Tong wrote, is now out in the open "pompously intruding on our daily life and directly affecting our next generation."