The Online Citizen

The Pink Dot debate – mutual respect would go a long way

The Pink Dot debate – mutual respect would go a long way
June 27
12:09 2014

By Ghui

As the day for Pink Dot’s “Freedom to Love” event draws closer, it has attracted growing controversy. Some members of the Muslim community have launched a Wear White campaign to defend traditional family values and protest against homosexuality. This event has in turn attracted the support of members of the Faith Community Baptist Church and the LoveSingapore network of churches.

The Catholic Church has also joined the furore with Archbishop William Goh issuing a statement stating that the LGBT way of life was detrimental to society. The National Council of Churches Singapore has also waded into the debate and issued its own statement on the matter.

Singapore is a multi racial, multi culture and religiously diverse society. It should therefore be an open and inclusive country where everyone is able to accept and respect each other’s differences.

In that vein, it is the sacrosanct right of any religion to have an opinion. It is also their prerogative to issue guidance to followers of their faith. I do not wish to tar all faiths with the same brush and some statements have been more conciliatory than others.

That said, a large proportion of those statements have been wholly intolerant of any measure of morality but their own. This is unacceptable in a secular country where divergent groups of people share a common space.

I understand that certain religious groups stand for certain principles and flowing from that, its adherents will believe and obey those same principles. The heads of these respective faiths would also thus have the right to guide the followers.

However, a line has to be drawn when members of a particular faith seek to impose their beliefs and their code of morality on someone who does not share their religion.

While I am certain that none of these statements were intended to cause offence, the result of most of them is to inflict their version of how society should be on the rest of the country. While recognising their right to preach to the faithful, perhaps they can add in an extra line to clarify that they respect the beliefs and way of life of others?

Most statements do end off on a conciliatory note clarifying that they do not condemn homosexuals per se but that said, not conceding the need to respect the rights of others to make their own choices is glaringly obvious in its omission.

It may be fair enough that these religions state their positions vis a vis homosexuality – that they believe it to be incompatible with their respective faiths but what should be added is that they recognise that Singapore is a secular state and accept that everyone is entitled to live as they choose.

This would be something that would reflect the values of a multi-faceted society such as Singapore and religious leaders should play their part in the community by teaching their followers that no one has a monopoly over morality.

For detractors who will argue that the Pink Dot are inflicting their way of life on others, please note that they are not asking for anything more than equality. They just want the freedom to live their own lives. They are not converting anyone to homosexuality nor are they advocating that being homosexual is superior to traditional family life.

What they are asking for today is to be accepted as part of society. Is that really too much to ask for in a civil society? A little mutual respect would go a long way.

  • sharkAttack777

    The consequences of freedom to love is fungus infection sexually transmitted diseases and Aids.

  • Paul Ho

    When they ask for equality it means that they ask for community acceptance. How can this not be considered a transgression into the beliefs of those who have deemed that homosexuality is a sin? When a murderer asks for that the community acceptance for his actions, it means that the community condones murder as an action socially acceptable. Why cannot those of the LBGT community advocates see that? Practise your own lifestyle! Don’t push for anything. No one wants the Pink Dot movement to shove acceptance at those who cannot accept it. This is trying to impose your value judgements on ours.

    • Second Mouse

      According to your religion, whatever that religion is, being an atheist is a sin. Are you going to go around condemning atheists the way you condemn gay people? You are a bigot. You pick LGBT individuals to condemn because you know you can pick on a vulnerable minority. You pick on them because it makes you feel holy and pure. You Are A Bigot.

      • Paul Ho

        I do not pick on anyone. I am merely stating what is obvious. LBGT people have a right to practise what they want without having to flaunt it in the faces of the communit that disagree. You mention atheisst but I do not see atheists organising themselves to try and debunk religions in Singapore. This is very different! The Pink Dot movement now strives to compel people who do not believe in their lifestyles to accept it. People who support the LBGT community should look around and ask themselves if there are overt and physical instances of abuse or discrimination. Like I said, practise what you wish in the privacy of your lives. Don’t flaunt it and make a big show to force others to accept it.

        • Second Mouse

          The right to practise what you want is the least of anybody’s worries. You have the right to hate LGBT people as much as you want, all the day long. And what about the right to not be criminalised for an arbitrary and irrational reason? What about the right not to be a second-class citizen on the basis of something biological and immutable? You, and all of your Singaporean ilk, deserve to be treated with as much contempt by the rest of the world. So I will tell you this, with exactly the same CONTEMPT you speak to your gay citizens: Singaporeans have every right to exist. But you disgust the rest of us in the civilised world and please just be quiet and NEVER VISIT ANY OF US BECAUSE WE HATE YOU. NEVER COME TO OUR COUNTRIES. NEVER SHOW YOUR FACES BECAUSE YOUR DISCRIMINATION IS IMMORAL. DO NOT COME NEAR US WITH BECAUSE WE WILL NEVER ACCEPT YOU AND THAT IS WHERE WE DRAW THE LINE. Feels good don’t it pal.

  • flobert

    I cannot understand the argument.
    They are asking for equality.
    I hope the writer can provide examples how they are not treated equally.

    • Second Mouse