ST Forum: Homosexuals are contributing citizens too (May 3, 2007)

Thursday, May 3, 2007

May 3, 2007
Homosexuals are contributing citizens too

I REFER to the letter from Mr Jonathan Cheng Hern Sinn, 'MM's comments have me and family worried' (ST, May 1).

Mr Cheng and his family were concerned about Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew's recent comments about liberalising laws regarding homosexuality which, in Mr Cheng's view, will rob Singapore of its wholesomeness as he alleged that homosexuals lead a promiscuous and hedonistic lifestyle.

I have led many community projects benefiting the infirm elderly and people with disabilities. In most of our projects, we mobilised more than 100 volunteers, with the majority being homosexuals. In the past three years, our volunteers have cleaned and painted more than 150 homes of the elderly, taken the elderly in wheelchairs for outings and organised celebratory free dinners, among other things. In the past two years, our volunteers have twice staged A Nation In Concert, which empowered hundreds of people with disabilities to perform on the grand stage of the Esplanade Concert Hall, and channelled close to $250,000 to various charities dealing with disabilities.

Our volunteers sacrificed their evenings after work and weekends to organise these events.

Contrary to public perception that homosexuals do not have children and family to take care of and, hence, lead a hedonistic lifestyle, there are many homosexuals who volunteer their time and energy to carry out community work in various voluntary organisations.

I applaud MM Lee's foresight in advocating an inclusive society, in keeping with developments around the world. Instead of discriminating against and making life difficult for our fellow homosexual citizens, we should channel our energy towards working together as a nation regardless of race, language or religion - or sexual orientation.

Jerry Siah
Honorary Executive Director
Spaces Community