By Ben Matchap
I refer to an extremely disgusting article by The Straits Times published yesterday, “Gay man denied joint custody of triplets, a poor decision maker.”
The article wrote, “A man who hid his homosexuality from his wife for 13 years has been denied joint custody of their triplets, not because he is gay or HIV-positive, but because of his “appallingly poor decision-making ability”, a judge has said.”
In my opinion, there was NO need to mention his sexual orientation at ALL.
Reporting this is totally OK but when you are writing about minority groups that are being oppressed, a little care and sensitivity goes a long way.
The fact of the father being gay or HIV-positive has nothing to do with having poor decision making skills. After all, you guys said it yourself, “The wife found out about her husband’s double life only in 2009, after she hired a private detective.”
Quoting Justice Vinodh, the judge said, “I am unimpressed by the husband’s capacity for truth-telling,”.
I wonder why the man had to lie? Maybe just maybe coming out of the closet isn’t easy to do?
After all we are in a country that criminalises homosexuality between men. As a journalist for a freaking newspaper, you ought to be a little more sensitive towards the minority group you are writing about.
Therefore, I deem this article to be disgusting and unbecoming from a national broadsheet – where is the emotional maturity? Was this just done to sell a story?
If the judgement was really because of his poor decision-making skills and drug related activities then mentioning those would suffice.
This article does raise some good questions though. Would a gay couple be able to win custody even if they as individuals were upstanding members of the community?
Would gay people be able to adopt? Even be allowed by the state to raise kids?
There is no question “if” gay peoples can raise healthy, happy children properly. It has been done in many other countries.
Being gay doesn’t affect one’s ability to raise children, but the negative stigma of society breathing down their necks makes it hard for gay individuals to lead a normal life or even consider starting a family, and Straits Times should not be contributing to this.