Friday, October 19, 2007

Keep/Repeal 377A

And there must certainly be quite some vitriol against the gay community. Hot on the heels of the Repeal 377A campaign, a certain Mr Martin Tan decided to do the opposite, and make the voice of the other side of the debate heard.

Not that I've got anything against that. I'm all for free speech and the right to express one's opinion. In fact, if you want to sign it now, here's a link for your convenience: Keep 377A

There's alot of supporters, in fact, it seems to be growing way faster than Repeal 377A did, and would most probably overtake it in a few days. It's been barely 36 hours and Keep 377A had garnered 5000 signatures, as opposed to 6700 in 17 days for Repeal 377A. It probably vindicates that the majority of people still prefer 377A to be around. (Though the popularity of a law has not one iota of bearing on how just the law is.)

However it's pretty sad that most of the comments left by signatories revolve around these themes:

1. Gays are responsible for the HIV/AIDS epidemic
2. It's unnatural
3. It's immoral
4. It's against their religion
5. They don't want their kids to turn gay

1. Gays are responsible for the HIV/AIDS epidemic
For point 1, I gladly direct them to Angry Doctor's finely worded responses to the (misguided) public opinion. In summary: Homosexuals are responsible for only 30% of the known HIV cases in Singapore. Making gay sex illegal won't stop them - you just can't stop people from consummating their romance. And well, education on safe sex works, so why not do that instead?

2. It's unnatural
So are processed sugar, mobile phones, in-vitro fertilisation and the Internet. Erm, so? There's really so little weight to this point that, well, there's nothing to rebutt.

3. It's immoral
So are prostitution, gambling, raunchy clothing and, well, sex in planes. We still have a thriving nightscene in Geylang. The government's endorsing the development of a casino in Singapore (along with the 5 national pastimes, 4D, TOTO, Strike, Score and Big Sweep). People baring everything but the essentials in public.

Sex in planes? That's a random point. But Singapore Airlines, our flag carrier, decided to continue its reputation of 'firsts'. First delivery of the superjumbo Airbus A380, first charity auction flight and first first-class suites where adjacent suites can be linked to form a double bed. On the Prime Minister's visit, they nicely decorated that very double bed with rose petals and a bottle of wine, and behind the thinly-veiled symbolism it's obvious - they're talking sex in planes.

4. It's against their religion
It's against their religion. Not your religion, not my religion, not their religion, not the nation's religion. In a democracy that purportedly doesn't discriminate against 'race, language or religion' how does this fit in? Adam is male, Eve is female, the Bible says homosexual sex is a sin, so do the scriptures of other religions. But why should anyone be tethered to the rules of religions they don't believe in?

5. They don't want their kids to turn gay
While we do not have conclusive evidence whether open homosexuality in a society causes kids to 'learn' homosexuality, we gotta understand that we'll probably never get any real data in the near future. Too much confounders (there's no way to reliably tell who is gay and who isn't, there's no matched control population, etc) and too much public uproar.

But, we do not have conclusive evidence that microwaves don't zap our food into a pile of carcinogenic goo, neither do we have conclusive evidence that advertisements aren't reducing our intelligence.

So like for these cases, we just have to plead the 'probably not because it doesn't seem likely' clause. Because simply put, why would anyone want to be gay, when there's no obvious profit but lots of discrimination to go with it? Furthermore, there are genetic studies that say that there's a probably genetic element to homosexuality. Environment et cetra play a role too, no doubt about it, but it's not ALL of it.

But really, does it matter? It's more about protecting the dignity of homosexuals than wooly postulations on the immense universal doom that would befall us the day 377A is repealed.


Or maybe these homophobes are just misunderstood people. It's pretty understandable to be fearful and disgusted by anyone who aren't like us. Even as kids, we shun people who're different from us. And the typical stories of kids being bullied on the playground for being fat or little or whatever.

So shall I propose a 6th reason?

6. They're not comfortable with the idea of homosexuality

Instead of cooking up some fantastic theories, or accusing the homosexuals of bring destruction and doom to society, why can't they admit that they just don't feel comfortable?

It's a human reaction. I have to admit that I myself am uncomfortable with certain races/religions/sexualities/nationalities, and I can't really help it. But hey, at least I don't go around trying to logicalise my discomfort at the expense of truth and justice.

If you do not damn the homosexuals but rather, dare to admit that you're just not comfortable with homosexuality, you have all my respect.


Pkchukiss said...

The anti-gay faction has no right in depriving other people of their own private lifestyles.

Imagine if the Nazis start a petition asking for the Jews to be excluded from having babies, what would happen?

So far, 6349 Singaporeans believe in desecrating the Singapore Constitution in favour of imposing their morals on other people. Oh well, just like in Galileo's times, the foolish "silent majority" seems to think they are right.

gonococcus said...


but as much as i believe that, im torn by the fact that, in an ideal democracy, the majority vote should rule - and rightfully so

makes me lose faith in the idea of democracy. it's only recently that i realise -- majority rule never takes care of the minorities fairly, because people are selfish

Pkchukiss said...

There is a reason why in a democracy, certain rights are not accorded to humans.

1) The right not to be offended by something

Because bigots such as the anti-gay faction will put forth these stuff as an excuse to deny someone else the right to be treated like a normal human.

It is frustrating to see such bigotry, and (oh my goodness) have people even feel GOOD about engaging in that!

Anonymous said...

I disagree that the majority vote should rule in its entirety because there are vulnerable minority groups which are susceptible to becoming sidelined, which is why the concept of Group Representation Constituencies was (originally) created (and NOT gerrymandering). But it is noted that tyranny of the majority (even if subverting public sentiment) is not a concept unique to democracy as can be seen from Hitler's targeting of Jews, gypsies, homosexuals...etc.

IMHO, I would rather vote for someone who adheres to strict principles of logic and equity rather than someone who only looks out for the majority for 3 reasons: (1) an appropriate segregation might land me up in a minority group (2) as an exercise of empathy (3) foreign workers would find themselves as a minority group (but that's another kettle of fish altogether).

Anonymous said...

Yeah! I think u re very intelligent, i love ur 6th reason! Guy! Keep it up! You ROCK!

Anonymous said...

Oh & i mean gonococcus:)