ST Online Forum: Tolerance does not mean we tolerate what is wrong (Jul 26)

Thursday, July 26, 2007

July 26, 2007

Tolerance does not mean we tolerate what is wrong

I AM disturbed by Mr Chua Chee Hiang's letter, 'Gay men and lesbians are Singaporeans too' (Online forum, July 21). It makes many emotional statements based on questionable assumptions. s a married Singaporean man, I am deeply concerned by the call for equal rights for people with different sexual behaviour or perversions as this implies there is no difference between the social norm of heterosexuality and homosexuality, which deviates from the norm.

Mr Chua wrongly assumes that the Pledge does not apply to homosexuals. The Pledge applies to all Singaporeans. It affirms the importance of harmony among all races and religions. Although it mentions 'equality', surely this does not mean that all forms of sexual behaviour come under legal
protection? 'Sexuality' involves some degree of choice and is not the same as one's race or sex, which is an inborn and natural trait.

In fact, what do we mean by 'sexual orientation" which the Pledge never mentions? It is such a broad term and can cover anything from homosexuality, heterosexuality, bisexuality, pederasty and bestiality to paedophilia, bigamy and adultery. Those who talk about non-discrimination on the basis of 'sexual orientation' are aggressively pushing a radical social agenda which tries to remove moral distinctions between heterosexuality and homosexuality. But, if all sexual orientations are morally equal, why should we penalise incest, bigamy or disapprove of adultery, sado-masochism, et cetera? We should just throw up our hands and say 'anything goes" when it
comes to sexual (im)morality.

I resent how Mr Chua arrogantly dismisses as a prejudice all forms of principled moral objections against mainstreaming homosexuality. Politically inclined homosexuals and lesbians, and their liberal friends do not have the right to impose their controversial moral views and their own prejudices on the rest of us.

Each of us has an equal right to marry - but marriage is regulated by four prohibitions: we can only marry unmarried persons, of the opposite sex and who have come of age, with no bloodline objections. Also, all of us enjoy the same tax and social benefits. All men, whether heterosexual or
homosexual, cannot legally sodomise another man.

Mr Chua is asking for special consideration for homosexuals which nobody else gets. It is dishonest to say 'we just want to be understood". At present, homosexuals can lead a quiet life if they want to. But it is those pushing for the homosexual agenda who are making this a public and political issue in order to gain social acceptance of a controversial sexual behaviour. This will threaten family values because a model of Man-Man is asserted as a good and wholesome alternative to Man-Woman-Child. Unless we want to change our adoption laws, we cannot legally endorse the message that two men can be good lovers and adoptive 'parents'. This kind of immoral propaganda is both insidious and harmful.

Tolerance does not mean we tolerate what is wrong. Tolerance is not the ultimate value. Singaporeans need to know the accepted norm before we can decide how far deviations from it should be permitted. This should be discussed rationally and clearly and not through emotional statements which distort the issue.

To evoke National Day as Mr Chua does is just pure emotionalism. We must remember the values that made us a strong nation, one of which is sound family values which Mr Chua's assumptions attack.

Koh Yan Sang