Misleading speech by Prof Thio

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On 9 April 2013, the Singapore High Court has rejected the repeal of 377A – the constitutional law that criminalizes any male person who, in public or private, commits, or abets the commission of, or procures or attempts to procure the commission by any male person of, any act of gross indecency with another male person, shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to 2 years.

Recently I came across with the video in Youtube of Prof Thio Li-ann in her speech against the repeal of 377a made in 2007. I was astonished and impressed by her choice of words and her well-articulated speech. However, I was taken aback by the content of it, about how bias one’s speech could be.

Her argument on why we should never repeal 377a is because of the – morality, health issues and all the negativity about homosexuality one can think of. I was disturbed and infuriated on how someone can hate or make such malicious, indignant and shallow judgments on homosexuals. She also goes on talking about gay bowel syndromes and homosexuality being a sexual orientation disorder. All these statements should have been taken out of context and no longer consider valid because one simply does not have enough evidence to prove that subjective theory. She talked about a legislator have to look at the bigger picture, but is she complying it by just looking at the negativity? Is it fair not to consider different factors that are involved while labeling the homosexuals? All the caricatured comments are targeted and only impede conservatives’ judgment to have a further misunderstanding on homosexuals.

Please allow me to highlight the differences in both the homosexuals and heterosexuals so we can make an unbiased, better understanding, fair discussion and comparison.

Homosexuals; relating to, or characterized by a tendency to direct sexual desire toward another of the same sex. (Merriam-webster) – Involving or characterized by sexual attraction between people of the same sex (Oxford)

Heterosexuals; relating to, or characterized by a tendency to direct sexual desire toward another of the opposite sex (MW) – Involving or characterized by sexual attraction between people of the opposite sex (Oxford)

The contrast here is simple and straightforward; homosexuals are people who desire partners of the same gender, while the heterosexuals – people of the opposite gender.

There are 6 important points that I find Prof Thio’s speech misleading and at times, contradicting or simply doesn’t seem logical at all. The negativity of all the factors have clouded her judgment and only made matter worst.

First, I do agree that the repealing of 377a is the first step to opening the doors and make homosexuals feel good about themselves, but how exactly bad is that? The repealing of 377a isn’t so that homosexuals can have sex freely in a frenzy manner like a mass orgy party. They are fighting for equality and basic intimacy rights, not so they can “breed STDs/HIV” freely. Please note that people are not arguing so they can have sex freely and uncontrolled, but rather to be recognized as a human having the prerogative to intimacy.

Second, the cost of such diseases will have repercussions and implicate on our government funds therefore such acts like sodomy should be criminalized and be taken seriously. If that’s the case, I think we should call for a bill to ban and make it illegal to exceed a certain BMI. This is simply because a person should watch his/her BMI, ensuring it doesn’t exceed – for example 30. If he/she does, it shows that a person is exposing him/herself to other high risk obesity diseases thus warranting a different treatment; such as lesser subsidies for treatment of heart-coronary related diseases. This fulfills the conditions of no race or religion is being considered.

If being gay and commit to sodomy results a higher risk of different diseases and should warrant a different treatment, then we should all have different treatment because all of us have different lifestyle choices.

Third, I shall not sing praises to the values of homosexuals; neither will I protect them on how they are at higher chances of STDs/HIV. Medical journals, statistics and facts have proven that homosexuals do have a higher risk of STDs/HIVs than their heterosexual counterpart – promiscuity is to be blamed. But instead of looking at the modes of transmission, we should look at the hosts. Everyone is responsible of their own sero-status, just like personal grooming and hygiene practices. It is almost impossible for anyone to change your sero-status if you adhere to avoid all high-risk activities. Thus, we cannot put blame to sodomy – it is the person who is carrying out the act for transmission; heterosexual sex can transmit HIV/STDs through “the right of passage”, whereas, sodomy between HIV-free and committed homosexuals to extend of intestinal trauma/bleeding will not create HIV/STDs. Don’t blame the knife, blame the wielder.

Fourth, moral issues surrounding the conservatives that homosexuality is aberrant and should be condemned. They claimed that being homosexual is immoral and wrong. They bombard that homosexuals are destroying the basic fundamental building blocks of a marriage and reproduction. It intrigues me into thinking, does it mean that a person, who do not wish to get married, or have a certain number of children; as immoral?

Should we have a law, that a person, who doesn’t want to have children or to even get married, considered immoral to our society and to be criminalized?

Moral is a complex and profound subject, you cannot judge a person’s morality based on sexuality. Can you say that all homosexuals are immoral whereas all heterosexuals are moral? Touch your conscience and answer, should a person who takes care of his/her parents, showed respect to elders and love his/her neighbors and friends be condemned as immoral simply for being homosexual? We constantly expect the highest level of moral values from homosexuals so to obscure the fact of being one, yet how often have we seen people who were once high ranking officials , high flyers or individuals we look up to – made mistakes like having contracts for sex, grades for sex, or even involving in underage sex scandals. Hence we cannot draw a line and link both sexuality and morality!

I cannot guarantee you that homosexuals are not promiscuous, but why point out only the very fault that is troubling heterosexuals as well? Haven’t you realized how many high profile “cheatings” we have seen, and those were the only reported cases that are all heterosexuals? Many men and woman do cheat, and that is a fact! And while there are men who are wholeheartedly and faithfully committed to their wife or spouse, gay man do have such values as well. There are gay couples who are in committed monogamous long term relationship! Morality; it all depends on individual.

Fifth, relationship is an amazing thing, even I’ve yet to experience a long-term relationship myself, or will I ever be. The love between two persons, are unexplainable and often unbreakable. Homosexuals are being categorized along together with “bestiality, incest or even pedophilia” as minority in sexual orientation. Unlike the above mentioned, love in homosexuality is rather similar to heterosexuals.

Have you ever been in a love when you can’t control your feelings for another person? How you kept thinking of him/her? Love cannot be explained or controlled. Homosexuals do not have sex or force sex with animals that do not have the same level of intelligence to a human being; we also don’t commit sexual acts with our own children or siblings, which is what we truly considered immoral. Neither do we force children into sex, where they are simply too young and only destroying the very vulnerable and innocent mind of theirs. Love to homosexuals, are as equal to heterosexuals – just that we are attracted to people of the same gender. Period

Why be bothered about what others’ do in their bedroom, if conservative is truly to be followed, oral sex should be condemned since it serves no purpose in reproduction. No other foreplay should be involved other than the intercourse itself. Forget the kissing, cuddling, sweet talking and all the intimacy involved between two lovers on bed.

If you had experienced love, and condemn the love between two men – how sad is that.

Lastly, what I can’t truly fathom is how far a person can go just so to stop other people from these basic “rights”. I’m at disbelieve on how someone, who is capable of love, happy, sad, angry and empathy the same way homosexuals are – is trying to stop two consensual adult male in love. Many men and women out there are single simply because they have yet to find their better halves. They rather remain single than marrying on impulse – which is the right choice!

This shows how pivotal and difficult to find that one person you can connect to and have feelings for, so why stop two adult men trying to spend their lives together without letting them labeled as criminals in the eyes of the law?

Having an opinion doesn’t make you a bigot, but trying to shove your ideology and beliefs down others’ throat and in the process by hurting and depriving what they deserve, that is bigotry. I would like to end with this; before you condemn and preach of what’s right and wrong, think and reflect first on your own right and wrongdoing.


Video of Prof Thio Li-ann speech in 2007