ST Forum: Not true that all gays are hedonistic and loose

Friday, May 4, 2007

May 3, 2007
Not true that all gays are hedonistic and loose

I REFER to the letter, 'MM's comments have me and family worried' (ST, May1), by Mr Jonathan Cheng Hern Sinn.

I am disheartened by the writer's myopic view on homosexuality, as he makessweeping and unsubstantiated statements as to why homosexuality should notbe decriminalised.

The claim that all homosexuals lead hedonistic and promiscuous lifestyles isfar from the truth. I have homosexual friends who are working professionals and make significant contributions to society. Many of them are in stableand loving relationships with long-term partners. They are discreet and donot publicise their sexual exploits, which is more than can be said of manyheterosexual individuals I know.

It is true that pornography is much more accessible in the West. However,most of this pornography is heterosexual in nature and a result of laxanti-pornography laws. In decriminalising homosexuality, one would notexpect a sudden surge in the availability of pornography as these are twocompletely separate issues.

By legalising homosexuality, such individuals would feel more accepted bysociety, and thus be more encouraged to conform to common social values,such as responsible sexual behaviour, as well as play a part in contributingto civic life.

By criminalising the act of homosexuality, we only end up driving suchindividuals to the margins of society, where they are more likely to engagein promiscuous and risky behaviour.

While it is true that the prevalence of HIV is higher in homosexuals than heterosexuals, excluding them from our health-care system is not a solution in any case.

By making health care and health education more accessible to theseindividuals, we actually have a better chance of reducing rates of HIV infection.

While I accept that we should be entitled to our opinions and points ofview, the writer's argument against legalising homosexuality is based onmisconceptions and personal bias rather than fact.

I am proud to be Singaporean but not proud of the fact that we continue todiscriminate against a very legitimate section of our society.

Dr Shirin Kalimuddin