ST: Singapore is not ready to accept homosexuality

Saturday, June 3, 2000

Singapore is not ready to accept homosexuality

What Readers Say

More than 80 readers gave their responses to last week's feature which discussed if gays should be given more space in Singapore. Here is a summary of their opposing views.

"Make no mistake, society is not ready to accept homosexuality in Singapore." Mr Richard Chiang believes that homosexuality is morally wrong. "I think I represent quite a percentage of Singaporeans when I say that we tolerate homosexuality, but do not respect it at all.'' But, like several others, he adds: "It is not a matter of whether homosexuality will ever be recognised, but a matter of when. Homosexuals may get a more understanding and tolerant audience in probably the next generation or two.''

Agreeing, reader Anthony Koh notes that gays are already enjoying freedom here. He asks: "What more do gays want? A gay marriage certificate? Or the right to apply for HDB flats as gay married couples?'' Reader Raymond Ng describes Singapore as a modern society rooted in traditional values. "Do I hate homosexuals? Not the person, but I shun the act, and I am appalled by the gross misrepresentation in terms of political power which they enjoy in the United States. "I hope that will never come to pass in Singapore,'' he says. Ms Eugenia Ho applauds the Government's decision to reject an application
by gay activist Alex Au to hold a public forum on gay issues. Decision-makers must be responsible to the larger society, she says.

In Ms Anna Chew's view, homosexuality is unnatural and can cause "many social problems if allowed to flourish''. These problems include the rise of Aids and sexually-transmitted diseases, she says. "I do not deny that homosexuals may contribute a lot to society. "However, I believe that, with proper help given to them so that they may revert to heterosexuality, they can contribute even more and also prevent social problems from escalating,'' adds Ms Chew