ST Forum Online: The key difference between homosexuality and abortion/capital punishment (Nov 16)

Friday, November 16, 2007

Nov 16, 2007
The key difference between homosexuality and abortion/capital punishment

I REFER to the humorously written letter by Mr Peter Lee Peng Eng (Online forum, Nov 10), who commented that NMP Thio Li-Ann should also speak up equally fervently on other moral issues that the Singapore laws condoned in order not to be branded as a hypocrite. Specifically, Mr Lee exhorted NMP Thio to speak up against abortion
and capital punishment because 'Christianity does not condone killing another human being'.

To correct Mr Lee's confusion, I believe that most major religions do not condone killing of another innocent human being. Hence by logical extension, abortion is frowned upon by most religious orders.

Of course, strong emotive arguments abound between pro-life and pro-choice advocates, especially with regard to rape victims who become pregnant or when the mother's life is being threatened. On the other hand, most major religions also permit capital punishments though the conditions differ somewhat from religion to religion. As a secular society, we can certainly debate on which crimes are heinous enough to deserve capital punishment.

However, Mr Lee missed the point when he chose to lump the debate on Section 377A with that of abortion and capital punishment.

Perhaps he was too busy to read NMP Thio's parliamentary speech, so allow me to quote one section of her speech - 'It is true that not all moral wrongs, such as adultery, are criminalised; yet they retain their stigma. But adulterers know they have done wrong and do not lobby for toleration of adultery as a sexual orientation right.'

Similarly, those who had undergone abortion(s) or administered capital punishment (or committed adultery for that matter) are not thumping their chest with pride over what they had done.

In arguing for Section 377A to be repealed, the supporters in Singapore ultimately want homosexuality to be accepted by society and possibly celebrated (in future) as an alienable right, similar to race, language or religion. This is the key difference in this debate that Mr Lee should be cognisant of.

Alex Tan Tuan Loy