India decriminalises gay sex, Singapore shown to be a fool

Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code was today struck down as unconstitutional by a High Court in Delhi, thus decriminalising homosex. Not two years ago, the Singapore government chose to keep our Section 377A. Now we’re looking like a backwater and the 2007 non-repeal is shown up to be the huge mistake that I said it was. Full essay.

53 Responses to “India decriminalises gay sex, Singapore shown to be a fool”


  1. 1 Laïcité 2 July 2009 at 17:23

    I am skeptical about whether this line of argument (i. e. the “look how far behind we are compared to India” argument) would work on the hardcore conservatives and religious fundamentalists. As liberals, we view the decriminalizing of homosexual sex as desirable and as a progressive step forward away from intolerance and bigotry. But from a conservative’s perspective, regardless of whether it is the US or India taking such a step, it is viewed as a step towards “moral decline”. They simply see all social change as negative, and I doubt that comparing Singapore’s society and legal system with that of other countries would do anything to change their opinions. If anything, it might even unite them further in their fight to prevent Singapore from succumbing to “international peer pressure” to legalize “immorality”.

    • 2 yawningbread 3 July 2009 at 00:31

      We are talking civil rights here, and the role of the courts in protecting civil rights, including the right to equality.

      You seem to be taking the view that in Singapore equality must wait until we convince the last homophobe to change his mind. Hence, if pointing out that other countries are moving ahead makes this harder, then we should stay ignorant of world trends?

      But wait – why must we wait until the last homophobe has changed his mind? Isn’t equality a human right whether others like it or not?

      I’m not interested in convincing the last homophobe. I’m interested in getting our government and courts to wake up.

      • 3 Laïcité 3 July 2009 at 02:01

        I’m not talking about convincing the last homophobe, but those homophobes do have a lot more power in terms of “moral authority”, and the government seems to value their opinions more than that of the liberals. As long as those homophobes exist and continue to be vocal about issues such as s377a, I think the government would still continue to pander to them and play the “singapore is a conservative country” card.

        Regarding the constitutionality of s377a, is there anything in the constitution that s377a would contradict? I myself am not very familiar with singapore’s constitution, but after a quick read, I found this under “Fundamental Liberties”:

        (2) Except as expressly authorised by this Constitution, there shall be no discrimination against citizens of Singapore on the ground only of religion, race, descent or place of birth in any law or in the appointment to any office or employment under a public authority or in the administration of any law relating to the acquisition, holding or disposition of property or the establishing or carrying on of any trade, business, profession, vocation or employment.

        If it is explicitly stated that there shall be no discrimination on the grounds of race, religion, descent or place of birth, would that mean that discrimination based on gender or sexuality would not be considered unconstitutional?

      • 4 Robox 3 July 2009 at 22:55

        Laïcité on 3 July 2009 at 02:01:

        Re: “Regarding the constitutionality of s377a, is there anything in the constitution that s377a would contradict?”

        Equal protection
        12. —(1) All persons are equal before the law and entitled to the equal protection of the law.

      • 5 Z 4 July 2009 at 11:39

        Laicite,

        If you’re feeling puzzled why Art 12(1) has not been invoked if it is indeed so simple an issue of “equality”, you can refer to my debate with Robox in an earlier YB post – “Secular fundamentalists are oppressive, says Thio Li-Ann”.🙂

    • 6 Legal Eye for the Queer Folk 3 July 2009 at 19:18

      Under the Constitution “12. —(1) All persons are equal before the law and entitled to the equal protection of the law.”

      With 377A in existence, gay people are not equal under the law in Singapore. They are targeted as a group by this law. This is made particularly clear as the same behaviour has been legalised between heterosexuals.

      The religious right try to argue, as they did in India, that gays are not a class of persons or minority, but the Court rebutted that argument as the nonsense that it is. I don’t know of any Court in the world that has agreed with that attempt by the fundamentalists to play with language so as to exclude gays from equal protection.

      377A would very clearly be unconstitutional in the Delhi Judges’ opinion.

  2. 7 Yan 2 July 2009 at 18:57

    Why hasn’t someone challenged the constitutionality of S377A in Singapore courts? While the legislature might still be cowardly and backward, the judiciary might have more moral backbone, especially since it is free from popular pressure.

    If the Singapore Court of Appeal strikes down S377A as unconstitutional, I doubt the Government would be so foolhardy as to try and reinstate S377A by changing the constitution.

    • 8 yawningbread 3 July 2009 at 00:25

      The possibility has been examined from time to time, but there are two huge stumbling blocks that are perhaps unique to SIngapore.

      1. Is there enbough confidence that judges here are truly independent of the government? If we are not confident of that, wouldn’t we be wasting time and money? I am told by law professors that in over 40 years of independence, our courts have never struck down any law on constitutional grounds. There is no track record we can draw confidence from.

      2. Have you any idea how much it costs to bring a case to court? The petitioner has to pay for court time, and we have been told that if there is just one day’s hearing, the bill will come to about $20,000. If hearings stretch more than one day…. I dare not imagine. I don’t know if other jurisdictions have such stratospheric fees, but where are we going to find that kind of money?

      This raises a more general question about Singapore. We may brag about the quality of justice in Singapore, but if access to justice is so biased in favour of the rich, what does that really mean?

  3. 9 Chris 2 July 2009 at 19:29

    India decriminalises gay sex before Singapore? Remind me, which one is the developing country and which is the developed country?

  4. 10 KAM 2 July 2009 at 20:21

    I am not gay and therefore I may not know the full impact of legalising or disputing with the said section of the law.
    I do have a compelling question though. What is the big deal of repealing this law and legalising gay sex? I mean, the police is not going to charge into your private bedroom while you guys are into some intimacy, is it? For the general public, even the gay public, I don’t think the risk of being “caught red handed” by the police or gay-haters, is higher than winning 4D or lottery.
    So what is the big deal?
    Psychologically sound legislation? It seems to be all in the head or a matter for gay pride?
    Singaporeans or many other people in the world, has had to live with laws which they break all the time. So what is the big hot harry deal?

    • 11 yawningbread 3 July 2009 at 00:18

      Please read carefully what I described as Naz Foundations’s case, and which was accepted by the Court. It’s not whether or not there is the likelihood of police rushing in, the court found that the very existance of the law created stigma and discriminatory policies (with respect to HIV care, as specifically argued in this case), and was therefore repugnant to the constituional guarantee of equality.

      Would heterosexuals like to live under a law (albeit is seldom used) that made heterosexual sex an offence, but gay people can have sex legally? Would you be happy if the tables were turned?

      • 12 Vic 3 July 2009 at 10:01

        And why is there a need to ‘keep up’ with ‘world trends’ by legalising homosexuality? Whose ‘standards’ are we trying to live up to? So is California ‘taking a step back’ with the reinstatement of Prop 8? Many would deem it a victory.

        I am constantly perplexed why adjectives like ‘progressive’, ‘tolerant’ and ‘open-minded’ are thrown out for the LGBT cause and if not, labels ‘bigot’, ‘conservative’, ‘close-minded’ and (of course) ‘homophobes’ brand the other party, who chooses to believe differently.

        Consider this sad letter by Canadians after they have achieved ‘progressiveness’: http://www.defendmarriage.org/defendmarriage/recentarticles/recentarticles.cfm

        Let’s wait and see what happens to India now that ‘equality’ has come to them. Maybe they will soon have Sisters of Perpetual Indulgences on the streets instead of Sisters of the Ministeries of Charity.

      • 13 Robox 4 July 2009 at 01:42

        To Vic on 3 July 2009 at 10:01:

        Re: “Let’s wait and see what happens to India now that ‘equality’ has come to them. Maybe they will soon have Sisters of Perpetual Indulgences on the streets instead of Sisters of the Ministeries of Charity.”

        Likewise, I shall be holding Singapore’s Christians personally responsible should any of the suspected Christian Right-instigated assasination plots against President Obama materialize for his pro-gay rights stand.

    • 14 ultramarine 9 July 2009 at 01:27

      If, as you acknowledge, the police can’t or won’t enforce this law, then what is the point of it existing?

      IMO, 377A is also a matter of privacy. What consenting adults do in the privacy of their bedrooms should be none of the government’s business.

  5. 15 Peter 2 July 2009 at 21:21

    Is this binding in New Delhi only, or all of India?

    • 16 yawningbread 3 July 2009 at 00:13

      I’m no lawyer, but my guess is that technically, it is binding in New Delhi only, and will remain so unless the government appeals (which may not happen) and the Supreme Court reverses the High Court’s ruling.

      If the government does not appeal, or the Supreme Court reaffirms the Delhi Court’s ruling, then India will be left with an anomalous situation where there is one law in the capital and another law in the rest of the country. It will be widely perceived as untenable, especially as the Delhi Court’s reasons were not locality-specific.

      Either the government cleans up the mess by repealing Section 377 nationally, or amending it to narrow its scope as required by the court, or case by case, decriminalisation spreads throughout the country, each case citing the Delhi Court’s ruling.

      Thus, one can say that short of reversal by the Supreme Court, for all practical purposes, India has decriminalised.

      Thanks for your question; it prompted me to amend the article to make it a bit clearer.

      • 17 Peter 3 July 2009 at 05:33

        Hi Yawning Bread,

        Sorry, I meant to say Delhi, not New Delhi…! In any case, that’s really great news!

  6. 18 Robert L 2 July 2009 at 22:44

    In Singapore laws, we have the ridiculous situation where a woman may have sex with another woman, inserting dildos into each other’s vagina, without breaking the law; but when a man plays with another man’s penis, it becomes a criminal offense.

    Did I say ridiculous? Actually it’s factually insane.

    • 19 Z 4 July 2009 at 12:16

      Robert,

      The appeal to ridicule will not get us very far when it comes to criminal and constitutional issues. Legally, the situation as you state would not be as ‘ridiculous’ if there is a rational nexus between the classification of the Act and its legislative purpose. What we need to think about is how the New Delhi high court construed there to be no rational nexus, whether the reasons provided are sound (and the implications that might follow) and how the Singapore courts can/will react to this decision.

  7. 20 Kim 3 July 2009 at 12:51

    Hooray for India. Perhaps there is hope for Singapore after all.

    Vic,

    In reply to you being perplexed, what then do you think are suitable adjectives for those who:

    1) Are against 377A’s repeal based on religious beliefs?

    2) Are against 377A’s repeal based on non-religious beliefs of homosexuality being:

    – abnormal
    – against nature (ie. not resulting in children)
    – closely-related to bestiality and paedophilia
    – gross and dirty
    – a cause of HIV-spread and AIDS
    – a threat to the basic family structure?

    3) Are against 377A’s repeal with no real reason at all?

    You can treat the above questions as rhetorical but if you choose to answer them, I have good counters for every single thing you most likely will say. And I am sure many who frequent this blog will have something supportive to chip in too.

    This is not a mere difference in beliefs because this difference causes a group of tax-paying citizens to be marginalised, denied of their basic human rights, and made criminals. If it is only a simple thought in your brain, I would care less but it is not. What if you were denied the right to get married because you love someone of the opposite sex?

    Two Christian friends and I recently fell out over this topic when I asked them: “when push came to shove and you had to vote for and against the repeal of 377A, what would you vote?” The resultant answer tore us apart. I cannot befriend someone who does harm to me knowingly. Perhaps this is equally perplexing to you but the decision process to cast them aside took but a fraction of a second.

    Politics, progression and world trends aside, this battle against the repeal of 377A is very personal to me (and many others as well) because 377A attacks a fundamental part of our lives. Even after we repeal 377A, we would have to continue fighting for years to get us to the stage where same-sex marriage is legal. Why do we have to fight so hard to simply live our lives? By the way if you have the time, look up the word “marriage” in the 21st-century version of a dictionary.

    I do not expect straights to want or be able to walk even a step in our shoes and so you can imagine how futile I feel this fight is (and hence my leaving the country). Without concrete understanding, bigotry can never be quashed.

    And yes, I think “bigotry” is a perfect word to use in this case.

    • 21 Vic 3 July 2009 at 17:53

      Thanks for sharing your story Kim. I respect your passion and steel in seeing through your beliefs.

      Your Christian friends, following their beliefs, have no choice but to disagree with you.

      To answer your questions (1), (2) and (3), I can only say that in the light of the growing onslaught of ‘attacks’ (name-calling, gay militancy, smear campaigns etc), how about one adjective – ‘brave’?

    • 22 Madison Chua 7 July 2009 at 07:59

      I have to agree with you.
      I, too, cannot be friends with someone who does me harm. While the saying “Keep your enemies closer” is interesting, it is impractical.

  8. 23 yawningbread 3 July 2009 at 16:34

    Vic – there is a reason why words like “progressive”, “tolerant”, “open-minded” are applied to those who support gay equality. Because they are appropriate and truly describe their position.

    Th history of humankind demonstrates a clear directionality in terms of social and legal development – towards greater inclusiveness and the expansion of human rights, including equality, and liberty. Further movement along the same lines is naturally termed “progressive”; backwards movement is called “regressive”. It is just the plain use of English.

    And surely when a position advocates inclusiveness and expansion of human rights and equality, the terms “tolerant” and “open-minded” are similarly obvious. Or are you sugegsting that “tolerant” should mean intolerant and open-minded should mean being unreceptive to new ideas?

    Yes, regressives sometimes win victories too, like Hitler won a large number of battles before he was finally defeated. But it doesn’t make them any less regressive in terms of the long perspective of human history.

    It is fascinating to watch the rearguard action of those who have a problem with gay equality. That they are now reduced to trying to confuse linguistic terms, is yet another indication that substance-wise, they have lost the argument already.

    • 24 Vic 3 July 2009 at 17:34

      Thanks for posting my views Alex. I take it that my disagreements are not welcomed. I am responding because I don’t think Yawning Bread’s a site where everyone pats your back all the time.

      Re: “Th history of humankind demonstrates a clear directionality in terms of social and legal development – towards greater inclusiveness and the expansion of human rights, including equality, and liberty.”, what about homosexuality in ancient Rome? It’s before the arrival of Christianity. We could all be ‘regressing’ instead of ‘developing’.

      Re: ‘Or are you sugegsting that “tolerant” should mean intolerant and open-minded should mean being unreceptive to new ideas?’ We all know that homosexualism is not a new idea. So what’s there to be receptive about? My point in an earlier post is not just a semantic one. Argument? What argument? It will never start with name-calling.

      I find it equally fascinating for those who, using guises of positive terms and linguistic dexterity in PR campaigns, aim to subvert societal norms and normalise the deviant. If all else fails, either ‘declare victory’ or go militant: http://bashbacknews.wordpress.com/

  9. 25 Legal Eye for the Queer Folk 3 July 2009 at 18:47

    I heard a while back that some sort of lawyers’ group had been set up for those particularly interested/specialising in Constitutional law in Singapore. I don’t know if it’s true that this comprised of laywers mainly from the religious right, who may have a particularly selective view about who is entitled to equality under the constitution, but I got the impression that that might possibly be the case. My impression may be completely wrong though.

    Can someone clarify whether the field of constitutional law has been “steeplejacked” to any extent in Singapore? If so, it may be difficult to make progress on the legal front so far as reducing discrimination against gay people is concerned.

    • 26 Peter 4 July 2009 at 01:21

      Hi guys,

      You may be interested to know that Thio Li-Ann, well-known for her homophobic views in Singapore, teaches public law (of which constitutional law is a subset), as well as human rights.

      I have always found this incredibly ironic.

      • 27 yawningbread 4 July 2009 at 02:02

        From many accounts I have heard, Thio Li-Ann is considered a very good lecturer in public law. In terms of her views, one colleague of hers told me that she and I would probably agree on everything.

        The totally inexplicable thing is that once the word “homosexuality” or “gay” is mentioned, she switches into a different person, the same contact told me. I have never seen it for myself, so I cannot swear that such is true.

    • 28 Robox 4 July 2009 at 01:33

      Legal Eye for the Queer Folk on 3 July 2009 at 18:47:

      If what you say about the possible steeplejacking is true, it is quite typical of the Christian Right that takes its cues from their ilk in the US. There really ought to be another lawyers’ group to counter the likely disinformation that a steeplejacked lawyers’ group can be expected to put out.

      That said, it is just too bad for any such group that they tend not to be ruled by logic; that’s exactly how they succeed in doing themselves a disservice with absolutely no help from gays.

      • 29 Legal Eye for the Queer Folk 6 July 2009 at 21:20

        I found the thing I was referring to – the reported formation of a lawyers committee for Constitutional Law last year, the head of which was said to be none other than the “feminist” mentor herself, Thio Su Mien.

        It would be interesting to know whether this committee has as similar a lack of diversity as did the group that took over AWARE.

  10. 30 starch 3 July 2009 at 23:18

    It’s clear that things will not change in Singapore until there’s a compelling economic reason to do so. The more thoughtful leaders in the government know it’s a matter of time before Singapore has to join the civilised world and ditch 377A but, especially after the recent Aware saga, there’s no appetite to take on the religious right at the moment. Unfortunately, when it comes to the most basic human rights for gays, we’re probably destined to remain in the 3rd world for some time to come.

  11. 31 Robox 3 July 2009 at 23:27

    This is indeed a very significant development for Asia, thanks to India’s strict adherence to constitutionalism and the rule of law. This truly shows up Singapore’s farcical governance for the infantilism that it is rife with.

    While Hong Kong did decriminalize, it was done in a hurry by the British colonial government on the eve of handover. I’m told that the result was a vacuum in a human rights conciousness among LGBTs there, which is only now changing. Many other Asian countries have never criminalized gay sex, but again because there were no legal or political battles fought by LGBTs there, the same vacuum that existed in Hong Kong appears to be present. Perhaps that will change when same sex marriage gets to discussion table.

    The Indian legal battle is a completely different ball game and has more in common with the experience in the West. It is made even more remarkable because the issue has never been able to capture the attention of the Indian public, one of those rare occasions that political apathy is welcome news.

    Congratulaions to the Naz Foundation, and to all Indian LGBTs.

  12. 32 Lee Chee Wai 4 July 2009 at 12:18

    Singapore, a conservative society?

    America doesn’t seem to think so nowadays after our now-famous Burger King advertisement:

    http://www.fitsnews.com/2009/06/26/sex-sells-bk-versus-ck/

    I had a good laugh.

  13. 33 Mary Ann 4 July 2009 at 20:43

    Good article, Alex.

    You hit the nail on the head about our “uninformed, fundamentalist-Christian-friendly government” – just look how it clamped down on sexuality education programmes in schools after AWARE’s EGM.

    As a single straight Buddhist, I’m really sick over how hung up people are about sex. What makes sex between a man and a woman more superior than gay sex? It’s still sex. It’s lust, carnal desire, primal, animal desire. Get over it and move on to more important matters.

    Sex is not just for procreation, some of us don’t want to have children, and no, it won’t be the end of the human race, because they will be people in this world who will still harbour the desire (and ability) to produce children.

    Even then, the human race becoming extinct might not be a bad thing for this planet. Earth needs a break from humans.

  14. 34 Vic 4 July 2009 at 23:36

    To Robox at 4 July, 1.42:

    Why not Muslims who consider homosexuality harem?

    • 35 Robox 5 July 2009 at 11:51

      Vic, I have no idea how your question to me is linked to my post that you are replying to.

      • 36 Vic 6 July 2009 at 15:16

        Robox, my clarification can be found under the reply to Liju Philip.

      • 37 Robox 7 July 2009 at 01:19

        Vic on 6 July 2009 at 12:01:

        Re: “I am curious to know why he would not include holding Muslims ‘personally responsible’ as well.”

        Do you know any Muslims in the US who have been implicated in assasination plots against President Obama along with their Christian Taliban brethren?

        If you do, please provide me with ALL the evidence and I’ll hold them just as personally responsible for those plots as I the Christians are.

    • 38 Liju Philip 6 July 2009 at 08:29

      Vic, the muslims consider eating Pork as haram. If you are a pork eating person, how do you justify your behaviour on that front?

      If you want to say that eating Pork is your right. That’s exactly what this regulation by the Delhi court has declared. That criminalising the sexual preference of 2 consenting adults (of the same sex) above 18 years old (which is considered a mature age in India) is against the fundamental laws laid down by the founding fathers of the country in the constitution of India.

      The fundamental law of India states that no person can be discriminated against on the basis of his/her colour, religion, region, caste, political belief etc. Sexual preference (was not mentioned in those days when the constitution was made)

      The court has only clarified the rule and made gay sex non-criminal as long as its with consent of the persons involved in it.

      • 39 Vic 6 July 2009 at 12:01

        Liju Philip,

        Thank you for your reply. I find it refreshing that the tone of it is measured and it does not go on the offensive immediately. I appreciate that.

        My question was to Robox who earlier said that “Likewise, I shall be holding Singapore’s Christians personally responsible should any of the suspected Christian Right-instigated assasination plots against President Obama materialize for his pro-gay rights stand.” The point I wanted to make was ‘why target Christians’ when homosexuality is also considered harem to Muslims. I am curious to know why he would not include holding Muslims ‘personally responsible’ as well. No offense to all, but I believe Muslim extremists have a more violent track record in recent years.

        So, I don’t know how ‘eating pork’ has come into all this and if my guess is right, I would question if lumping ‘food preferences’ together with ‘sexual preferences’ may be taking a step too far out in this whole ‘inclusiveness’ business no?

        From your mention that: “The fundamental law of India states that no person can be discriminated against on the basis of his/her colour, religion, region, caste, political belief etc. Sexual preference (was not mentioned in those days when the constitution was made)”, I appreciate your additional comment in brackets because the law on homosexuality seems to be as it is – not mentioned and ‘needing clarity’.

        It is this ‘clarity’ of ‘etcs’, which is additional interpretation required, that has opened up the can of worms isn’t it? Should we put in the same kettle ‘sexual preferences’ and say, ‘colour’? Disagreeing though you and everyone else in this forum may be, there are ex-gays who cast doubt into the existence of the gay gene: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ex-gay. Apart from the late MJ, there is no ex-black.

        Anyone can say that anything (including having public orgies) is their right. (I’d better pause here to state that I don’t agree that homosexuality = public orgies). But there are people who are going to disagree very strongly with that. Isn’t this where the law comes in, which is to prevent the polarising of society? Just because Singapore’s Lady Justice keeps the scales balanced doesn’t mean that her ideals are necessarily ‘regressive’ and ‘foolish’.

  15. 40 Kim 6 July 2009 at 05:52

    Vic,

    There is only one question that you need to answer, and people here will then see how credible (or otherwise) you are.

    Question:
    What is the basis of your assertions that homosexuality “subvert(s)” social norms” and is “deviant”?

    • 41 Vic 6 July 2009 at 11:08

      Kim,

      Based on your note on 6 July 2009 at 05:52, especially this sentence: “There is only one question that you need to answer, and people here will then see how credible (or otherwise) you are.”

      Seeing your attempts to “pigeon-hole” me or my credibility (as asserted), I don’t see the need to answer your question at all.

  16. 42 recruit ong 6 July 2009 at 10:34

    Dream on people! The only way things will change is to vote out the PAP gabrament.

  17. 43 Kim 6 July 2009 at 12:03

    Vic,

    So in essence, you have made an assertion without disclosing your basis (regardless of the reason(s) for doing so). How can you expect anyone to continue an intelligent discourse with you hereafter? If you manage to find a way, please indicate so with a reply.

    I am not out to judge anyone but to listen to them. But I cannot perform the act of listening if nothing has been said. Perhaps silence is what I am supposed to hear and if that is the case, why did you utter a sound in the first place?

  18. 44 Legal Eye for the Queer Folk 6 July 2009 at 21:34

    Vic says “So, I don’t know how ‘eating pork’ has come into all this..”

    Vic says “I don’t see the need to answer your question at all.”

    An unwillingness to address fairly fundamental points I’d say. No great surprise, they just change tack and ignore it.

    Some people have become quite good at dressing up homophobia and bigotry in “measured tones”. Measured tones or not,it can ztill amount to hate mail.

  19. 45 Kim 7 July 2009 at 05:54

    Let’s just wait till Vic attempts to portray himself in a more sensible and coherent light. Till then, I will not regard his assertions as valid. I think some of you here agree with me.

  20. 46 Vic 7 July 2009 at 09:57

    Dear all,

    First, I don’t see my questions being answered by certain questioners. No quid pro quo = no answers. Only fair no?

    Second, I don’t see how my posts have led anyone to arrive at ‘only one question’ (6 July 2009, 05:52). Suddenly a ‘sum-up’ appears. No offense but it’s amusing. So no replies to that.

    Third, I am perfectly happy to reply to anyone who addresses their posts to me (should Alex allow it) in what I deem to be a non-emotional tone. I have observed that nothing comes out of engaging anyone who is emotional.

    Fourth, I will reply until I don’t see the need anymore (can sense the thread’s getting cold with Alex’s new photo-article).

    Now you may disagree with the above and continue with name-calling, of course. As mentioned earlier, I find them fascinating because (and I would like to add) predictable.

    I thank Alex for your hospitality. Just a quick-aside, I am glad that Audrey Wong’s getting closer to becoming a NMP. Have rooted for her in an earlier YB post.

  21. 47 bin 7 July 2009 at 15:25

    Society is always changing for the better. The battle of justice is always on the side of enlightenment and tolerance. What is considered acceptable today (e.g. discrimination based on sexual orientation) will become morally horrendous a few decades later.

    Abraham Lincoln was considered a progressive-minded person in his time. But in a 1858 speech, he had the following to say about the black race:

    “I will say, then, that I am not, nor ever have been, in favor of bringing about in any way the social and political equality of the white and black races—that I am not, nor ever have been, in favor of making voters or jurors of Negroes, nor of qualifying them to hold office, nor to intermarry with white people; and I will say in addition to this, that there is a physical difference between the white and black races which I believe will forever forbid the two races living together on terms of social and political equality. And inasmuch as they cannot so live, while they do remain together there must be the position of superior and inferior, and I, as much as any other man, am in favor of having the superior position assigned to the white race”

    It was considered perfectly fine to make such denigrating statements about blacks at that time and to restrict their upward movement based on their race. Blacks were not considered to be equal beings at the time.

    But today, the quoted paragraph would shock every one of us. We gasp at how racist and narrow-minded the statement is. This is because we have progressed and have become more enlightened and more tolerant. We are better human beings.

    The unkind and unjust remarks made against non-heterosexuals today will be read by future generations with the same amount of disgust that fills us when we read the quoted paragraphs above about blacks.

    Why do people not realize this?

    • 48 Vic 8 July 2009 at 19:06

      Bin,

      I basically disagree 3 main points of yours:

      1) You started by saying “Society is always changing for the better.” Just some reasons off the top of my head why I disagree:

      – Our weapons are getting so sophisticated we can destroy all lifeforms on this planet many times over. Yet more R&D is going in.

      – The affluent world is getting increasingly materialistic and commercialised whereas the world in poverty are still dying of diseases and famine.

      – Instead of million-dollar financial scams, we have billion-dollar ones in Madoff now…

      And I’m sure I can keep going on and on and on.

      2) Racial discrimination = having sexual-preference differences.

      – These are two different things. As mentioned to Liju Philip in an earlier entry, there are no ex-blacks but there are ex-gays. Many people in this forum cannot accept the fact that there are gays who have converted around. Such a story offends them.

      3) Although you have made a good point that history will judge us on our remarks (and I would like to add) and actions today, I think on the other hand, history does commend the good choices that our predecessors have taken.

      So on that note, many would believe strongly that history will commend Singapore for being wise (not foolish) in retaining 377A and not go with the herd mentality in the name of false ‘progress’.

  22. 49 Kim 7 July 2009 at 15:56

    Ex-gay?

    Don’t get me started. The mere mention of that word has denied you of any credibility. Enough said.

    Just visit this:
    http://www.truthwinsout.org/scandals-defections/

    (PS: I am not emotional at all and am equally amused at your treating “ex-gay” as a valid argument)

  23. 50 Vic 8 July 2009 at 23:57

    Robox on 7 July 1:19,

    Thanks for your reply and for addressing me. Ok, quid pro quo:

    Er… why you need ‘ALL’ the evidence, and why I need to oblige you with ‘ALL’ the evidence before you can draw your own conclusions is puzzling. I also don’t know what you mean by ‘ALL’ (in caps) as it can be terribly subjective. Maybe you want me to go to the library and do hours of research first?

    But anyway, I went googling on ‘Christian right assassination plot on Obama” and read the top three posts on the arrests the police have made regarding a possible attempt at killing the US President:

    1) http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/washington/2008/08/obama-assassina.html
    2) http://crooksandliars.com/2008/08/31/scant-coverage-of-obama-assassination-plot-irresponsible-or-cautious#comment-777004
    3) http://cbs4denver.com/investigates/assisination.plot.obama.2.802827.html

    You may disregard the credibility of my sources above, but from the looks of it, the guys have swastikas and are suspected to be white supremacists or nazis. They can of course claim to be Christians or Martians whatever. Do let me know if you have other sources to share.

    When I review your quote again: “Likewise, I shall be holding Singapore’s Christians personally responsible should any of the suspected Christian Right-instigated assasination plots against President Obama materialize for his pro-gay rights stand.”, I think wait-a-minute, are these pro-nazism activists real Christians? Do they represent Singapore Christians (as quoted)? Are Muslim extremists real Muslims? Is it then fair and so straight-forward to just lump everything together?

    So when you say “Singapore’s Christians”, whom the majority of them oppose a LGBT lifestyle, I believe the majority of “Singapore’s Muslims” would agree with that too. So I ask my question on 4 July 23:36 to see if you really do have a valid point besides having a personal disdain for Christians. I believe I have your answer in the oxymoron you used: “Christian Talibans”.

    But ANYWAY, that’s the point why I ask the question. I apologise if that has indicated to you in anyway that I am interested in who you wish to “hold responsible” if President Obama dies. I am not. And you can go right ahead and hold Decepticons responsible.

    So re: “Do you know any Muslims in the US who have been implicated in assasination plots against President Obama along with their Christian Taliban brethren?” My answer (or non-answer if you like) is: As I don’t wish to convince you who to include in your “hold responsible” list, there is no answer for you.

  24. 52 Hairy Poofter 24 July 2009 at 07:02

    Kim
    7 July 2009 at 05:54
    “Let’s just wait till Vic attempts to portray himself in a more sensible and coherent light. Till then, I will not regard his assertions as valid. I think some of you here agree with me.”

    More than totally agree. I genuinely believe;

    “NEVER argue with a FOOL as you will only appear foolish!”

    The parallel with eating pork by non-Muslims was brilliant and was clearly used to illustrate that fundamental religious restrictions do NOT apply outside its own faith and therefore its course for punitive penance CANNOT be applied as secular laws as such in a secular state.
    Only a single tracked pit bull would ignore all movements and just aim to catch that rabbit and tear it apart regardless. Enough said.

    Simply imagine that Christianity is banned in a predominantly Buddhist country, say Myanmar, and that it is lawfully criminal to practice or even be a Christian there. In addition, in their country’s law, Christians are not equal nor allowed to be normalised on TV, where any hints of actors or talk show hosts being Christians are censored out. How’s that for beef?
    But hey, wait, just for show, their generals say they will not enforce the law. It’s just a messiness everyone living there must accept. Is that clear?
    Wow! Way cool country. Such open-minded bending backwardness accommodation to a minority. Hmm, but wait up again. According to general Dior Lee Ang, they are not even a minority, but an aberration.
    Anyways, it must be very inspiring to live under such a moral & god fearing nation. No wonder there are so many documented ex-christians who realized their errors and reformed. No wonder they eat pork now cos where’s the beef now?😉

    Or perhaps we can throw all non-malay christian straight unmarried couples into jail for holding hands in public in Kelantan state, Malaysia. No, no, we must cane them, for the holy book says so. Spare the rod and spoil the child they always say. Hey, but wait up once more, I think it says,
    “STONE them to DEATH!” Now, that’s justice!

    Disclaimer: All views apply to those who are indeed deserving. Everything else is only meant for those undead or deemed fictional. Have a nice day!


  1. 1 out of the closet, into the streets! gay sex decriminalised in india « killing denouement Trackback on 3 July 2009 at 12:22

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