There Is A Reason for the Law (Sept 10)

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

There is a reason for the law

Homosexuality is anti-social

Wednesday • September 10, 2008

Letter from Heikel Bafana

I REFER to "Stop making a mockery of Rule of Law: Let's accept gays"
(Sept 8). I must disagree with the assertions of Mr Ho Kwon Ping.

Mr Ho calls for homosexual behaviour to be decriminalised. Whatever
perception he has gleaned from the official attitude, the views of
large segments of our society against the homosexual lifestyle are
neither ambiguous, ambivalent nor schizophrenic.

Whether due to religious belief or personal family values,
homosexuality is widely seen in Singapore society as aberrant
behaviour. I concede, of course, that this view is not shared by
members of the gay community.

Mr Ho's assertion that only "the most fervently fundamentalist
Christians or Muslims" in Singapore care about making gay sex a
criminal act is baseless, and indeed, false.

The Penal Code provision represents the manner in which the law
expresses our society's commonality of understanding as to what is to
be allowed and what is not.

Encouraging a family unit that is able to procreate and rear children
who will contribute to the future of this country is the prime
imperative of our society, and legislating against any behaviour —
including accepting widespread homosexual behaviour, which attacks the
sacrosanct nature of the family unit — is perfectly acceptable.

The Rule of Law constitutes the sum total of the social contract which
we, as citizens, agree to live by. In a multi-racial and multi-faith
society like Singapore, the Rule of Law is a delicate alchemy of
competing racial, cultural and religious demands. It cannot be subject
to change merely because of the high-pitched calls of a small segment
of our society.

I concede that in the context of the prevailing practice of the
criminal justice system here, the belief may arise that homosexual
acts are not subject to criminal prosecution. However, this belief is
not entirely accurate.

Similar non-prosecutions by the authorities are also the norm, for
example, in cases of mischief or of assault involving simple hurt.

However — and this is the critical distinction — the victim still has
the right to lodge a Magistrate's Complaint and undertake a
prosecution himself. From this perspective, why should a person who
feels aggrieved as a victim of homosexual behaviour be deprived of
such a right to prosecute an assailant?

To achieve acceptance, tolerance or respect, perhaps it is more
effective for the gay community to address in substance the issues
which lead society to frown upon homosexuality. Such engagement would
be more effective than getting tied up in knots about the law.

Mr Ho calls for an act of boldness to allow gays to "realise their
dreams". To believe that changing a piece of legislation will attain
this result is misconceived.