The Africa in us

Look at this map here. Some countries, mostly in Africa and the Middle East, are red, as is Singapore. Why does Singapore belong to this set of countries?

Is there some economic characteristic that we share with say, Sudan, Zimbabwe, Pakistan and Nigeria? Perhaps some cultural or linguistic linkage with Angola, Libya, Uzbekistan and Papua New Guinea?

Is it climate? But much of Southeast Asia and tropical America is not red. Perhaps lack of democracy and repressive government? Burma, as you will notice, is red too, as is Saudi Arabia and Egypt. But North Korea is not red, so it can’t be that.

Singapore considers itself an advanced economy, but no country is Europe or North America is red. Nor is Australia, New Zealand or Japan. Culturally, we have close relations with China, India, Indonesia and Malaysia, but only Malaysia is red.

The answer: Singapore belongs to the African and Middle East basket of countries by virtue of our law criminalising gay men. Bigger map.

* * * * *

In 2007, Lee Kuan Yew openly said several times that Section 377A of our Penal Code has to go eventually. In August that year, he told the International Herald Tribune: “Yes, we’ve got to go the way the world is going. China has already allowed and recognized gays, so have Hong Kong and Taiwan. It’s a matter of time.”

However, in the three years since, nothing has happened. In some ways, we’ve seen movement backwards. Some months earlier I reported police entrapment starting all over again. Censors remain as quick with the scissors as they have been in many years.

Meanwhile, countries in Europe and America we depend on for trade, investment and diplomatic goodwill, are progressing to equal marriage rights for gay people. We thumb our noses at them, saying we have our Asian values. . . . except that no country in East Asia, and now not even India, has a similar law.

Even countries not as “developed” as we are are demonstrating more judicial robustness and legislative courage. After a series of court rulings, Argentina’s legislature passed a law legalising same-sex marriage earlier this year. Around the same time, Mexico City legalised gay marriage too, with a subsequent challenge filed against it in the country’s Supreme Court  thrown out earlier this month. The Supreme Court also said that same-sex marriages officiated in Mexico City must be recognised throughout the rest of the country, in line with opposite-sex marriages. And then, a few days later, the Supreme Court ruled once again that married gay couples had the same adoption rights as married opposite-sex couples.

Uruguay and Colombia are two other Latin American countries that offer Civil Unions to same-sex couples.

In Costa Rica earlier this month, the Supreme Court threw out a proposal to hold a referendum that would bar same-sex couples from marrying, saying the legislature is the proper place to consider this question.

Up north, the latest CNN poll found that nation-wide, 52 percent of respondents in the US supported same-sex marriage, with 46 percent against, overturning a 36:58 percent split just four years ago. Support for gay marriage climbed 16 percent over four years, a phenomenal rate of attitudinal change. This is the most significant bit of information from an otherwise depressing videoclip about how former President George W Bush’s 2004 campaign manager, Ken Mehlman, who helped lead the charge against gay marriage back then, is actually gay himself. Mehlman  is redeeming himself now not just by coming out, but by switching to fight for gay marriage. See also the news story Bush campaign manager comes out of closet.

Here’s a different poll, by Gallup, showing similar results.

* * * * *

Meanwhile, things go the other way in Africa. Last year, a rising star member of Uganda’s parliament, David Bahati, introduced a bill to make homosexuality a capital offence. Not only that, the bill requires parents, teachers and neighbours to report to the authorities anyone they suspect to be gay, including their children and schoolkids, an idea that is horrifyingly reminiscent of Nazi persecution of Jews and homosexuals in the 1930s. Uganda’s current anti-gay law imposes prison terms.

Bahati is not alone in his hate campaign. The other prominent actor is Martin Ssempa, a pastor who spouts incredible venom in his sermons against gay people.

But investigative journalists have found a link back to fundamentalist churches in America. Ssempa is supported financially by the 6,000-member Canyon Ridge Christian Church in Las Vegas. But there may be more, and more secretive, links too. Bahati  is a member of an American evangelical movement called the Fellowship, or the Family — a secretive cabal of powerful Christian politicians who wield considerable political influence, both in Washington and abroad. In a new book, New York University associate research scholar Jeff Sharlet describes what he discovered about them:

“We desire to see a leadership led by God,” reads a confidential mission statement. “Leaders of all levels of society who direct projects as they are led by the spirit.” Another principle expanded upon is stealthiness; members are instructed to pursue political jujitsu by making use of secular leaders “in the work of advancing His kingdom,” and to avoid whenever possible the label Christian itself, lest they alert enemies to that advance. Regular prayer groups, or “cells” as they’re often called, have met in the Pentagon and at the Department of Defense, and the Family has traditionally fostered strong ties with businessmen in the oil and aerospace industries.

— excerpt from the book The Family: The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power by Jeff Sharlet, 2009.

What accumulating evidence shows is that the surge of anti-gay rhetoric in Uganda resulted from US-led scheming and financing by fundamentalist megachurches. Similar movements have been reported in other African countries such as Kenya and Nigeria.

Needless to say, Singaporeans familiar with the gay debate in Singapore will see immediately the similarities:  the way anti-gay rhetoric emanates almost exclusively from rightwing churches, the way groups prefer to mask their religious motives and act furtively (remember the AWARE take-over?). Are they operating from the same playbook?

Far from being similar to the progressive West and the tolerant East, far from being even similar to middle-income Latin America, is it not valid to say Singapore really does belong to Africa?

Are we proud of that?

70 Responses to “The Africa in us”


  1. 1 beast686 27 August 2010 at 19:47

    Well, for one thing, I have often seen a link between homophobia and religion, particularly those pertaining to Abrahamic religions.

    That aside, religion is also an obstacle when it comes to obstructing scientific progress: Obama has been trying very hard to reinstate stem cell research particularly in terms of using embryos, but the religious federal judge stopped it. Apparently, embryos are more important than real, suffering adults.

    If religious morons had their way, we’d all be living in caves, with nothing more than our skins and hides to keep us going.

  2. 2 yawningbread 27 August 2010 at 21:12

    But Spain, Portugal, Argentina and Mexico are all predominantly Catholic societies and all of them have passed legislation legalising same-sex marriage, so clearly something else is going on. Catholicism is one of the branches of the Abrahamic religion. Being Christian per se is no bar to being enlightened about sexual orientation and seeing how love between 2 persons whatever their gender, should be honoured with marriage.

    What is at work is politics, the politics of division and hate, sometimes working under religious cover.

    • 3 Peter 28 August 2010 at 15:21

      Most of the red are actually ex-British colonies which gained independent immediately before and after second wworld war.

      So,if you try to be fair,PAP just happend to follow the Section 377A without giving much tot to it.

      When liberals in the West started to comtemplate about the abolishment of section 377A or its equivalent,Spore was actually in an frenetic effoft to prove its own Asian values and weired thinsg being done in the decandent West.

      I can not fault the brilliant MM who failed to recognise the exceptional abilities of gays and lesbians,but I blame those who surround him for lack of fortsight or lack the courage to counsel to talk straight if they did see the potential and the problem.

  3. 4 Fox 27 August 2010 at 21:14

    Most of my Singaporean acquaintances, even the ones who are liberal and open-minded, are surprised and even shocked when I tell them that homosexuality is not illegal in Indonesia, India and China, the cultural motherlands of our three largest ethnic groups. It hasn’t been so since the 90’s in Indonesia and China. Yet, many Singaporeans still believe that our position in this matter is no more conservative than that of Indonesia, India and China and that its legalization would cause us to break cultural ranks with these Asian countries. However, by holding onto to a Victorian British attitude towards homosexuality, we have already set ourselves apart from these three countries.

    However, I bet that if we were to take a poll asking Singaporeans if homosexuality is illegal in China/India/Indonesia, then the majority would say yes.

    • 5 Peter 28 August 2010 at 14:56

      It is hardly surprising,why?

      Did any of those leaders ever both to preach the greatness of Asian values?If they ever do,you would surely know from where they pick up that line,a silver tongue Cambridge trained lawyer who was once proclaimed the greatest ENGLISHMAN in the East.

      Until that whole group of die-hard PAP supporters who line up solidly behind this myth of Asian values are gone,the chance of PAP changing the law is minimal,watch the performance of Minister Ng and the subquent response of PM and MM,one should get the answer immediately.

      MM calaculates about this red dot’s GDP a lot,but mostly he calaculates what to say to get votes for PAP.

      Nothing is free in this world,it took a long time for MM to realise the talents,cretivities of GAYS,LESBIANS,it is not within his ability to change those silly minds casted in stone by him already!

      • 6 13witch 29 August 2010 at 02:07

        When I was last in Singapore, I find Singaporeans can be judgmental, cliques were rife. People from Indonesia, China and India are very accepting compared to Singaporeans. But with increasing young generation going abroad to study and foreigners coming in, things have to change. What right does the government have to tell citizens to have more babies or control sexual preference/orientation? No government should be allowed to do that. If I remember correctly during the time when I studied in Singapore, the government’s motto was something like “by the people, for the people”. Remind the government!!!

  4. 7 yawningbread 27 August 2010 at 21:48

    Fox – not just since the 1990s. If we go back as far as the last 200 years, it has not been illegal in Indonesia, nor in China.
    What China did have was a psychiatric diagnosis manual that listed homosexuality as a “psychiatric disorder” (very similar to the way the Singapore Armed Forces has a 303 classification in its psychiatric manual), but this was very suddenly (i.e. with no reported grass roots pressure) removed in 2001. The Chinese had imported that manual wholesale from the Americans in the early part of the 20th century.

  5. 8 Rojakgirl 28 August 2010 at 06:39

    Hmm… those megachurches seemed to have gained a really strong presence in Africa. Was it simply because they were able to exploit the environment of chaos in some of the countries, in order to establish themselves as a voice of peace like providing economic investments in the country? From this article(if it’s any accurate), it seems that they brought in a lot of money in Nigeria alone which must have really boosted the economy. From xe.com, 90 billion Nigerian dollars = 804,764,230.65 SGD But of course, how much money that really equates to, after factoring in inflation and other factors, is anyone’s guess.

    http://www.eturbonews.com/752/mega-churches-stir-tourism-nigeria

    Also, found another article supposedly supporting the figures:

    http://allafrica.com/stories/200801140601.html

    It is well known that Africa is divided into more than 50 countries. And it’s got a history of slavery(Arabs and then European colonizers) , many conflicts(Tutsis and Hutus, violent Ugandan army vs the very violent Lord’s Resistance Army, military coups), etc., which must surely have an impact on the country’s growth. And I’ve heard that the predominant factor for many of the conflicts is probably economic.

    Back to the topic: I know that megachurches rely on big money. And since there’re rumours of American recession possibly developing into a worldwide recession, I wonder what will be the impact upon these churches.

  6. 9 Ken 28 August 2010 at 11:55

    Hi Alex, thank you so much for putting up the map. It makes me so, so angry and disgusted to see that we are up there with what is mainly the Middle East and parts of Africa on gay rights. Also, that nothing appears to be changing anytime soon.

  7. 10 Plumber 28 August 2010 at 11:57

    But if we encourage and allow marriage of same sex and assuming that this take off on a global basis, the human race will be extinct and no adoption is possible cause no babies are produced. It is against the order of nature. Personally, it does not bother me for individual who go against the order of nature but we should not encourage it for the sake of humanity.

    • 11 beast686 28 August 2010 at 13:31

      Plumber: You know this is nonsense.

      Heterosexuality is not under threat from homosexuality, and even if more than 50% of us are gays or lesbians, the world will still have enough to breed anyway. With longer life expectancies and advances in Science, pro-creation isn’t as big a hype as you imagine it to be.

      In fact, I am quite surprised that we still haven’t figure out how to create an artificial womb yet. That way, women don’t have to bear the sufferings of child birth alone. There’d be an option, I would say.

    • 12 KT 28 August 2010 at 13:39

      Plumber

      Almost everything modern humanity does is against ‘the order of nature’. If humanity disappeared from the surface of the planet, nature would be much more orderly. In fact, nature would rejoice if (modern) humanity could be terminated. Humanity is way overrated — by humans, naturally.

      There’s great irony in what you say though you don’t realize it.

    • 13 Rabbit 28 August 2010 at 20:10

      There is a world of difference between ‘encourage’ and ‘allow’.

      You’re a homophobe. Why pretend to be otherwise?

    • 14 Tiffany 29 August 2010 at 06:37

      Plumber,
      Hee hee…I’m reading that if laws criminalising homosexuality are removed now, you can be encouraged to become gay.🙂

      Cheers,
      Tiffany

      PS: Nothing wrong with becoming gay of course.

    • 15 Anders 30 August 2010 at 13:34

      Plumber:

      If you were ironic, I think your point was missed😀

      If you were serious, it’s the greatest piece of nonsense I’ve read in a long time. I’m straight. I have no desire to have sex with men and that has nothing whatsoever to do with 377a. If the law goes, I will remain as straight as before. Wouldn’t you???

  8. 16 yawningbread 28 August 2010 at 12:40

    Plumber – please stop for a moment an think (thinking is usually a necessary condition for reading Yawning Bread). Are you saying that if marriage equality were there throughout the world, everybody would suddenly turn gay and only marry same-sex spouses?
    .
    Are you also saying that babies are only produced within marriage?

    • 17 Plumber 28 August 2010 at 15:57

      No, this is not what i meant. Everyone has his or her own cup of tea and I dont force all to conform. It just do not appeal to me and I do not want to encouage behaviour that is against the nature of order. For those who enjoy this,nit is up to them.

      • 18 Jack Jack! 28 August 2010 at 17:54

        Hi Plumber!

        WOW! So clever! Please explain “The Order of Nature”!

      • 19 stereo 28 August 2010 at 19:58

        So yes, it should be up to them, which means that they should enjoy the freedom and equality to decide for themselves, right?

        Your minor irritance with gay marriage should not stand in the way of the many gay couples who are very much in love and desire marriage.

        Also, one should stop watching television. It breaks the order of nature on so many levels (those romantic comedies sure misrepresent reality well).

      • 20 beast686 28 August 2010 at 22:43

        What is natural in mother nature may not be good for us. A good example is infanticide, which is practiced by herd animals, such as lion prides. When a male lion dominates a pride and chases away its rivals, it tends to kill all the rival’s cubs. You sure as hell don’t wish to practice that kind of nonsense.

        The argument from nature with regards to anti-gay sentiments has got to be the lamest arguments ever.

  9. 21 Plumber 28 August 2010 at 20:45

    Jack Jack dear or dear, read up your books! vA bit of thinking is required!

    • 22 beast686 28 August 2010 at 21:19

      Scientific research has shown that homosexuality is not unique only to humans. Penguins, bisons, and many species of apes have been known to exhibit homosexual tendencies. It is not as uncommon or “unnatural” as some may think.

      Besides, it has been studied that gay animals do play a positive role in the animal kingdom. It helps to reduce the aggression between competing mates, as well as forming surrogate families (with the same sex parents) to look after abandoned baby animals (This is pretty much documented as in the case of Roy and Silo, the gay penguins, in the New York Zoo).

  10. 23 Gentle Lamb 28 August 2010 at 23:55

    We should be different being a secular country, rather than following the dictates of certain religious group. In many of the countries we are now compared to, religion has played a detrimental role to impede the progress of the countries where basic human rights including the right to choose your religion is not respected and coversion is tantamount to a serious risk of harm.

  11. 24 Lee Chee Wai 29 August 2010 at 01:15

    @Plumber

    Homosexual behavior has been demonstrated all through the natural world in the animal kingdom.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homosexual_behavior_in_animals

    Heterosexual behavior is more likely a cultural norm imposed on all humans over time and not, as you would put it, an aspect of the “order of nature”. I am heterosexual, by the way, and I subconsciously cringe a little inside if I see guys kiss. However, as a human being, I feel happy that they found each other. The one time I’ve seen guys kiss (it was really just a pucker) in front of me, it was someone kissing his companion goodbye for work. It was a sweet gesture of affection.

    My advice is to step back and avoid being quick with declaring somethings/behaviors “against the order of nature”. I have found that just because one feels a certain way “inside”, does not imply that it must be a part of the “order of nature”. Scientists are still trying to understand and sort out biological tendencies from human cultural inheritance.

  12. 25 Plumber 29 August 2010 at 07:34

    for all those who quoted research, i could if i wanted to also quote research to show otherwise. i am not against you guys who enjoy stuff against order of nature as i have said before to each his own but merely state that if everyone is doing it, then humanity is extinct so we should not encourage it. i did not say to criminalise it or that marriage is the order of nature though i know many of you just want to stuff things into me that i did not say. why do i say that same sex stuff is not the order of nature? because it does not produce offspring to replace us. dont tell me that technology now can produce babies, it is also not nature but science.
    why animal kingdom also exhibit homesexuality? well human is also animal by definition except we like to be call something above animal so all these arguements are not convincing as we behave just like them in homosexuality for some.

    • 26 beast686 29 August 2010 at 09:37

      The idea that homosexuality will cause human extinction is bloody nonsense, and you know it.

      I don’t know what your agenda is, Plumber. I am a heterosexual, and the reason why I am not against homosexuality is because I am a firm believer in human rights. I honestly think that what consensual adults do behind closed doors is really none of our business.

    • 27 KT 29 August 2010 at 10:00

      ‘for all those who quoted research, i could if i wanted to also quote research to show otherwise.’

      I would like to know what research shows otherwise. Go on, quote it! Educate and save the world!

      ‘well human is also animal by definition except we like to be call something above animal so all these arguements are not convincing as we behave just like them in homosexuality for some.’

      The last bit of the ‘sentence’ makes no sense at all. What are you trying to say?

    • 28 Becca D'Bus 2 September 2010 at 13:21

      Plumber, I for one don’t want to stuff anything into you.

  13. 29 muthu 29 August 2010 at 07:50

    I am concern on beast686’s comment. I hope you stay with the same sex game and dont degenerate with your arguement with trying with animals like some lonely farmers with sheep.

  14. 31 Plumber 29 August 2010 at 10:17

    beast686, which part of the word extinction that you dont understand (when no offsprings are produced)? And which part of my post state that I am against homosexuality? Not encouraging it is not the same as oppose. Not criminalise it also not the same as oppose. You need to improve your English hor.
    I agreed with Muthu that you need to be careful and god bless.

    For KT, you are a lazy bloke, look them out yourself at the National library, tons of materials there if you claim that you like to be educated.

    • 32 beast686 29 August 2010 at 10:21

      I for one do not think that the gay community is “encouraging” homosexuality. Most of the time, if you watch mainstream media, it is heterosexuality which is encouraged.

      But, for argument’s sake, what’s wrong with having homosexual-based themes in cinemas and TVs (I assume this is what you mean by encouraging homosexuality. Correct me if I am wrong)? It is not as if gays don’t exist anyway.

      The “no offsprings are produced” scenario you mention is vague. I have never heard of any species who has become extinct because of homosexuality. You might want to explain a little bit more with research quotes. Thank you.

    • 33 beast686 29 August 2010 at 10:22

      “I agreed with Muthu that you need to be careful and god bless.”

      Careful? Over what? Getting stoned to death by homophobic morons even though I am heterosexual? Lolz. Explain.

    • 34 beast686 29 August 2010 at 10:28

      And one more thing. I am an atheist. I do not believe in god, or Gods. So stop annoying me with your “God bless” nonsense before I start committing blasphemy.😛

    • 35 KT 29 August 2010 at 11:38

      ‘You need to improve your English hor.’

      That’s pretty rich given your standard of written English!

      You seriously need to look up the meaning of ‘encourage’. Hint: You don’t have to go to any library to do that.

      ‘For KT, you are a lazy bloke, look them out yourself.’

      This statement is stupid beyond belief.

  15. 36 yawningbread 29 August 2010 at 10:37

    Plumber said: “For KT, you are a lazy bloke, look them out yourself at the National library, tons of materials there if you claim that you like to be educated.”

    Don’t attempt to throw up a smokescreen. There is no peer-reviewed research that comes anywhere close to what you have suggested in previous comments. In fact, there is no peer-reviewed research that supports the anti-gay position generally.

    That is why in numerous courts of law — you know, those funny places where solid evidence and high-level reasoning have to be presented and withstand rigourous cross-examination — every time gay equality comes up as a substantive question (as opposed to procedural questions), the anti-gay side always loses. That’s simply because there just isn’t any evidence or data to support them.

    Take a look at Perry v Schwarzenegger in less than 136 pages for example.

    It may also explain why certain places are red. Those appear to me to be the places where rule of law is either weak or hijacked by a conservative interpretation of an Abrahamic religion. And you know what? Singapore belongs to that basket too!

  16. 38 beast686 29 August 2010 at 10:49

    Personally, I don’t think you can “encourage” the masses to conform to any sort of sexuality, unless under extreme circumstances, such as incarceration.

    No amount of propaganda is going to force me to become gay; conversely, no amount or heterosexual romping in R-rated movies or even the X-rated ones will convert gays to straights. The sexual preference of humans is just that, a preference. If you do not like durians, no amount of advertisements expounding on the various durian prototypes is going to entice you to eat that obnoxious fruit.

    It is time people wake up to the fucking idea that not everyone shares the same tastes.

  17. 39 Plumber 29 August 2010 at 11:21

    beast686, you just refuse to read my post properly and started going wild like a cave man. You started to create scenario and making assumptions and imagine thing like a paranoid. You need to calm down and think rationally.

    As for Muthuu comment, I am not worry that you get stone but degenerate to what Muthu has pointed out where it may lead you. By the way, choosing the name beast has some connotation?

    Smoke screen or not,plenty of literature out there but whether you choose to read them or not.

    • 40 Jack Jack! 29 August 2010 at 13:21

      If you got nothing, just say so! Just plenty of bullshit!

      Don’t pretend to be political correct! We know which hole you come from!

    • 41 beast686 29 August 2010 at 17:44

      Lol. Whether I am a cave man or a beast, the salient point is that you have no points to make.

      As for being a “degenerate”, pray, tell me, what have I done to deserve the tag? Kindly explain.

      You claim there’s plenty of literature; am I correct to assume that this “literature” is from a Christian source????

      Clarity please. Before my imaginations run wild again.😛

  18. 42 Sigh 29 August 2010 at 13:27

    Very clearly, this Plumber person couldn’t substantiate his argument because he has let his “literature” to do his thinking for him. Typical of a mindless follower who lets some imaginery deity run his life – everytime he encounters a situation that requires him to use his brain, he would hold his “literature” and pray instead. Primitive bigot with no independent mind of his own. Who’s the caveman here?

  19. 43 kz 29 August 2010 at 14:08

    Let’s not throw ”pearls to pigs’ ( eg, trying to argue with some one like Plumber). When such brainfrozen neanderthel speaks forth, there isn’t any point, is there?

    let’s save our anger and energy and persuasion for some one else. those who have ears hear, and eyes see.

    Some apparently don’t have those.

  20. 44 ILMA 29 August 2010 at 14:10

    Hi Yawningbread,
    You should seriously consider not publishing comments by people like Plumber. Its degrading the generally high quality of your blog.

  21. 45 Plumber 29 August 2010 at 14:32

    Jack Jack or Jack b& Jill whatever, it is not my job to educate you. Do read up yourself. Whether you know which hole I come from or not is not important but it is better you get your ass hole screwed and still dont know what happen!

    As for Sigh, you are just a shollow person in thought and knowledge in depth.

    I Know this is a site that I should not even give a diff view on homosexuality. Just one to test it out and draw out all the bigots

    • 46 KT 29 August 2010 at 18:40

      ‘it is not my job to educate you. Do read up yourself.’

      This Plumber is the same as T (over in the YOG post). When challenged by a question they can’t answer, they resort to ‘Why should I answer you?’

      Plumber (and T), if you’re not prepared to defend your opinions, don’t broadcast them in a public arena!

  22. 47 Plumber 29 August 2010 at 15:06

    Yes, so far as if I like comments that belittle me, label me and stuff words into my mouth, create scenario and make all kinds of assumptions and you call them quality comments?

    I do respect many of the articles published by this blog as of high quality in thought and a lot of research made in the arguement. Cant say the same for the comments made by many of the bigots though. Whether this comment get publish or not does not affect me and by all mean, the site owner can choose to censor it.

  23. 48 Plumber 29 August 2010 at 15:31

    ILMA, I like your suggestion though that is if we dont what we like to hear, just censor that view! Typical unthinking person.

  24. 49 Jack Jack! 29 August 2010 at 16:03

    If you can’t provide the answer, just say so! I don’t see what you can educate me anyway!

    What you do is like saying “I got the answer, but you will have to find out yourself!”

    You still didn’t explain how homosexual will cause the extinction of human race!

  25. 50 Jack Jack! 29 August 2010 at 16:08

    A bigot who call other bigot! What’s new?

  26. 51 KT 29 August 2010 at 18:51

    It’s quite scary to think that someone like Plumber is breeding!

  27. 52 Plumber 29 August 2010 at 19:09

    Jack or Jack, cant help you if your English proficiency level is low. It is not my fault when you are where you are today. This will be my last post, goodbye.

    • 53 Jack Jack! 29 August 2010 at 19:55

      Give up? Well, I really hope so! Ha ha ha ha! Not at if you are speaking Queen English anyway! I’m sure you get the point! Stop behaving like some kind of super being!

      Singapore population might be aging but human race is far from extinction! Human race is in fact exploding, and the world have to figure out how to feed the people!

      So your understanding of homosexuality lead to extinction of human race is totally baseless!

      • 54 Jack Jack! 29 August 2010 at 19:58

        I have happy with where I am whereas you just sound full of anger! Of course, that’s not my fault too! Ha ha ha ha!

      • 55 beast686 29 August 2010 at 23:34

        Actually, we humans are our own worst enemies. What will kill us is our continuous use of natural resources and endless wanton pollution. Already our natural water resources are dwindling thanks to water pollution, and poor countries with no desalination technology are running out of clean drinking water.

        I suggest the plumber guy read some of the stuff which has been put up on WHO. You will be appalled. I know this because I wrote one of my sustainability papers for my part time degree with Heriot Watts (which I completed recently. Waiting for results).

      • 56 beast686 30 August 2010 at 12:27

        Good for you, Desmond. I am sure you enjoyed yourself, mate.🙂

        I am a true blue heterosexual, but I will not for a second tell you that being a homosexual is wrong or “against the order of nature”, simply because if we use nature as a benchmark for human behavior, we’d be practicing infanticide, genocide and other heinous deeds of the highest order (which, in the course of human history, has caused much sufferings and unnecessary murders).

        What happens between two consensual legal adults behind the privacy of their bedrooms, stays there. Using erroneous ideas to criticize and discredit folks who have varying differences of sexual tastes is just going to look so stupid and backward.

      • 57 beast686 30 August 2010 at 13:32

        Boy that’s a nice one……..:P

  28. 58 Desmond 30 August 2010 at 10:48

    Reading through the comments, I can’t help but remember the conversation I had with a heterosexist.

    He was asking me why we gay people are so unnatural. Upon clarification he said that we like to do things that are “against nature” in bed. I asked him if he like oral sex? I asked him if he ever did “tittie fucking” or masturbated? Stuck his finger up a girl’s privates and also if he enjoyed kissing? (I didn’t ask him about anal sex though) and he was shocked that I was so blant, so I told him that if he did any of those then that is “against the order of nature too” because no animal does that. I even told him that marriage and having sex with only 1 mate through their lives is “unnatural” too (most animals don’t do that).

    He changed his tune and said that we humans are higher than animals and thus we cannot used animals as a model for us. Then I asked, if that is the case, then is “natural” or “unnatural” a man made concept and what yardstick are we using to gauge when something is “natural” or not.

    He was dumbfounded because he couldn’t come up with a rebuttal. So he went to “it is just wrong”. And wrong by whose standards? I countered. He quoted 377A (and Asian values) and I told him Taiwan, China, HK don’t, and so does that mean that we are more Asian than the Chinese from these countries, considering we are actually “outcast”?

    It went on with religion and etc. and I know most of you know what is said and rebutted. It was a very interesting conversation and I bet that after it all, he was still as heterosexist as ever. But I know at least, I shook his world for that period of time.

    • 59 KT 30 August 2010 at 13:04

      Sorry, animals do masturbate. Watch this:

      (Hoping the video isn’t fake!)

      This one’s quite interesting too:

      • 60 Desmond 31 August 2010 at 10:43

        Oh sorry, I stand corrected. I think it is rather confined to the primates isn’t it (which means that since >90% of the animal world doesn’t do it, it is unnatural)? Does anyone know of any other animals that masturbate?

      • 61 KT 31 August 2010 at 12:55

        Not that I’m some kind of pervert scouring the Net for such stuff, but here’s a bear enjoying himself:

    • 62 Peter 30 August 2010 at 14:04

      I am surprised that HK did manage to abolish section 377A-according to you-having exactly the same backgroud as Singapore until it was returned to China.

      As we know,HK is largely built on auto-pilot,without a brilliant government in charge,but so far it seems that they have out-performed Singapore,given the diffent geo-political background of both islands.

      I wonder any of our political scientist/economist ever did comparative study of these 2 ares?

  29. 63 tk 30 August 2010 at 18:34

    sorry YB if this strays off topic from your original post, but the discussion did deviate towards the “scientific”, so i thought i’d alert you to a new alternative being proposed to the clearly fallacious “theory of pregnancy”. this also ties in with your recent sex “education” piece.

    https://sites.google.com/site/intelligentgestationinstitute/

    along with this crucial new scientific information, i believe the scientists involved are developing a vaccine for homosexuality, so that the world’s population doesn’t go extinct in the next 6 months, a very clear and present danger.

  30. 65 anne 31 August 2010 at 16:29

    I’ve just read through all these comments, and while I think the issue with Plumber’s comments has sort of died out, something that really struck me while I was reading them is that that’s exactly the same way most of my peers think about gay rights (I’m a secondary school student).

    Granted, youth are generally more aware of this issue, but there are still many of them who do not bother to expose themselves to the wider world because of the protective nets that have been cast over them by their parents, the education system (which would probably represent the government), and maybe even their churches. Many of them simply don’t see the need to look at the world outside of them and examine the viewpoints they have chosen to take because everything is fed to them.

    And I think that’s one of the biggest problems standing in the way of 377A being repealed: the general lack of open mindedness among Singaporeans, even our youth, which are, with the advancement of media and technology, supposed to be more aware about social and political issues.

  31. 66 Robert L 31 August 2010 at 22:17

    Dear YB and others.

    I have been patiently waiting for the debate involving “Plumber” to subside before I provide one specific insight. Only one.

    (i) Plumber said that “allowing” homosexual acts is “encouraging” homosexual acts.
    (ii) He also said that encouraging homosexual acts will result in extinction of the human race.

    Regarding (i), why do you think that he believes “allowing” homosexual acts is the same as “encouraging” it? The answer is simple. He obviously believes that people who currently engage in straight sex will turn to homosexual sex once the laws allow it. The implication is that he finds the attraction to homosexual sex more powerful than straight sex. He does not understand that guys who are straight are actually not attracted to homosexual sex.

    Regarding (ii), why do you think he believes encouraging homosexual acts will result in extinction of the human race? Again the answer is simple. He obviously believes that all men will turn to gay sex and stop having sex with women. The implication is that he believes the whole male population is attracted (secretly) to gay sex and will engage in gay sex once the laws allow it.

    Taken together, points (i) and (ii) add up to a very revealing insight into the sexual views of Plumber.

    Now, there is a slight chance that these warped ideas do not come from Plumber himself, but from his bosses higher up, if it had been an assignment for him to patrol these sites. In this case, then it gives us an insight into the sexual views of those in higher positions who gave him these ideas.

  32. 67 Lee Chee Wai 1 September 2010 at 05:18

    Robert – thanks for your post and insight. You beat me to the punch (I was also waiting for things to die down), though my response was gonna be more tongue-in-cheek … that:

    We should “not encourage” celibate priests since they have a greater chance of making me one of them than any homosexual “evangelicals” would (actually, with me, they probably have about the same chance … zero). And if everyone became celibate priests (the horror!) … then poor humanity would (oh noes!) be bound for extinction!

    Sorry … in the face of persistently warped logic, I am left only with irreverent humor …

  33. 68 yawningbread 1 September 2010 at 13:13

    A lot of so-called opinions held by humans around the world are in fact expressions of conditioning. People have been conditioned to react in certain ways to certain things, like (a) the way Muslims react to pork, (b) the way many Americans react to Muslims. Because these “opinions” were never derived in the first place from evidence or reasoning, but from conditioning, the defence of these “opinions” usually take the form of rationalisation.

    The thing I find curious is why the speakers themselves do not see the weakness of their own rationalisations when it is abundantly clear to others. Alas, here I’m not able to offer much of an explanation. There are two possibilities, which are not mutually exclusive:

    1. Experience has taught the speaker that these rationalisations work; they are acceptable as justification for those “opinions”. This can come about through spending time within their in-group, i.e. people who shared the same conditioning. Others in the in-group have used such rationalisation whenever the same topic was broached. The rest of the in-group would have nodded in agreement, said “Amen” or something similar, and this positive feedback loop would have created the idea that these rationalisations are convincing.

    2. Although it may be posted as a comment for others to read, the speaker is in fact speaking to himself. The sequence of events is like this: He reads a post that challenges his worldview. It feels threatening to his self-regard. Needing to restore his own peace of mind, he repeats the mantra or credo that justifies (rationalises) his conditioned worldview. It’s kind of similar to the way, many people, with defined religions, and facing threats/death, voice key phrases invoking belief and protection or make the sign of the cross and such like.

  34. 69 Snuzzy Duh 2 September 2010 at 17:48

    But why pick on ‘the Africans’ you racist you?! It’s the British and others who spread their penal codes like seeds all over the place including, in this case, in Singapore as well as in Africa. So, point to the Brits and not to the Africans we all like to beat up on for no other reasons but the incipient racism in us.

  35. 70 beergoggles 8 September 2010 at 18:46

    I’m sorry, I disagree with the title here. I think it’s a bit arrogant to berate an entire continent and her people (Africa) and make a negative point about Singapore.

    We can better – Yawning Bread..


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