There was a recent debate about repealing Section 377A and I thought that I might just share my views since it didn’t die down as quickly as I thought it would. I’ve always thought that it was a decoy to bring people away from the topic of the minister’s pay hike, but apparently, it is still ongoing. In addition, the recent comment from MM about him thinking that homosexuals are mostly born that way and that the government has adopted a don’t ask, don’t tell approach, has drawn quite a fair bit of activity and discussions.

Besides the gay activists wanting Section 377A repealed, other supporters such as Rev Dr Yap and MP Baey have also supported the repeal. This has brought some fire from the Methodist Church in Singapore (MCS) as well as citizens about the appropriateness of their views.

MCS was quick to send a letter to the Straits Times Forum on their stand about homosexuality and that it contravenes the order of the church, effectively distancing themselves from Rev Dr Yap, who had retired from active service since 1994 from the Trinity Annual Conference. Some citizens have also lamented that MP Baey should have considered the overall views of his constituency instead of just representing his views. This, however, brought responses that the MP should not represent the majority’s view, but the minority’s as well.

The amount of arguments and conspiracy theory that was conjured is also amazing. Letters to the forums were fast and furious, with many people taking either sides of the argument. Some people feel that a mum-mum family is not only feasible, but has also given an equivalent amount of love for their kids, while others have been a little too imaginative and extrapolated that brother-sister, brother-mum, sister-dad, man-horse relationships are also possible in the near future. I think that’s bringing matters a little too far and beyond reasoning. It could jolly well be his own fantasy, but I want no part in that world, especially the man-horse portion. Gross.

Near personal attacks by readers were also made in the forums, with most asking how the other party would react or feel if their own kids were homosexuals. The tone that was used was almost similar to that of asking their reactions if their kids were thieves – at least the “correct answer” was that the latter would teach their kids right from wrong. This, of course, assumes that homosexuality, like theft, is a crime, is by choice and is correctable.

The latest letter to the forums was from a Dr Ang, who, after a trip to San Francisco, decided that Singapore would be the best place for him to raise his kids, and if ever local schools were to teach that homosexuality is an alternative lifestyle, and that his children’s teachers are open about their homosexual relationships, he will quit his immensely satisfying career to home-school his children.

In addition, if the time comes when local church/religious leaders sanction same-sex marriages and ordain homosexual ministers, he will quit going to church and will not send his children to a mission school. He also lamented that the day Singapore becomes like San Francisco, foreign talents can come in all they like, but there would not be much left to keep him in Singapore.

If you ask me, I smell emotional blackmail.

However, one of the better arguments that I give credibility is one from straitstimes forumer, kwicktake, which is summed up nicely by venusspartacus, who feels that Christians should understand the difference between something which (they consider) is a sin, as opposed to something that is criminal. There are, too, many examples – lying, hypocrisy, (and being) disrespectful to ones’ parents are sins according to the bible, but they are not crimes punishable by law.

Indeed, sex between 2 guys may be sinful in the context of Christianity and various religions, but this may not be mentioned in other religions. The moment someone uses the basis of religion to argue the cause, he has already lost his case, and perhaps credibility. It is important to note that Singapore is not a Christian state and that no one should impose their religious beliefs on others. A blunt example would be the imposition of the restriction of consumption of pork to non-Muslims, or for that matter, beef to non-Hindus, or even meat to non-Buddhists; and because there is freedom of choice in religion, I feel that forumers should stop using the basis of Christianity as the reason not to repeal Section 377A. To quote kwicktake, what do Christians want from Section 377A?

The other avenue for argument will be on moral grounds, in that gay sex is not moral – and moral is something that is decided by the society at large. We can all argue that gay sex is against the orde of nature and that is is not morally accepted. This is almost a good argument. However, we are also reminded that Section 377 was recently repealed too and it states that whoever voluntarily has carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any man, woman or animals, shall be punished with imprisonment for life, or with imprisonment for a term which may extend to 10 years, and shall also be liable to fine. As far as I can remember, the genitalia was never meant for other uses. In other words, to retain Section 377A on the basis of morality, Section 377 should never have been removed in the first place. In Christian-speak, God never created the genitalia for the other party’s mouth and according to the arguments that gay sex is a sin and should thus be criminalised, so should carnal intercourse against the order of nature.

My personal stand on this issue is that gay sex is a sin in the context of Christianity, but really, it is none of my business what 2 guys do behind closed doors – just as much as I won’t question what my straight couple friends do behind their doors. As long as the repealing of Section 377A does not bring harm into anybody, I would say, go ahead by all means. The moral, religious and social consequence, should likewise, be borne by homosexuals themselves. Section 377A, to me, is just a technicality – probably one to give the moral-conscious the comfort that homosexuals are best kept behind closed doors, away from them, their moral rights and in the case of Dr Ang, his children.

While I believe that homosexuals are born the way they are, I will probably not condone homosexuality to be taught as an alternative lifestyle (the use of the term lifestyle is, in my opinion, a fallacy). I am however, confident that this will not be happening (in the near future) as much as oral sex is not taught as a means of alternative CCA.

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