ST Online Forum: Decriminalising homosexuality: At stake is public morality, not pragmatism (Jul 26)

Thursday, July 26, 2007

July 26, 2007

Decriminalising homosexuality: At stake is public morality, not pragmatism

AS A married Singaporean man and father-to-be, I am alarmed by Ng E-Jay's
letter, 'Be pragmatic, not xenophobic' (Online forum, July 21).

Mr Ng falsely assumes homosexuality is not wrong or only violates the delicate sensibilities of ultra-conservatives . This is inaccurate. The legal endorsement of homosexuality would violate the sensibilities of the vast majority of Singaporeans, who are called conservatives because they want to protect the status quo. Furthermore, mainstreaming homosexuality harms our common welfare.

Mr Ng wrongly used the word 'xenophobic' which indicates an undue fear or contempt for that which is foreign. The decriminalisation of homosexuality has nothing to do with xenophobia - that is a red herring.

If sodomy was decriminalised in Singapore, and I hope it never is, this would mark the first step in a political movement to push for broadening the homosexual agenda. Noting the developments in other countries, such as same-sex 'marriage', is not being xenophobic but prudent. We learn from good and bad examples. Disagreeing with developments in other countries is not contempt for all that is foreign, but a wise decision to protect Singapore by not blindly importing harmful developments.

Those activists in Singapore who want to mainstream homosexuality are becoming more militant. They want to push their agenda on Singaporeans step by step. Homosexuals enjoy individual rights, such as the right to vote, to go shopping and to hold a job, like all Singaporeans, and this state of affairs does not need homosexuality to be decriminalised.

Some homosexual activists argue that the state should not police what is private. However, if they are really concerned about protecting the private sphere and how law should not interfere with the bedroom, then why are they so aggressively trying to push homosexual acts out of the bedroom into the public eye by demanding that society recognise by law that homosexuality is a valid lifestyle? Really, they are trying to change public opinion or impose their views on those who consider homosexuality to be immoral and wrong. Furthermore, the law should rightly interfere with certain activities which take place in private spaces like the bedroom and home, such as incest, child and wife abuse. What is done in private can affect the broader community.

What is at stake is public morality, not pragmatism. The wisest solution is to keep Section 377A of the Penal Code and to maintain sound moral education in schools and homes.

Andrew Lim Chia Wei