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Hiding Behind Rhetoric: A Rebuttal of Thio Li-Ann

Dear Ms Thio

I am not as learned as you in law. I am but a first-year law student. A law student who happens to identify as queer, and has spent the last two years working in the queer activism scene, who now loves a woman, who now wishes to rid this country of the blight known as section 377A.

Ms Thio, I am sure you know this section very well… in fact, you dedicated an entire speech to the impassioned defence of it, not even touching on things like marital rape immunity. I am surprised… I thought an educated, feminist woman like yourself would have some feelings on this section which effectively takes away the right of married women to their bodies…. but I digress. You expounded in detail upon the merits of retaining this law. You showed us all how much you hate us gay people – like we couldn’t tell from the letters to ST. When I read your speech, my first impulse was to laugh. Then as I read on, cringing at the leaps of logic, and wincing at the palpable hatred pouring out of the paper.

I will now proceed to rebutt you: point by point.

These flawed arguments are marinated with distracting fallacies which obscure what is at stake – repealing 377A is the first step of a radical, political agenda which will subvert social morality, the common good and undermine our liberties.

Ma’am… what exactly is a “radical, political agenda”? A radical political agenda would to be overthrow the Singapore government. A radical political agenda would be terrorism. A radical political agenda would be what the fundamentalist Christians are doing in the US, pulling the weight of the church in influencing elections and infiltrating the education system. What we are doing, ma’am, is none of that – what we are asking for, is our rights. In fact, madam, if you have studied human rights at all, you would know that rights are ordained by creation – it is the establishment which takes them away through rule of law. Does anyone question that the Africans under apartheid in South Africa had their basic human rights? Is their campaign to end the apartheid and reclaim their rights a radical political agenda? No ma’am, it is not… it becomes a radical political agenda when you impose your values on everyone else, in a way that takes away their rights. Not unlike the right-wing Christian crusade.

Which comes back to your point about “undermining liberties”. I ask you in all humbleness… how does removing section 377A infringe on the liberties of the average heterosexual person? Let’s take it one step further – how does gay marriage take away the rights of the heterosexual person? Is he any less entitled to marry, any less entitled to procreate, get a job, withdraw his CPF when he retires and in short, go about his life like any normal person?

‘Conservative’ here is not a dirty word connoting backwardness; environmental conservation protects our habitat; the moral ecology must be conserved to protect what is precious and sustains a dynamic, free and good society.

Ma’am, you abuse the English dictionary for your own purposes. Yes, conservative is what you use to protect something that is already there – but you never stop to question whether in this case, what you are protecting is worth protecting, and whether in not protecting, you create a better world. The world will change, ma’am, in case you haven’t noticed. You can scream and yell all you want – but all you can really do is stand by and watch while it changes. Seasons will change, people will change, administrations will change. You mention a dynamic, free and good society… are you not contradicting yourself? You do not want things to change, yet you want society to be dynamic.

We should reject the ‘argument from consent’ as its philosophy is intellectually deficient and morally bankrupt.

Ma’am, once again, to advance your own political argument, you are throwing away the fundamental concepts in law. Consent is an all-important philosophy. Let’s go back to first-year tort law course – is consent not a defence against negligence? Is consent not the fundamental precept in determining whether sexual assault has occured? Concept is not morally bankrupt at all… please do not try and mask your opinions through senseless rhetoric.

The real question today is not “if” we should repeal 377A now, or wait until people are ready to move. This assumes too much, as though we need an adjustment period before the inevitable. The real question is not “if” but “should” we ever repeal 377A. It is not inevitable; it is not desirable to repeal it in any event.

Ma’am, I direct you to the paragraph above: the world will change. Whether you like it or not.

Not only is retaining s377A sound public policy, it is legally and constitutionally beyond reproach.

Rhetoric, once again, I see… how is it legally and constitutionally beyond reproach? Would you like to point me to the relevant section?

Responsible legislators must grapple with the facts, figures and principles involved; they cannot discount the noxious social consequences repeal will bring.

That’s what I should be saying to you, ma’am.

First, to say a law is archaic is merely chronological snobbery.

Second, you cannot say a law is ‘regressive’ unless you first identify your ultimate goal. If we seek to copy the sexual libertine ethos of the wild wild West, then repealing s377A is progressive. But that is not our final destination. The onus is on those seeking repeal to prove this will not harm society.

Ma’am, we have proved conclusively that it does not. I point you to the extensive articles on Yawningbread.org, to the volumes of research done by scientists to prove that gay marriage and gay parenting does not harm society. Massachussetts, the first US state to legalise gay marriage, suffers no damage from the rights they have granted their citizens. You choose to ignore the evidence, for your own purposes.

Third, to say a law which criminalizes homosexual acts because many find it offensive is merely imposing a “prejudice” or “bias” assumes with justification that no reasonable contrary view exists… The liberal argument which says sodomy is a personal choice, private matter and ‘victimless crime’ merely asserts this. It rests precariously on an idiosyncratic notion of “harm” – but “harm” can be both physical and intangible; victims include both the immediate parties and third parties. What is done in ‘private’ can have public repercussions.

What harm, ma’am? Once again I ask you… what harm do heterosexuals suffer when such “sodomy” occurs? Even intangible harm… what harm? I keep hearing this from you and the other homophobes… but I still haven’t heard what harm we are causing you, with our private activities. And may I politely dissent… it is not an idiosyncratic notion, but a solid, practical notion. If you wish to talk about third parties… ma’am, then as we say in civil law, the liability is indeterminate. Where do we draw the line where I stop owing the duty of care? At my great-grandfather? At yours?

They urge legislators to be ‘objective’ and to leave their personal subjective beliefs at home, especially if they hold religious views which consider homosexuality aberrant.

This demand for objectivity is intellectually disingenuous as there is no neutral ground, no ‘Switzerland of ambivalence’ when we consider the moral issues related to 377A which require moral judgment of what is right and wrong – not to take a stand, is to take a stand!

Ma’am, apparently you live in a binary world, because there are indeed people who are neutral. If you have taken the time to read through the comments on repeal377A, there was a specific comment which stated that he was a staunch Christian, but did not believe in imposing his values on other people. Some people are indeed capable of divorcing their religious views from objective analysis of issues, as shocking a concept that might be to you.

Religious views are part of our common morality. We separate ‘religion’ from ‘politics,’ but not ‘religion’ from ‘public policy’. That would be undemocratic. All citizens may propose views in public debate, whether influenced by religious or secular convictions or both; only the government can impose a view by law.

I refer you to the above paragraph. And apparently, you are not familiar with the concept of secular values. Nor of the idea that our country is made up of more than one religion. Hinduism and Buddhism do not hold homophobic views. Wikipedia, ma’am, may help you here.

Incidentally, one does not have to be religious to consider homosexuality contrary to biological design and immoral; secular philosopher Immanuel Kant considered homosexuality “immoral acts against our animal nature” which did not preserve the species and dishonoured humanity. [link mine]

And I am bothered by what he thinks, because? Have you not considered that it is the views of his times that influence him… the man was born in the 18th century. If you asked him whether women should be allowed to vote, I doubt the answer would be yes.

The issues surrounding s377A are about morality, not modernity or being cosmopolitan. What will foreigners think if we retain 377A? Depends on which foreigner you ask. Many would applaud us!…. A group of Canadians1 were grieved enough to issue an online apology to the world “for harm done through Canada’s legalization of homosexual marriage”, urging us not to repeat their mistakes.

Ma’am, morality is also what compels us to be fair to our neighbour, morality is what dictates that we agree to live and let live. Indeed, not all foreigners are gay-friendly… the same problems that exist here exist there too. But one day… perhaps one day, we shall rid the world of people who are racist, sexist or homophobic.

If a group of people from USA issued an apology to the world for legalising interracial marriage, would you hold that as evidence of its immorality? What precludes me holding the hand of another woman in love, when I am not precluded from holding the hand of a man who is not the same race as me? Incidentally, ma’am… in the 1950’s in California, when this issue was raised, many people reacted exactly the same way as you and other people are doing. They were disgusted by the possibility of removing the ban on interracial marriage, because it was just so wrong in their eyes, so disgusting to imagine a white man and a black woman holding hands. They raised the same points… citing public morality, and the harm to society. They gave dire predictions of how the society would collapse, how having ethnically-mixed children running around was just unthinkable.

Human rights are universal, like prohibitions against genocide.

Contradiction, once again. If they are universal, ma’am, why are we denied sexual freedom as opposed to heterosexual people?

Demands for ‘homosexual rights’ are the political claims of a narrow interest group masquerading as legal entitlements. Homosexual activists often try to infiltrate and hijack human rights initiatives to serve their political agenda, discrediting an otherwise noble cause to protect the weak and poor. You cannot make a human wrong a human right.

I am saddened you think so… because there is no such thing as homosexual rights, only equal rights. We ask for the same entitlements as everyone else – nothing more, nothing less. If asking for the right to be treated equally under law is hijacking human rights… ma’am I see nothing wrong with it.

Second, while homosexuals are a numerical minority, there is no such thing as ‘sexual minorities’ at law. Activists have coined this term to draw a beguiling but fallacious association between homosexuals and legally recognized minorities like racial groups. Race is a fixed trait. It remains controversial whether homosexual orientation is genetic or environmental, perhaps both. There are no ex-Blacks but there are ex-gays. The analogy between race and sexual orientation or preferred sexual preferences, is false. Activists repeat the slogan ‘sexual minority’ ad nausem as a deceptive political ploy to get sympathy from people who don’t think through issues carefully. Repetition does not cure fallacy.

Ma’am…. have you taken a good look at the track record of ex-gay people? Do you have any idea how many of them, many famous, are caught in gay clubs afterwards? A deceptive ploy, is it? I had no idea we were so clever and ingenious… and I had no idea it was such a fallacy. If you have taken the trouble to search the internet, there is much highly accredited research which backs up the idea that sexuality is an inborn trait. [See below for some assorted links]

Science has become so politicized that the issue of whether gays are ‘born that way’ depends on which scientist you ask. You cannot base sound public philosophy on poor politicized pseudo ‘science’.

But I see no research that proves sexual orientation is a choice – at all. What you are faced with is an overwhelming amount of evidence, when put together, points to the existence of homosexuality as either a genetic or an inborn trait, and very few, if none at all, accredited research otherwise. Even the Spitzer study that ex-gays like to quote does not support your position, because Spitzer himself has come out and said that is not what his research meant.

Homosexuality is a gender identity disorder…

With all due respect, ma’am, last time I checked, you were a lawyer, not a psychologist. So on what basis are you declaring this, when APA itself has removed it from the DSM?

…there are numerous examples of former homosexuals successfully dealing with this.

And just as many who choose to come back after trying to go straight.

Just this year, two high profile US activists left the homosexual lifestyle, the publisher of Venus, a lesbian magazine, and an editor of Young Gay America.

Who are influenced by the scare-mongering and propaganda of the fundamentalist religious groups. It is a religious move, not a sexual.

An article by an ex-gay in the New Statesmen this July identified the roots of his emotional hurts, like a distant father, overbearing mother and sexual abuse by a family friend; after working through his pain, his unwanted same-sex attractions left. While difficult, change is possible and a compassionate society would help those wanting to fulfill their heterosexual potential. There is hope.

I don’t think I need to repeat my arguments. By the way, that theory about distant father? So Freudian, and already discredited. Research has shown that those who try to become “ex-gay” usually suffer immense psychological hurt, guilt, shame and emotional trauma because they can’t stop being who they are.

Singapore law only recognizes racial and religious minorities. Special protection is reserved for the poor and disadvantaged; the average homosexual person in Singapore is both well educated, with higher income – that’s why upscale condo developers target them!

Maybe it should recognise more than racial and religious minorities – how about women? And are we not disadvantaged? You speak of this stereotype of wealthy gay man, but ma’am…. there are many of us who are just common folk, and are not rich. You conflate economic wellbeing with legal protection. A wealthy man is equally culpable under the law as a poor one.

Homosexuals do not deserve special rights, just the rights we all have

That’s exactly what I have been saying so far, ma’am… may be we are on the same page after all.

‘Sexual minorities’ and ‘sexual orientation’ are vague terms – covering anything from homosexuality, bestiality, incest, paedophilia – do all these minority sexual practices merit protection?

No, ma’am… it does not cover all this. For one, bestiality and paedophilia are crimes because there cannot be consent. Animals can’t consent, and children are deemed not to have the capacity to consent until a certain age. Paedophilia is enacted to protect children – what is homosexuality enacted to protect? Other adult gay individuals? The key difference is harm – homosexual acts between two consenting adults does not harm anyone or anything unlike the other crimes. As for incest, there is a strong biological basis, which is inbreeding.

Criminalising same-sex sodomy but not opposite-sex sodomy is valid “differentiation.” S377A does not target any specific actor; it would cover a heterosexual male experimenting with male sodomy.

And that makes a difference?

Both these practices are efficient methods of transmitting sexual diseases and AIDs / HIV which are public health problems.

Ma’am, have you heard of a thing called the condom? It is designed to protect the person against sexually transitted diseases – straight or gay. Unprotected, heterosexual sex is equally efficient in transmitting HIV/AIDS… you could ask the virus whether it prefers gay men, but I doubt it is going to give you an answer.

These are not victimless crimes as the whole community has to foot the costs of these diseases.

I have worked in the HIV/AIDS prevention field long enough to know that the cost is exarcebated by the fact that we are not allowed to reach out to the MSM legally. We have to operate on a tenuous basis, because we are faced with the difficulty of having to tell the practicing MSM to be safe, but to step carefully so that it is not aiding and abetting a crime. Unless you have worked in the sector, ma’am… I think you are highly unqualified to make the comments about public health. With all due respect.

Anal-penetrative sex is inherently damaging… with adverse health implications like ‘gay bowel syndrome’, anal cancer.

‘Acts of gross indecency’ under 377A also covers unhygienic practices like “rimming” where the mouth comes into contact with the anus. Consent to harmful acts is no defence – otherwise, our strong anti-drug laws must fall as it cannot co-exist with letting in recreational drugs as a matter of personal lifestyle choice.

Oh, and I do suppose the act of smoking, which carries much greater risk of cancer, is not legal. Neither is driving, which I am sure, kills more people than this supposed ‘gay bowel syndrome’. Neither is unhealthy food – imagine biting into a McDonalds burger and being charged with the crime of consuming fat.

Ma’am, the difference between drugs and gay sex is that the former can kill – very fast, and very potently. The pictures of heroin addiction death are not pretty.

Opposite-sex sodomy is harmful, but medical studies indicate that same-sex sodomy carries a higher price tag for society because of higher promiscuity and frequency levels.

Ma’am, promiscuity is a loose term – by employing this term, you choose to ignore that there are gay individuals and couples who are monogamous, or non-promiscuous. You choose to ignore that there are people in the heterosexual community who are promiscuous too.

A British Study showed that the legalization of homosexual sodomy correlated with an upsurge of STDs among gays.

Did you inquire whether they have good public health programmes in place? Britain’s public health, as we all know, is a big crisis.

The legal issue is not whether the state should be concerned with heterosexual sodomy but whether it is reasonable to believe same-sex sodomy poses a distinct problem. Medical literature indicates that gays have disproportionately higher STDs rates, which puts them in a different category from the general public, warranting different treatment.

No ma’am… medical literature puts promiscuous gay people as a different category. See my point above. And might I add, the difference in numbers also due to the fact that gay people go for testing more frequently than straight people, who are more likely to believe that they will not get infected. Also, might I add… just because they have higher rates doesn’t mean we shut them off and shut them down. All the more, we have the responsibility to help them. And not by criminalising it, because that then drives the activity underground and makes it more difficult for public health programmes to target them. If you are willing to invest money to help the heterosexual community who, according to your logic, apparently acquired AIDS out of their own fault, then why are you not extending the same privilege to gay people?

Sir, the power to legislate morality is not limited to preventing demonstrable harm. The Penal Code now criminalizes the wounding of both religious and racial feelings (s498)…. S377A serves public morality; the argument from community reminds us we share a way of life which gives legal expression to the moral repugnancy of homosexuality.

The wounding of racial and religious feelings through words uttered or printed in a public domain is a completely understandable offence. However – when an act does not occur in public domain, and is confined to the bedroom, am I supposed to accept your argument that the average person loses sleep thinking of a faceless gay man having sex with another, when he sees or hears nothing?

Public sexual morality must buttress strong families based on faithful union between man and wife, the best model for raising children. The state should not promote promiscuity nor condone sexual exploitation.

Public sexual morality can buttress it all they want… but supporting that is very different from preventing other forms of family from forming. In other words – the government can give third-child bonuses, but that is a different thing from slapping single mothers with fines. And once AGAIN, you slap the community with a stereotype that we are all promiscuous. Many of us are actually monogamous. Many of us would like to start families, buy a HDB flat together – our dreams are not different from yours. The law promotes nothing, ma’am… it prevents harm. And how exactly is sexual exploitation tied into this? I am completely mystified, since we are talking about consensual adult sex.

The ‘argument from consent’ says the state should keep out of the bedroom, to safeguard ‘sexual autonomy’. While we cherish racial and religious diversity, sexual diversity is a different kettle of fish. Diversity is not license for perversity. This radical liberal argument is pernicious, a leftist philosophy based on radical individualism and radical egalitarianism. It is unworkable because every viable moral theory has limits to consent.

Why is it a different kettle of fish? And why are you talking about perversity? Ma’am, with all due respect – you do not determine what is perverse and what is not. [Neither do I, for that matter.] But I am assuming that you make this judgement based on a judeo-christian notion. Ma’am, consent is not radical – it is actually the basis of law, as I’ve stated at the beginning. By all philosophical standards, what is happening here now is nowhere close to “radical individualism” and “radical egalitarianism”. Indeed there are limits, but by all secular standards, once again… this falls into the acceptable ambit.

Radical egalitarianism applied to sexual morality says the state should not morally distinguish between types of consensual sex. It exudes a false neutrality but actually sneaks in a substantive philosophy: Hedonism which breeds narcissism. This extols satisfying desire without restraint as a matter of autonomy. But some desires are undesirable, harming self and society.

I don’t see the connection between the neutrality stance and hedonism, ma’am… hedonism is a loaded word, and it is not to be misused to refer to the pursuit of simple pleasures which all individuals are granted. Is it hedonism, to spend a lazy afternoon at the beach? Is it hedonism, ma’am, to try and be happy? Individuals do not owe a duty to the society to be productive and act with respect to the interests of society 100% of the time. And with all due respect, you don’t decide what is undesirable.

The argument from consent ultimately celebrates sexual libertine values, the fruit of which is sexual licentiousness, a culture of lust, which takes, rather than love, which gives. This social decline will provoke more headlines like a 2004 Her World article called: “Gay guy confesses: I slept with 100 men…one of them could be your hubby.” What about the broken-hearts involved?

Ma’am – the culture of lust is not invoked by gay people, but it is a consequence of loosening sexual mores and media portrayals. That particular headline from a tabloid magazine can be met by a thousand other headlines about heterosexual scandals. “Tao Kay loves and loses $24,000 to 2 China women”. And since when is it the Law’s job to prevent broken hearts? When is it the law’s job to prevent tabloid headlines? Ma’am, I don’t see your logic here.

Sir, government policy is not to pro-actively enforce 377A. Some argue that just keeping this law on the books will erode the rule of law. I disagree. It is not turning a blind eye on the existence of homosexuals here; it is refusing to celebrate homosexuality while allowing gays to live quiet lives. This is prudent, as it is difficult to enforce ‘bedroom’ offences; such intrusive powers should be judiciously used anyway….

…A non pro-active policy does not mean 377A will never be enforced – who knows what another season may require? Policies can change.

In other words… ma’am, you have no idea how we live.

Sir, it is true that not all moral wrongs, such as adultery, are criminalized; yet they retain their stigma. But adulterors know they done wrong and do not lobby for toleration of adultery as a sexual orientation right.

Ma’am – what is there to lobby for? It is not a crime in the first place, and they do not experience any legal discrimination. And it is precisely because we think what we are doing is not wrong, that we lobby for our rights.

Step 1: repeal laws criminalizing homosexual sex. They consider this “pivotal” to… push for government funding and support for special programmes, such as the New York Gay High School. Governments don’t promote criminal activities. You need to change the criminal law before changing civil law.

Wow – I never thought of that.

Step 2 is to equalize the age of consent for heterosexual and homosexual sex; in some countries, this is as low as 13. Do we want to expose Sec 1 boys to adult sexual predators? To be sexually creative?

Ma’am the age of consent is 16 here – so why are you talking about 13 and bringing in a fallacious argument? And furthermore, are these boys not vulnerable to advances from female predators?

Step 3 is to prohibit discrimination based on ‘sexual orientation’. But would this not include all sexual behaviour? “Sex before 8 or else it’s too late” is the motto of the North American Man Boy Love Association. Should we judge pedophilia or be relativist and promote “anything goes” sexual experimentation?

Refer to my point above – 99% of the gay community is against paedophilia – we have sisters and brothers too, nieces and nephews, and for some, kids.

Sir, to protect homosexuals, some countries have criminalized not sodomy but opposition to sodomy, making it a ‘hate crime’ to criticize homosexuality. This violates freedom of speech and religion; will sacred texts that declare homosexuality morally deviant, like the Bible and Koran, be criminalized? Social unrest beckons. Such assaults on constitutional liberties cannot be tolerated.

Ma’am – is it not a assault on liberty to be not able to speak our mind against these religions? And furthermore, there are conflicting religions, most of which prescribe that the other religions are false. By applying rule of law, then such declarations would be mutually offensive, and in sum total, all the religious books should be banned. But no ma’am, nothing like that has happened. We learn to live in harmony, sooner or later. Or simply live and let live.

Steps 4 and 5 relate to legalizing same-sex marriage or partnerships, child adoption rights. This subverts both marriage and family, which are institutions homosexuals seek to redefine beyond recognition. Will MOE then commission a book copying the US, “Heather has 2 mummies” called “Ah Beng has 2 daddies?” What if parents disagree with their kids studying homosexual propaganda?

Ma’am, what is wrong children learning to accept diversity? Does the MOE not take pains to issue books with racial and religious diversity to teach the kids about that? So if a religious parent was opposed to seeing the portrayal of someone from a different religion treated equally in a text… are we to concede his wishes?

Repealing 377A will further batter the institution of ‘marriage’ which we must bolster!

The institution has already been battered many times, and not by us. We pose no threat – in fact, we enforce it, because, really… gay people seem to honour the institution of marriage more than straight people. Heterosexual people take it for granted, but we know what is at stake. Not only that, having marriage to look forwards to, will possibly reduce promiscuity, which you so seem to be concerned about. But we are not talking about marriage, but section 377A.

Legalising sodomy would set a bad example; by signaling approval, it may change both attitude and conduct; coupled with sexual hedonism, it makes a mockery of strong family values. 377A helps to protect against this harm.

What exactly are family values? Would you like to tell me what values we are harming through wanting to love and cherish someone for life? Ma’am… the institution of family is what we grew up in as well, and it is something we honour and desire as much as straight people. We have families too[in case you thought we dropped from the sky] And we want families of our own as well. Sexual hedonism is a universal trait, not a gay trait. Please do not equate the two.

To slouch back to Sodom is to return to the Bad Old Days in ancient Greece or even China where sex was utterly wild and unrestrained, and homosexuality was considered superior to man-women relations. Women’s groups should note that where homosexuality was celebrated, women were relegated to low social roles; when homosexuality was idealized in Greece, women were objects not partners, who ran homes and bore babies. Back then, whether a man had sex with another man, woman or child was a matter of indifference, like one’s eating preferences. The only relevant category was penetrator and penetrated; sex was not seen as interactive intimacy, but a doing of something to someone. How degrading.

Ma’am – you are drawing a false analogy. Those were the days when women were not given equality. Those were the days when men freely did whatever they wanted, with disregard to their marriage vows. Those were the days when women and children were treated almost as property. We are not living in those times now, and things have changed radically.

Homosexuals as fellow citizens have the right to expect decent treatment from the rest of us; but they have no right to insist we surrender our fundamental moral beliefs so they can feel comfortable about their sexual behaviour. We should not be subject to the tyranny of the undemocratic minority who want to violate our consciences, trample on our cherished moral virtues and threaten our collective welfare by imposing homosexual dogma on right-thinking people. Keep 377A.

Ma’am – we don’t do that. It is often the homophobes who do so. In trying to fight for the right to live our lives, unfortunately we are made to convince the majority of our entitlement – which by right, we should not be, because it should be given automatically.

Instead of reasoning, some have resorted to name-calling to intimidate and silence their opponents. People with principled moral objections to the homosexual agenda are tarred and feathered ‘homophobes’, ‘bigots’, to shut them up. This strategy is unoriginally imported from foreign gay activists, which stifles creative thinking and intellectual enquiry….

I believe in free debate but this oversteps the line. I was distressed, disgusted, upset enough to file a police report. Does a normal person go up to a stranger to express such irrational hatred?

I am sorry you and your compatriot has received such vitriol – but the actions of the individual is something we cannot control. However in this speech, you have called us perverse, radical, immoral, promiscuous, licentious, hedonist, subversive, a threat to public health, mental patients and more… ma’am, irrational hatred is not professed only by those who have insulted you.

I rest my case, ma’am. I only hope that you will read this in the spirit of your own philosophy of free debate and speech.

Gay Men’s Brains Respond Differently to Pheromones

Obscure origins of desire

Gay Men Read Maps like Women

Queer Animals

Sexual orientation may be determined at 6th week of life – Summary article by Yawningbread

Clue to Sexual Orientation Found in Lesbian Brain

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October 24, 2007 - Posted by | Law, Politics | , , , , , , , , , ,

105 Comments

  1. […] you have not read this letter by a first year law student, please do. It’s quite long but it is worth your […]

    Pingback by Hear ye! Hear ye! » Blog Archive » Superb open letter rebutting Thio Li-Ann's nonsensical speech in Parliament | October 24, 2007

  2. don’t you get the feeling that should she (and those of her like) get their way with homosexuals, they will apply similar arguments against anyone else who doesn’t practice sex, straight or gay, in the sole non-degrading context of marriage (and for the purpose of procreation)?

    Comment by budak | October 24, 2007

  3. Perhaps you would want to speak to Prof Thio about this, and not just post on your blog. Oh, and maybe take the public law module first too.

    Comment by jean | October 24, 2007

  4. I wrote this more as a way to convince others of the fallacy of her arguments – because it all sounds so smooth on the surface. The unquestioning mind may be susceptible to accepting her rhetoric. Ms Thio… I know there is no way I can convince her of anything, even if she reads this. Her hatred is too deep, too irrational. 🙂

    Comment by pleinelune | October 24, 2007

  5. All I have to say is that for someone who is a Human Rights scholar and professor to use religious rhetoric and supposed moral high ground to oppress others is highly ironic and reprehensible.

    And if she claims not to be religiously motivated, one just has to look as far as her mother Thio Su-Mien’s ‘opinions’ on the subject. The apple does not fall far from the tree.

    In any case, I always thought she was gay. Self-hatred can do many things to a person.

    Comment by bammmer | October 24, 2007

  6. Prof Thio expressed strong objections over the lewd, personal and name-calling diatribes, threats and attacks in response to her and her colleague’s views and commentaries. While it is regrettable and irresponsible of members of the pro-repeal community in their behaviour, Prof Thio has to understand, to a reasonable extent, that she is dealing with an extremely sensitive topic (i.e. sexuality or sexual preferences) which gay people regard as an intrinsic part of their identities (rightly or wrongly). It is a very raw nerve (of gay people who are also human beings) and a very explosive one at that. Strong, personal emotions are involved. To a gay person, questioning their “right to exercise their sexuality” tantamounts to questioning their race, ethnicity, heritage, lineage, genealogy, pedigree and social class. While not excusing abusive and irresponsible language, intense and irrational reactions are only to be expected. For something as provocative as challenging homosexuality, Prof Thio ought to possess higher EQ and expect that level of reaction. Otherwise, why would there be racial riots and violence in this world? And let’s not imply that all gay people are of such character and will react in such inflammatory manner. As with any sensitive issues (it could even be about entitlement to public housing subsidy, children education, medical bills, salary), people react strongly and a segment will react abusively. But please, not all gay people are what she thinks.

    Comment by Ken Washio | October 24, 2007

  7. Excellent rebuttal. Such Blog-posts definitely make better reading material than transcripts of parliamentary speeches.

    Comment by Luna | October 24, 2007

  8. Awesome rebuttal! I fear for my grades coming up against a coursemate like you. 😦

    Her speech was an embarrassment. I guess Prof Thio could get away with it since she was speaking as a MP, for mass consumption. Her arguments would unfortunately not come under critical scrutiny as it would be in court (I think she would be laughed out of court if she used the same).

    The fact that such an otherwise learned and intelligent person has to resort to such piss poor arguments really shows how logically bankrupt the religious fundamentalist stance is.

    Comment by DF | October 24, 2007

  9. Oh c’mon there’s no need to diss academics. Haha. Most of the faculty probably smacked their foreheads like we did and went, “Oh dear not again!” after they read the speech. I’m pretty sure that the academic staff as a whole leans liberal.

    On a sidenote, I think it’s painfully ironic that Prof Thio’s speciality is human rights, although I’m beginning to suspect that it’s against, not for.

    Comment by DF | October 24, 2007

  10. but just because someone disagrees with you on a salient point does not render them incorrect per se. Dear pleinelune, perhaps u shld keep a copy of this post somewhere and revisit it in a few years when you’ve done Legal Theory and Public Law.

    – a friendly law4.

    Comment by strategos | October 25, 2007

  11. Of course, I acknowledge that there are different viewpoints to every issue, and there is no true right answer. However, I rebut her based her obvious fallacies and strawman arguments, not so much her point of view. 🙂

    Comment by pleinelune | October 25, 2007

  12. This could be an example of how religious views influence the mind, indeed a person may be brilliant when it comes to her forte but become completely muddled when dealing with such issues as relates to religion, emotion etc.

    In circumstances that are not uniquely Singapore her rhetoric will be blunted by the fact that the “other side” would have space to counter. However the existence of 377A serves to convey strong disapproval of homosexual people such that they will have no public space to defend themselves. As a result the public would continue to be influenced (read Otto Fong’s letter on this) and therefore the misinformation and homophobia will continue to spread.

    On a related note this serves to embolden Derek Hong and others to exert such influence on society; this does not bode well for society in general.

    1 for prejudice, -10 for compassion and humanity.

    Comment by Ned Stark | October 25, 2007

  13. […] -Hiding behind rhetoric – A rebuttal of Thio Li-Ann by pleinelune […]

    Pingback by The Irrational Section 377A. « a father thoughts | October 25, 2007

  14. […] A Rebuttal 2007 24 […]

    Pingback by Popagandhi » Like A Straw Up Your Nose | October 25, 2007

  15. […] by The Singapore Daily on October 25th, 2007 Section 377a – Used Brain for Sale: Hiding Behind Rhetoric: A Rebuttal of Thio Li-Ann – Mr Wang Says So: Sexual Discriminations in the Law – Winter is Coming: A Mega Post on a Mega […]

    Pingback by Daily SG: 25 Oct 2007 « The Singapore Daily | October 25, 2007

  16. Well I came here via SingaporeDaily and I must say I am very impressed. I am unable to present such a wonderful rebuttal, try as I might.

    However I am saddened that people applaud her speech, label is as good, but yet her speech is ridden with fallacies as she seek to tear down the fallacies in the pro camp. In fact, I believe that her speech is good material for student to learn about fallacious arguments.

    Lots of appeal to fear, appeal to pity, failure to consider alternative opinion and slippery slope. Wonderful!

    Comment by ignorantsoup | October 25, 2007

  17. For those who suggested that the blogger finish Public Law first, I should point out that the course, at least when I studied it, was taught by Thio. I don’t think it’s necessary to spell out the implications.

    Comment by A1 | October 25, 2007

  18. Strong and comprehensive rebuttal.

    Pleinelune, I think you’ve done an excellent job at highlighting the fallacies and inherent consistencies in NMP Thio’s speech.

    Strategos, I agree with you that a copy of this post should be kept verbatim and we should revisit again a number of years in the future, when NMP Thio’s speech will stand out in even starker contrast than it does today.

    Comment by LH | October 25, 2007

  19. Hi ignorantsoup, just like that Gold 90.5FM TV ad, people will only hear what they want to hear…so all the fallacies in her speech were never picked up…sigh

    Hi Pleinelune, good piece of rebuttal…but only if the “battle” is one based on logic…emotions and fear are something else altogether…

    Comment by xtrocious | October 25, 2007

  20. While Prof Thio’s speech was admittedly far from perfect, the “obvious fallacies and strawman arguments” you tried to point out might not be as obviously flawed and weak as you think. Her speech needs to be read as a whole, and you will see that she does substantiate most of the points that she makes. A large part of her speech is actually not just empty rhetoric, though you have to be patient and read her speech thoroughly, rather than give in to knee-jerk reactions when riled up by her inflammatory choice of words.

    Still, it’s good that you’re not taking her words at face value but are attempting to analyse and think through what has been said.

    Comment by Another friendly law 4 | October 25, 2007

  21. Hi all, may I assume that the bulk of the people who’ve read this website are pro-gay supporters? In any case, I am not, but I do not hate gay people.

    With response to what ms blogger has wrote, I’d like to share with everyone a piece of article I came across whilst surfing through the ST-forums.

    Before you read it, if you choose to, I must tell you that it is a anti-gay website, but it has a lot of research and studies documented in it. It was posted at the start of this year by an american lecturer named Dr Rob Martyn. The language is harsh, but I do hope that you’d overlook the tone of his language and look at the points and studies he has made and drawn.

    Whether you disagree with the manner this person articulates his thoughts, I hope you will seriously consider the points he has made, I’d ignore the religious based ones cause it is definately not in your favour; you’ll probably never agree with it.

    But still its a good read, http://www.gaysandfacism.com.

    Comment by Alex | October 26, 2007

  22. Alex, I value intellectual debate as much as anyone else, and I have seen many well-argued, well-substantiated anti-gay essays.

    His is not one of them, unfortunately. Even ignoring the language [which would get him laughed out of any intellectual circle, and if he tried that for his PhD thesis, he would be so kicked out] his substantiation is weak at its best. He draws on anecdotes and makes pseudo-scientific claims, and exaggerates a lot. I haven’t had such a good laugh over such hysterical idiocy since the time I’ve read godhatesfags by Fred Phelps. 😀

    Comment by pleinelune | October 26, 2007

  23. “The institution has already been battered many times, and not by us. We pose no threat – in fact, we enforce it, because, really… gay people seem to honour the institution of marriage more than straight people.”

    Hahaha, Im sorry, but I think you need to look at statistics……you should really look at the situation in other countries. This is one of the silliest claims, no offence, that I hear from gay advocates. There are many heterosexual couples out there that treasure the constituition of marriage. For those who say its bad enough the heteros are sullying it, why add to it?

    With all due respect, I dont seem to understand in what way are gay people being discriminated? We all pay the same taxes, we all are entitled to free education.

    Comment by Alex | October 26, 2007

  24. Well done, Pleinelune. I too, like the staunch Christian you described, do not believe in imposing my beliefs on other people, so long as theirs do no harm to others. It is just basic respect.

    Comment by Ambrose | October 26, 2007

  25. Pleinelune, I applaud your excellent rebuttal. It saddens me that in the future we will have one less excellent lawyer in Singapore. I hope you don’t mind me continuing to read your blog! I enjoy your posts immensely.

    Alex, isn’t it because homosexuals pay the same taxes, have the same education, and are subjected to the same laws that non-homosexuals are that they do not deserve this discrimination? There might not be discrimination in the way that you describe, but as NMP Siew Kum Hong has put it, they are being labelled as criminals for something that should not be even a crime. Is that not discrimination?

    Sorry for the incoherence. I had to get it out of my system.

    Comment by Soshi | October 26, 2007

  26. One way the fudge-packers, errmm… I mean, gays, can negate a salient point in Thio’s argument is a declaration that their agenda does not follow the same course as those sought by the pro-gay camp in US and Canada. E.g. decriminizing sodomy leads to gays demanding for state-sanctioned gay marriage; followed by rights for gays to adopt children; followed by state-mandated school curriculum that portray gay relationships on the same level as a heterosexual family unit, etc. Convince the public, make the declaration that the repeal of Section 377A is all you want. But ah, that’s not the truth, isn’t it? You queens DO want to roll down the slippery slope.

    What next? A petition for http://nambla.org to open a branch in Singapore?

    Another thing (a tu quoque fallacy maybe…), the lead activist for this attempted (AND FAILED) repeal, Stuart Koe, is even worse than Thio. Having Section 377A is like holding a gun to your head; either pull the trigger or put the gun down. Is it in the best interests of the gay camp to push this issue to a decisive conclusion? Is it wise to confront the majority on this? To do away with this “live and let live” climate which prevails in Singapore today? So, maybe the government should really “pull the trigger” and hang gays, like they do in Saudi Arabia, Iran, etc? Do you want that? Not a very far-sighted comment, is it? Has Stuart Koe’s brain been infected by a particularly maglinant variant of colon cancer, or is he simply bored and aching for cat fight?

    Maybe Singapore should follow what Malaysia did to Anwar — enforce jail terms for sodomy. That would be selecting one of the options propounded by Stuart Koe. Would you like that?

    Oh, by the way, Islam (and MUIS of Singapore) doesn’t support the homosexual lifestyle either. Looks like you girls got your work cut out for you. Enjoy.

    See you at Changi Village sometime, sweetie.

    Comment by SeowTeochew | October 26, 2007

  27. Hey I think Fred Phelps just commented on your blog.

    Interesting that he should mention that Islam does not support homosexuality, because Islam does not support eating pork either.

    We should really criminalise the consumption of pork. If not, we are going to eat worms, dogs, and *GASP* SHELLFISH!

    What next? A petition for http://www.longjohnsilvers.com.sg/ to open a branch in Singapore?

    OH NOES THEY ALREADY DID! THE DEVIL IS AT WORK!

    Oh, by the way, the Christians and Jews hate shellfish too. Looks like we got our work cut out for us.

    Comment by Desu desu | October 26, 2007

  28. strawman, strawman.

    The point is: Section 377A is not aggressively enforced right now. Keep pushing the majority, and perhaps it will.
    So, what will it be?
    Shall the Singapore legislature, according to your esteemed leader’s words, “pull the trigger”?
    The gallows at Changi Prison is an equal opportunity device.
    Remember, the heteros are generally fertile and capable of reproducing, while the fudgepackers are, by definition, sterile. The heteros outnumber you. They can breed you out. And more importantly, they can vote you out.

    Keep pushing, baby.
    Just watch out for the backlash.

    See you at Changi Village, sweetie.

    Comment by SeowTeochew | October 26, 2007

  29. What next? A petition for http://nambla.org to open a branch in Singapore?

    And you were saying something about strawman… ?

    Comment by pleinelune | October 26, 2007

  30. Is Nambla the next step for gays and gay activists if Section 377A is repealed?

    Is gay marriage the next step for gays and gay activists if Section 377A is repealed?

    Is child adoption by gay couples the next step for gays and gay activists if Section 377A is repealed?

    Is the portrayal of gay lifestyles and “couples” in school curriculum the next petition by gays and gay activists if Section 377A is repealed?

    If the answers to these are “No,” why isn’t Stuart Koe or your other queens (Ahem! “leaders”) declaring it to the public in this debate? Come on, convince the public that the repeal would not lead society down this slippery slope. Come out and say it. Declare it. Launch another petition and convince the majority that gays only want Section 377A repealed. That’s all.

    The silence in this aspect is telling. Most likely, these steps are indeed the master plan of the gay agenda.

    The gays appeared spoiled and bored with the “live and let live” attitude. Perhaps, the authorities should really “pull the trigger”?

    Sounds like some girls are itching for a (cat) fight.

    See you at Changi Village, sweetie.

    Comment by SeowTeochew | October 26, 2007

  31. Hi, good job on the writeup. Singapore really needs more smart people like you. : )

    Comment by Ryan | October 27, 2007

  32. […] * The blogosphere, of course, had numerous articles challenging Thio, including one by a first year law student. […]

    Pingback by journalism.sg » The Devan-ci Code: Janadas exposes Li-Ann's Thiology | October 27, 2007

  33. How interesting, on 25th October 2007, between 8:42 PM and 8:46 PM, 85+ signatures for the petition to repeal 377A (#8415 to #8501) were signed by Pleinelune.

    http://www.repeal377a.com/letter/signatories/

    How’s that for honesty (intellectual and otherwise)?

    Two words: moral bankruptcy.

    Comment by SeowTeochew | October 27, 2007

  34. I don’t know who did that, but it is certainly not me. I have already signed the petition with my real name at the very beginning. Why would I do something that is so obviously fradulent? Ever considered sabotage?

    Comment by pleinelune | October 27, 2007

  35. Ever considered contacting Stuart Koe to remove it?

    Comment by SeowTeochew | October 27, 2007

  36. I think she has better things to do than troll through all the signatures on that website. Do check the Keep377A.com website. The “majority” spams too, apparently.

    Comment by Zixian | October 27, 2007

  37. For one, the signatures don’t count – it was meant to be presented to the PM, and it was, with the number it had at 23:59, 21st October. Whoever who signs it afterwards, it is irrelevant. Secondly, I didn’t notice it until now, and now that I have, I’ve reported it. Thirdly – I don’t own pleinelune. Anyone can use it.

    Comment by pleinelune | October 27, 2007

  38. >Do check the Keep377A.com website. The “majority” spams too, apparently.

    Tu quoque fallacy.

    That, and yes, we are the majority. Good for you that you recognize that. This is also a country where the numerical majority of an organized group can make decisions binding on the whole group. I.e. democracy. The majority says keep Section 377A. Your wishes do not — cannot, and will not — overide ours.

    I find it hilarious that someone barely out of JC2, rehashing her General Paper curriculum, deems herself fit to judge a scholar who received her Bachelors from Oxford, L.L.M. from Harvard, and Ph.D. from Cambridge. There is no merit in this silly — and ultimately self-serving — exercise, by any stretch of the imagination, in this meritocracy.

    By the way, you still haven’t answered my questions: what exactly is your gay “radical political agenda”?

    Is Nambla ( http://nambla.org ) the next step for gays and gay activists if Section 377A is repealed?

    Is gay marriage the next step for gays and gay activists if Section 377A is repealed?

    Is child adoption by gay couples the next step for gays and gay activists if Section 377A is repealed?

    Is the portrayal of gay lifestyles and “couples” in school curriculum the next petition by gays and gay activists if Section 377A is repealed?

    If the answers to these are “No,” why isn’t Stuart Koe or your other queens (Ahem! “leaders”) declaring it to the public in this debate? Come on, convince the public that the repeal would not lead society down this slippery slope. Come out and say it. Declare it. Launch another petition and convince the majority that gays only want Section 377A repealed. That’s all. No more beyond that. Ever.

    The silence in this aspect is telling. Most likely, these steps are indeed the master plan of the gay agenda.

    Answer the questions.

    For the record, I am neither for nor against Section 377A. Frankly, I can’t be bothered. It certainly makes for amusing reading though. Do carry on!

    Comment by SeowTeochew | October 28, 2007

  39. Extremely well-written with courage most seldom possess.

    I paid Dr. Thio Li-ann a ‘tribute’ for inspiring my latest series of wallpapers.

    Check them out here: http://patlaw.wordpress.com/2007/10/28/straws-and-noses/

    Comment by Pat Law | October 28, 2007

  40. Seow Teochew:
    Qualifications are of scant importance when she is only trying to make a point with cogent, logical arguments. The highly accomplished do falter too and it is juvenile to try and bully others into thinking that Goliath will surely trump David by virtue of his reputation. People can judge for themselves if her arguments hold water. I hope you can, too.
    There is no merit in this silly – and ultimately self-contradicting – diatribe by any stretch of the imagination, in this *meritocracy*.

    And frankly, even if all the issues you have mentioned above are indeed part of the “master plan of the gay agenda”, it hardly matters to the discussion at hand. Your questions only reflect your personal bias against gay marriages and the families that come with them. When the time comes, if Singapore has indeed become liberal enough to allow for gay marriages, it will happen; if Singapore requires more time (or remains sorely opposed to it) then it won’t. It’s that simple.

    Throughout all your posts, you seem to be arguing that once the floodgates are open, no-one can stop the water from gushing through. Yet you forget that the dam remains in place. Each of these issues are different in their own right and Parliament and public discourse remains to debate on whether the corresponding laws will ever get through. So stick to 377A, don’t wander off.

    By the way, “See you at Changi Village…”? Your vehemence with regards to the homosexual movement truly, truly puzzles me. I surely won’t be seeing you there.

    On a seperate note, good job pleinelune! It was a real pleasure to read.

    Comment by iw | October 28, 2007

  41. Pat,

    >Each of these issues are different in their own right and Parliament and public discourse remains to debate on whether the corresponding laws will ever get through. So stick to 377A, don’t wander off.

    In other words, you are trying to pull off the “boiled frog manoeuvre” on the MAJORITY. Nope, I don’t think so.

    The majority has spoken. Section 377A stays.

    As for bullying, who’s trying to push the majority up against the wall? Has Section 377A been enforced in the last 19 years? Stuart Koe seems to pushing for a fight. “Pull the trigger”? Should Singapore “pull the trigger” like Saudi Arabia and Iran? These are the words of your self-proclaimed spokesman by the way.

    Thanks for implicitly confirming the “radical gay agenda.” Professor Thio would be most pleased (I have taken the liberty of forwarding her this thread) that her suspicions are true.

    Comment by SeowTeochew | October 28, 2007

  42. >By the way, “See you at Changi Village…”? Your vehemence with regards to the homosexual movement truly, truly puzzles me.

    Actually, it is better known for the transexuals there. I don’t think they would be too thrilled to be lumped together with the homosexual crowd (considering the operations they have gone through to resemble females). Nice try though.

    As for vehemence, I slam the fundies and queens with equal aplomb. The queens just squeal more. This is true even in NS: the JW idiots patiently serve their 3 years in the detention barracks; the Seven Day Adventist stoicly carry their HEAVIER dummy rifles; the queens wail and bitch at their less-than-skin-tight No. 4 uniforms…

    Comment by SeowTeochew | October 28, 2007

  43. >it is juvenile to try and bully others…

    Ah, you mean like what Alfian Sa’at did?

    http://leejean.livejournal.com/557495.html

    *********************
    Date: Sun, 12 Oct 2007 05:03 +0800 (CST)
    From: “Alfian Bin Sa’at”
    Subject: a valentine
    To: lawtla@nus.edu.sg
    Sunday, Aug 12, 5.03am

    Subject: a valentine

    Dear Dr Thio,

    This is a personal note to you.

    I think you are absolutely fucked up.

    As long as you exist, with your hatemongering and your vicious crusades against sexual minorities, I will never leave Singapore. I hope I outlive you long enough to see the repeal of 377A and on that day I will piss on your grave.

    With love,
    Alfian.
    *********************

    Keep digging, happy people.

    Comment by SeowTeochew | October 28, 2007

  44. “E.g. decriminizing sodomy leads to gays demanding for state-sanctioned gay marriage; followed by rights for gays to adopt children; followed by state-mandated school curriculum that portray gay relationships on the same level as a heterosexual family unit, etc.”

    Sounds all good to me. But that’s my opinion as a dirty liberal atheist pervert.

    “Remember, the heteros are generally fertile and capable of reproducing, while the fudgepackers are, by definition, sterile. The heteros outnumber you. They can breed you out.”

    With statements like that, I’m sure you’d make a fantastic parent. And unless you refer to some sort of selective aborting, you wouldn’t even ‘breed them out’.

    “And more importantly, they can vote you out.”

    Sure. But Singapore won’t stay conservative forever; some day the MAJORITY (not *your* idea of majority) will be sufficiently pissed off by religious rhetoric like Thio’s to get off the fence and make themselves heard.

    Comment by rob | October 28, 2007

  45. SeowTeochew, you say that you “slam the fundies and queens with equal aplomb”. Has it ever occurred to you that some of us pro-gay people are not so much pro-gay as vehemently anti-fundie?

    I think it’s clear that both sides have an agenda. Are you sure that the fundies will stop now that they have succeeded in keeping 377a? We have seen activism in the US, and increasingly in Singapore, to get religious morality into policy. (Thio Li-ann herself has repeatedly said religion should be in public policy).

    In the keep 377a petition, there were signatures calling for the government to criminalise abortion and pre-marital sex as well. In NUS Law school, there was recently a seminar on Intelligent Design and how evolution is “bad science”. The creationists have written in to the ST to condemn the teaching of evolution as well.

    To me, it’s clear that the fundie agenda would be of far greater detriment than the gay agenda. I would rather Singapore be turned into San Fransico than a Christian Iran. Better to keep the nuts on the gay issue than moving on with their plan to create “a nation of righteous Christians” (as said by Derek Hong).

    Comment by Vanguard | October 28, 2007

  46. the world and sg should be for all, despite their similarities or lack of. can a law be effectively executed if not than it is just hype,

    sam

    Comment by sam choo | October 28, 2007

  47. To Seowteochew:

    My apologies for that comment. Clearly it wasn’t well thought through and I shouldn’t have used an argument like that.

    We don’t agree, but I’m not here to force you to agree with me. Coincidentally, I am part of the “majority” — if you define it as the heterosexual portion of the population, that is. I use inverted commas because I don’t believe the people who created and who signed the letter on the keep377a.com website represent a true majority of Singaporeans. Just to clarify my stand on this.

    And no, I don’t think what Alfian did was right, but I can understand his sentiment.

    Comment by Zixian | October 28, 2007

  48. Strong rebuttal? Point-by-point? Err…I think someone’s got a bit ahead of herself. Maybe a first year course in logic, then law … and then see how lah, maybe no hope also. So go ahead Alfian, piss on her grave. That’ll really do wonders. sigh. The LGB community really needs less of these kinds of adolescent tantrums and a much more considered discourse. After all, the weight of rational argument is on our side.

    Comment by Socratestes | October 28, 2007

  49. To SeowTeoChew: two wrongs do not make a right. you argue that Alfian Bin Sa’at “bullied” others, but your similar no-holds-barred verbal bashing and rude, deliberately provocative choice of language does little to reinforce your position on the issue at hand, and only reeks of ungentlemanly conduct – it would seem that the one itching for a fight is you.
    I find such behaviour intolerable and I am pretty sure that many among the moderate, like me, will eventually get fed up of it – you openly proclaim a backlash against the pro-gay camp, but I am sure there will also be one against the likes of you.
    I agree that Alfian did little for his cause by his choice of language, but you certainly do no better than him for yours, either. Ýou’re behaving in the same manner you accuse others of.
    Someone accused others of moral bankruptcy; that coming from a hypocrite, I am not surprised.

    Comment by Ambrose | October 28, 2007

  50. “Stuart Koe from Fridae.com, an initiator of the Repeal 377A petition who called on the Government to either ‘put the gun down’ or ‘pull the trigger”

    http://www.straitstimes.com/Latest+News/Singapore/STIStory_169745.html?vgnmr=1

    Correction, dear Ambrose, it is the pro-gay camp who’s itching for a fight. After all, Keep377A.com would not have come into existence if not for the manifestation of Repeal377A.com. Furthermore, Section 377A has not been enforced since 1988. Sounds like some drama queens are bored.

    >you argue that Alfian Bin Sa’at “bullied” others

    There is no need to argue on that point. He did and, by his own admission, was forced to recant some of his words.

    > you openly proclaim a backlash against the pro-gay camp, I am sure there will also be one against the likes of you. I agree that Alfian did little for his cause by his choice of language, but you certainly do no better than him for yours, either

    Really, backlash against what? If you referred to #43, I said:

    “As for vehemence, I slam the fundies and queens with equal aplomb. The queens just squeal more. This is true even in NS: the JW idiots patiently serve their 3 years in the detention barracks; the Seven Day Adventist stoicly carry their HEAVIER dummy rifles; the queens wail and bitch at their less-than-skin-tight No. 4 uniforms…”

    My cause? What cause? I am neither for nor against the agenda of the fudgepackers. It’s pretty fun to prod them and watch them mess up their make up and hair do when they throw a hissy fit though. Oh, just because I am not for you, I am against you?

    rob (of #45),

    >>“Remember, the heteros are generally fertile and capable of reproducing, while the fudgepackers are, by definition, sterile. The heteros outnumber you. They can breed you out.”

    >With statements like that, I’m sure you’d make a fantastic parent. And unless you refer to some sort of selective aborting, you wouldn’t even ‘breed them out’.

    >>“And more importantly, they can vote you out.”

    It is fact that heterosexuals make up the majority of the population in Singapore. It is fact that heterosexuals are generally fertile, while gays are not. It is fact that heterosexuals outnumber homosexuals. It is fact that they can breed you out (homosexuals would always be a minority in Singapore). It is also fact that they can vote you out.

    Since when has facts been hate speech? You are going to prove that gays are as fertile reproductively as heterosexuals?

    There’s incredible irony at work here. A bunch of people not denying that part of their “radical political agenda” is eventually being able to adopt children as gay parents. Endorsing and pursuing an ultimately sterile lifestyle but coveting the fruits of the other. Now, that, THAT is hypocrisy. The gentlemanly would claim, stupidity. Pick one, I’d suppose. Or choose both!

    Comment by SeowTeochew | October 28, 2007

  51. “Is gay marriage the next step for gays and gay activists if Section 377A is repealed?

    Is child adoption by gay couples the next step for gays and gay activists if Section 377A is repealed?

    Is the portrayal of gay lifestyles and “couples” in school curriculum the next petition by gays and gay activists if Section 377A is repealed?”

    Maybe the gay community care to answer Seow TeoChew comments?

    I am a big boy. I have no axe to grind with gays but I believe that they should respect the views of the majority if they truly consider themselves “Singaporeans”. I dont think I will want to wake up to a Singapore where gay marriages are the norm. I apologize for my frankness and seek some answers.

    Comment by VoiceofReason | October 28, 2007

  52. Aah just to clarify something, Pat didn’t say all those stuff, anonymous I did…

    Comment by iw | October 28, 2007

  53. To SeowTeoChew:

    “It’s pretty fun to prod them and watch them mess up their make up and hair do when they throw a hissy fit though.”

    You find fun in unecessarily fanning flames and provocating people – whereas, whether pro- or anti-gay, these 2 camps go at each others’ throats in support of an agenda of change/maintaining the status quo, which are to each of them, non-trivial issues and who wish to elicit some serious discourse.

    You, sir, however, find FUN in provocation and watching the results. Fine that you may not be itching for a fight, but finding fun in inciting a fight, finding fun in inflammatory comments, finding fun in provocation, finding fun in trivialising or demonising each camp and the values they hold… you, sir, are not a gentleman. It will be pointless for me to argue with you further; I see no worth in it, nor in you.

    It would remind me of flame wars on BBSes. Which means, you should be off this board.

    To VoiceOfReason:

    I am sure that you will find solace in the fact that even if 377A were to be repealed, other institutions remain. By these I mean religious and social. You wish for the pro-gay camp to respect the views of the majority, but may I kindly suggest that to suggest sacrificing the harmless (please read on below) interests of a minority to appease a fearful majority would be tantamount to tyranny of the majority.

    Whether or not 377A is there, religious and social institutions are there to provide a countering force, to provide the balance. Who is to say that with 377A gone, heterosexuals need feel threatened that their way of life will go? Heteros will live as heteros and gays will live as gays. It is possible to not have 377A, in my honest opinion, and still maintain, largely, the status quo, if only both camps would respect each other’s views. I am not gay, but I do not believe in forcing a worldview on someone else, especially if it may harm them, hence 377A should go – some homosexuals are born that way, and one need recognise that between the two extreme ends of hetero and homo, there may lie a spectrum – dualism need not apply to everything.

    Perhaps one useful thing SeowTeoChew did was to bring up Alfian. I did not like his … barbarian … nonsense, and I would like to point out that disrespecting each other in this manner would only serve to lead us away from discourse. Ignore or shut out the provocative extremists, concentrate on the issues at hand that need to be ironed out, and I believe that by respecting each other, reconciliation will be achieved. It is as simple as meeting a homosexual neighbour and saying hi while both walk past each other to mind their own business.

    At risk of incredulity, how would it feel if the whole thing was the other way round? If minority heteros in a largely gay world were to experience the same humiliation and criminalisation by a 377A-like law?

    Comment by Ambrose | October 29, 2007

  54. if homosexuals don’t reproduce, why are there so many of them? hrmmm…

    cheekiness aside, since when was being gay equivalent to not being fertile? just one stupid statement out of many that you’ve made.

    stop trolling and get a life, instead of failing spectacularly to explain away your hate-filled drivel as playful fun. it’s so transparent.

    Comment by d | October 29, 2007

  55. To Ambrose,

    >You find fun in unecessarily fanning flames and provocating people . . . You, sir, however, find FUN in provocation and watching the results.

    Yes, I have a high testosterone level. It’s biological, potentially even genetic:

    “Some People Find Angry Expressions Rewarding
    Study finds those with high testosterone levels get enjoyment from provocative teasing

    FRIDAY, March 30 (HealthDay News) — While most people are upset or concerned when someone gives them an angry look, there are others — with high levels of testosterone — who actually enjoy angry expressions and seek ways to provoke them, new research suggests.

    “It’s kind of striking that an angry facial expression is consciously valued as a very negative signal by almost everyone, yet at a non-conscious level can be like a tasty morsel that some people will vigorously work for,” study co-author Oliver Schultheiss, an associate professor of psychology at the University of Michigan, said in a prepared statement.”

    http://www.healthfinder.gov/news/newsstory.asp?docID=603144

    Following your line of excuses Ahem! argument, since it’s biological, you just would have to accept it, no?

    >It would remind me of flame wars on BBSes. Which means, you should be off this board.

    And someone was whinning about freedom: freedom of speech, freedom of expression, freedom to love. Anyone who does not agree with you is a bigot and should be shouted down, excluded. With pro-gay supporters like yourself, it is of no surprise why there are no gays mature enough to hold a seat in Parliament. You had to resort to begging a heterosexual to do your dirty work for you. Oh, for shame!

    >At risk of incredulity, how would it feel if the whole thing was the other way round? If minority heteros in a largely gay world were to experience the same humiliation and criminalisation by a 377A-like law?

    Ah, you mean like this?

    “PROVINCETOWN — Town leaders here are holding a public meeting today to air concerns about slurs and bigoted behavior. And this time, they say, it’s gay people who are displaying intolerance.

    Police say they logged numerous complaints of straight people being called “breeders” by gays over the July Fourth holiday weekend. Jamaican workers reported being the target of racial slurs. And a woman was verbally accosted after signing a petition that opposed same-sex marriage, they said.”

    http://tinyurl.com/kky88

    To d,

    >cheekiness aside, since when was being gay equivalent to not being fertile? just one stupid statement out of many that you’ve made.

    Really? Prove to me that gays are capable of reproducing biologically. The medical community would be most interested.

    Hmm, “hate-filled drivel.”
    Ah, you mean writing like Alfian Sa’at?
    Gee, I haven’t written anything to the effect of wishing death upon the pro-gay camp, nor pissing on their graves, nor any other forms of deviant sexual practices (necrophilic, scatological, or otherwise). Unintended projection on your part , perhaps?

    To the sodomisers and their supporters,

    Stop dodging the questions:

    Is Nambla ( http://nambla.org ) the next step for gays and gay activists if Section 377A is repealed?

    Is gay marriage the next step for gays and gay activists if Section 377A is repealed?

    Is child adoption by gay couples the next step for gays and gay activists if Section 377A is repealed?

    Is the portrayal of gay lifestyles and “couples” in school curriculum the next petition by gays and gay activists if Section 377A is repealed?

    If the answers to these are “No,” why isn’t Stuart Koe or your other queens (Ahem! “leaders”) declaring it to the public in this debate? Come on, convince the public that the repeal would not lead society down this slippery slope. Come out and say it. Declare it. Launch another petition and convince the majority that gays only want Section 377A repealed. That’s all. No more beyond that. Ever.

    The silence in this aspect is telling. Most likely, these steps are indeed the master plan of the gay agenda.

    At least rob (#45) has the courage to answer the questions. I.e. “Sounds all good to me. But that’s my opinion as a dirty liberal atheist pervert.”

    Or, is subterfuge a genetic trait of the happy people as well?

    Comment by SeowTeochew | October 29, 2007

  56. Hi,

    I think you will enjoy this:

    http://tomorrow.sg/node/view/7603#comment-6470499

    Try censoring that.

    Comment by SeowTeochew | October 29, 2007

  57. Seo, I did not censor your comments – wordpress automatically puts comments with more than 2 links in the moderation queue, assuming them to be spam. Contrary to you, I believe in free speech.

    If you want to continue making a fool of yourself, I am not going to do anything to stop you. *yawns* I got better things to do.

    Comment by pleinelune | October 29, 2007

  58. I think I know who this guy is.

    He’s the same guy who has been harrassing me and putting up a lot of obscene messages in my name. (And you can see that he really likes my name a lot.)

    His name is Ben Mok, and his website is here.

    He’s criticised Alfian for being provocative but we can all see that’s a bit rich. Or maybe more than a bit.

    I’m very sorry for you guys that since I’ve stopped entertaining him he needs to find an alternative outlet to find his inner child, so to speak.

    Comment by sieteocho | October 29, 2007

  59. Sorry, SeowTeochew’s website didn’t appear in the last post. It’s http://sandboxtests.blogspot.com.

    Comment by sieteocho | October 29, 2007

  60. What the hell is wrong with me.

    http://sandboxtests.blogspot.com without the . at the back.

    Comment by sieteocho | October 29, 2007

  61. *smacks head*

    Oh no, not again and again and again and again…

    Comment by sinisterdexterity | October 29, 2007

  62. OMG, sieteocho is out to play again!
    Your boss at PSA finally let you out on breaks again, little sieteocho?

    http://sieteocho7-8.blogspot.com

    How interesting. Little sieteocho now claims the namesake of “SeowTeochew” as well.

    Welcome back, little sieteocho!

    Comment by SeowTeochew | October 29, 2007

  63. Poor little sieteocho is still nursing his little grudge. Your butt still sore from the butt-kicking you received from the powers that be after I forwarded your fake post on PY to PY himself? That would teach you to blog from the office computers at the Port of Singapore Authority, eh?

    Have a good Monday directing toilet traffic, little sieteocho!

    Comment by SeowTeochew | October 29, 2007

  64. You forwarded that post to PY? How come I didn’t know?

    And thanks for telling all that outdated information to the whole world, loser!

    Comment by sieteocho | October 29, 2007

  65. Guys, we are being diverted from the issues at hand. Please keep your decorum.

    As was called for for convincing that a certain slippery slope will not happen, may I humbly point out that a slippery slope is by definition a fallacious argument.

    The slippery slope itself, that after 377A, X will happen then Y will happen and so on, as such does not hold weight.

    Comment by Ambrose | October 29, 2007

  66. >You forwarded that post to PY? How come I didn’t know?

    Is that your version of the story?
    Ah! And it was so coincidentally timed with the closing of your blog (and the deletion of all but one post), eh?
    The same thing also took place on your Xanga blog — all references to PY were deleted:

    http://www.xanga.com/home.aspx?user=sieteocho

    How convenient!
    Little sieteocho! Such a liar!
    Tsk! Tsk!

    BTW, like a certain individual mentioned on this board, little sieteocho also harbors fantasies of physical violence:

    Hi, this is the real sieteocho

    I’m sick and tired of you and if I find out who you are I will chop your balls off.

    Posted by sieteocho on 12 October, 2005 – 8:01am
    http://tomorrow.sg/comment/view/11443

    Comment by SeowTeochew | October 29, 2007

  67. >The slippery slope itself, that after 377A, X will happen then Y will happen and so on, as such does not hold weight.

    If Section 377A is repealed, it opens the door to the push for more gay privileges. That is not a slippery slope. That is fact.

    It is a simple manner to convince the rest that the repeal will not lead to a slippery slope. Declare that the abolition of Section 377A is the be all and end all of the movement. No more beyond that. But ah! The pro-gay camp, like rob admitted, wants more, yes? They want same-sex marriages; the right for gays to adopt; portrayal of gay relationships alongside heterosexual relationships in school curriculum, etc. Many of us can see through your devious “boiled frog” tactic.

    Surely the organizers of Repeal377A.com would have thought of that. It would have pre-empted the slippery slope argument by Keep377A.com supporters. But they didn’t — wouldn’t — because that is indeed part of their “progressive” agenda, isn’t it?

    Stop dodging. Be honest.

    Comment by SeowTeochew | October 29, 2007

  68. Please take this nonsense outside my blog, thank you, or I’ll be forced to start moderating comments which are irrelevant to the topic.

    Comment by pleinelune | October 29, 2007

  69. Yeh! Go ahead and do it!

    Comment by sieteocho | October 29, 2007

  70. little sieteocho said,

    >He’s criticised Alfian for being provocative but we can all see that’s a bit rich. Or maybe more than a bit.

    Why little sieteocho said that:

    Hi, this is the real sieteocho

    I’m sick and tired of you and if I find out who you are I will chop your balls off.

    Posted by sieteocho on 12 October, 2005 – 8:01am
    http://tomorrow.sg/comment/view/11443

    Terrible, terrible people with a propensity to violence.
    Tsk! Tsk!

    Comment by SeowTeochew | October 29, 2007

  71. Just remember: this is the guy who’s been posting as SiaoTeochew and winding everybody up. In case you din catch it, here’s his blog:

    http://sandboxtests.blogspot.com

    Comment by sieteocho | October 29, 2007

  72. I, as a heterosexual and civil person, do not believe that X and Y will happen just because the doors are opened. Just because doors are open does not mean that society (as a whole) will be forced to step through.

    You have my honest answer there.

    Also, what you term as a privilege – should be considered a right – the act of making love in private between 2 consenting adults.

    Comment by Ambrose | October 29, 2007

  73. So, I have yet to read one — ONE! — post from the Repeal377A camp which explicitly states that the repealing of 377A is all that the pro-gay activists want. Not one post stating that they do not crave gay marriage, gay rights to adopt, portrayals of gay lifestyles disseminated to school kids. Just lots of “tai chi” and red herrings (i.e. https://pleinelune.wordpress.com/2007/10/28/gaytopia-2050 ).

    Professor Thio is right after all.

    Comment by SeowTeochew | October 29, 2007

  74. Seow, I’ve desisted saying anything at all to someone like you, who is obviously out to create trouble – but I break my own rule to tell you this: what the *%# is wrong with us wanting equal rights as heterosexuals? Repealing 377A is just part of a larger issue of discrimination, and yes, eventually we do want gay marriage and rights to adopt. Eventually, in the years to come, but that is a loooong way away. I’ve already stated that in my rebuttal, and others have already commented that this is desirable. If you cant read, that is not my problem.

    Now %*#% off, would you?

    Comment by pleinelune | October 29, 2007

  75. On the subject of marriage, I suppose there are many of you, seow included, who will disagree with me when I say that legal marriage is essentially a contract between 2 consenting individuals and the state – it does not involve religion, fundamentalist views and whatnot – from this it follows that the idea of marriage as some kind of sacred institution that should be defended, through the legal arena, is flawed. But nonetheless, in the religious arena, yes, defend it.

    On another topic, one of my friends has been kind to point out that, perhaps the underlying principle behind this whole debate about 377A is whether the government can decide ethical issues.

    Comment by Ambrose | October 29, 2007

  76. I, as a heterosexual and civil person, believe that X and Y can happen because the doors are opened; and, because the doors are open, society (as a whole) may be forced to step through.

    I support measures to safeguard against such possibilities.

    In some countries, orphanages have been forced to close because they refuse to let same-sex couples adopt. It is not a slippery slope. It has happened. It is happening.

    As for being provocative and inciting reactions: Section 377A has not been enforced since 1988. Keep377A surfaced as a response to Repeal377A. It is the pro-gay activists who are being provocative and inciting reactions. In fact, the real intentions of your esteemed leader, Stuart Koe, may be even called into question. Was he doing the best for the gay community when he challenged the authorities to either put the gun down or pull the trigger? All these theatrics smack of a drama queen production.

    The majority has spoken. The majority won. The status quo stays.

    Of course, you could go around threatening violence, death, and golden showers to those who oppose you, like the fabulous duo here.

    In other news, in case you missed it, little sieteocho is still mad at me for forwarding his blog to Philip Yeo. You must have received quite a spanking, didn’t you, little sieteocho?

    http://sieteocho7-8.blogspot.com

    Comment by SeowTeochew | October 29, 2007

  77. Ah, pleinelune has answered my question.

    Thank you.

    That’s all I was looking for.

    Come, little sieteocho!
    We are not wanted.
    Shall we adjourn?
    Your place or my place?

    Comment by SeowTeochew | October 29, 2007

  78. Goddamn. You took comment 78!

    You are a little turd who derives pleasure from winding people up. An almost sexual form of pleasure. I’m sure you would grovel in front of me and drink my bathwater for the sake of my company.

    Unfortunately you humiliate the rest of humanity by claiming yourself as one of our kind. Watching your antics is about as pleasurable as root canal surgery.

    Limpeh couldn’t give a shit about you. Bye!

    Comment by sieteocho | October 29, 2007

  79. Ah! I may not be fast enough, I realise, to post this in reply:

    Well I have said before 2 wrongs do not make a right. Stuart Koe may have well meant to deliberately incite and provoke by his use of language wrt “put down the gun or pull the trigger”, but it doesn’t mean that you are right to use the same techniques in refute of it.

    Pointing out that your opposition does X while you do X yourself doesn’t make for a very solid argument.

    Of course, you are entitled to your opinion that it can happen so measures should be taken to safeguard it.

    As for me, I think it need not happen just because 377A is knocked down. As I said, religious and social institutions will remain, but as it is I believe religious agendas should be kept out of the legal arena.

    Since these views are conflicting, then we should attempt reconciliation and compromise through discourse. Yes, Stuart Koe may have shot his own foot by his choice of language in issuing such a challenge, but nonetheless the issue had been raised (and now has been concluded).

    Comment by Ambrose | October 29, 2007

  80. prof thio would like you to complete your other school assignments rather than to be spending pages analysing that vitriol spewed in parliament! ;]
    unfortunately, you are still a mere student and she’ll be grading you someday…

    Comment by nell | October 29, 2007

  81. Re comment 75, by losing your temper, you have played into Seow’s hand. Keep your cool.

    Comment by Lee | October 29, 2007

  82. Seow? He has a real name – Ben Mok. Use it. http://sandboxtests.blogspot.com .

    As for Thio, I wish she were a real MP so that we could say that we were also grading her. In any case, she’s got quite a lot of lip for somebody who isn’t even elected.

    Comment by sieteocho | October 30, 2007

  83. In regards to Seow TeoChew’s remark on the majority has speak, I would like to post my comment here again as I have posted in ST online discussion.

    But i am not here to debate with Seow TeoChew, since he is seow……

    My comments :
    The MAJORITY of Singporeans did not support the retention of Penal Code 377A nor repeal of it. PM Lee has able to identified that the arguments are between two minorities, each holding strong view. The so called http://www.keep377a.com as mentioned in my comments already is an utter spam with not much traceable real name like those we seen in http://www.repeal377a.com. The decision our PM has made is based on the best approach to respect the interests of both minority groups. Please read what he says as mentioned on the news:
    ——————————————————————————-

    Citing the counter-petition that opposes the repeal, he said that himself and other members of the house have received many e-mails and letters that are “very well written, all following a certain model answer style. So it’s a very well organised campaign.”

    Recognising that it is a minority who feel strongly about the issue one way or the other, he said: “Many people are not that seized with this issue. And speaking candidly, I think the people who are very seized with this issue are a minority. And (for) the majority of Singaporeans, well, it is something which they are aware of, but it’s not at the top of their consciousness – including I would say, among them, a significant number of gays themselves.”

    “Also I would say amongst the Chinese-speaking community in Singapore. Chinese-speaking Singaporeans, they are not as strongly engaged either for removing 377A or against removing 377A… for the majority of Singaporeans, the attitude is a pragmatic one – we live and let live.”

    http://www.fridae.com/newsfeatures/a…&viewarticle=1
    —————————————————————————-

    We repect the decision of PM Lee, and we respect most of the oponents religious conviction on this issue. But please, do not be MISLEADED that this decision is made for the MAJORITY.

    In regards to the NTU report , it only reported that 70% are negative towards homosexuality, but it never says that 70% are against the repeal of 377A.

    and so anti-repealers,please stop saying that the MAJORITY has won on this issues. The MAJORITY does not concern this issue, they rather monitor the stock market in office hours then to see what Seow Teowchew or me have writte here.

    Lastly, to pleinelune : GREAT JOB! Dun hesistate to speak up when you feel somethin is wrong, even to someone of a highier status!

    Comment by concertono1 | October 30, 2007

  84. You have done a great job in dissecting NMP Thio’s speech. I love it!

    Comment by macabresg | October 30, 2007

  85. […] and intolerant moral judgments. My prof Cherian George from SCI rebutted her speech, as did this first-year law student. Now, I’m no good at legalese so all I can really do is fume and become infuriated that she […]

    Pingback by take me (there) » Blog Archive » Repeal 377a | October 30, 2007

  86. You have written a rather cogent reply but some of your points seem to be ‘tit for tat’ rebuttals. I applaud you for the courage ( i really mean it) in taking on a law professor. But I do feel you would be able to understand some (just some) of the flaws of your rebuttal after you have taken the public law module, of which Prof Thio is the convenor.

    That said, I am not taking any sides in this issue. Ultimately, whether this law is repealed or not is not going to change the lifestyles of gay people in Singapore.

    I hope you do not leave this episode with a tainted impression of Prof Thio. She is definitely one of the best professors in the Law Faculty. There’s no doubt to that.

    Comment by Daryl | October 30, 2007

  87. […] hate speech while Janadas Devan ripped her parliamentary delivery into shreds in the Straits Times. Here, a friend of mine, a first year law student at her very same university could even debunk the poor […]

    Pingback by Digging her own grave « [pil-grim, -gruhm]: | October 30, 2007

  88. To a vegan, a meat-eater (or even a vegetarian) is utterly disgusting. Same for people who love escargots/raw food/sea hum (and anything you can think of) and those who don’t. History is replete with those who seek to impose on others what they loathe, even if the subject of their loathe do not affect them in any way and yet try to support their point of view with unproven data. Thio Li-An was conditioned to believe one point of view and is unable to, and refuses to even consider, sense and feel how it feels to be on the other side.

    Comment by TuaKong | October 31, 2007

  89. The Christian fundamentalists’ (CF) self-righteousness breeds it’s ugly head against God’s humanity and love. Is Singapore taking it’s first small step down thta slippery road like the US CFs? Read this link on anti-gay hatred.

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21566280/

    Comment by Billie Jo | November 1, 2007

  90. CAL,

    If what you claim is true, then “If (and if) Alfian becomes say the next PM, you can be sure he WILL enforce and send out police squads to piss on people’s graves.”

    Billie Jo,

    Gay’s radical, political agenda rears its ugly head. Will Singapore take its first small step down the road like the US fudgepackers? Read the following links on gay fascism:

    “Come the 1st January 2008, a major change is about to happen in Californian public schools. If a male student wants to use the female changing room, he will be allowed to do so. Reciprocally, a girl must not be prevented from using the boy’s toilet if she desires to. Phrases like “I love my Mum and Dad”, deemed discriminatory by homosexuals, will also be banned from school textbooks. It will be replaced with the more political term “I love my parents” instead.

    It may seem far-fetched but it’s true. Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has passed bill SB 777 which banishes practices that are seemed derogatory towards homosexuals in public schools. The bill, proposed by lesbian Senator Sheila Kuehl, will also ensure that all instructional materials and school activities positively portray lesbian and gay sex as accepted norms of the society. Children as young as 7, will be taught that it’s ok for a man to have sex with another man.”

    From Ridzwan, a Singaporean Muslim
    http://muhammad-ridzwan.blogspot.com/2007/10/plague-of-pinks.html

    See also:

    Fields v. Palmdale (2005): The Ninth Circuit denied parents of elementary school age children the right to opt out of a public school sex survey, holding “there is no fundamental right of parents to be the exclusive provider of information regarding sexual matters to their children.” The court further held “that parents have no due process or privacy right to override the determinations of public schools as to the information to which their children will be exposed while enrolled as students.”

    SB 777 Senate Bill, California

    http://info.sen.ca.gov/pub/07-08/bill/sen/sb_0751-0800/sb_777_bill_20071012_chaptered.html

    “Parents and conservative groups have blasted California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger for signing a number of bills, two of them dealing with public schools, which encourage the positive portrayal of various sexual lifestyles in all school instruction and activities.

    Supporters of the law, which will come into effect next year, say it will ‘eliminate “confusion about the state’s responsibility to ensure that all school programs, textbooks, instructional materials and activities are free from unlawful discrimination.’

    The bills, backed by the homosexual community, have been dubbed ‘Sexual Indoctrination’ bills by critics however as they ban anything in public schools that could be interpreted as negative toward homosexuality, bisexuality and other alternative lifestyle choices.

    The Campaign for California Families (CFF), has hit out at the bills, stating that for a school district to prove that there is no ‘discriminatory bias’ in their textbooks, classroom instruction, and school activities, the district would have to positively portray various sexual lifestyles in all school instruction and activities.

    ‘Because no textbook or instruction in California public schools currently disparages transsexuality, bisexuality, or homosexuality, the practical effect of SB777 will be to require positive portrayals of these sexual lifestyles at every government-operated school,’ CCF noted.’

    Thus terms such as ‘Mom and Dad’ as well as ‘husband and wife’ must now be either removed or offset with other terms that are friendly to ‘alternative’ lifestyles. Furthermore materials that portray marriage as only between a man and woman must be altered and materials that say people are born male or female must also be amended.”

    from IslamicAwakening.com
    http://forums.islamicawakening.com/showthread.php?p=54471

    Pro-Homosexual Training
    Required for School District

    ACLU says new program will “serve as a model”; schools warned of lawsuits if homosexuality is not affirmed
    by Frank York

    The American Civil Liberties Union in cooperation with the National Center for Lesbian Rights, won a major victory on January 6, 2004, against the Morgan Hill, California school district.

    The ACLU victory was a $1.1 million settlement against the school district over the district’s alleged failure to protect six homosexual students from harassment in 1998. In addition to the $1.1 settlement, the ACLU also won a requirement that all school district administrators, teachers, campus monitors, custodians, school safety officers, and bus drivers take a pro-homosexual sensitivity training program.

    http://www.narth.com/docs/victory.html

    >eventually we do want gay marriage and rights to adopt. . . . Now %*#% off, would you? (#76)

    pleinelune seems to have confused rights with wants. You do not have the right to adopt. It is a privilege. Sounds like you have fallen prey to the gay activists fudging wants with actual rights. Not a very good thing given your major (well, you could always take your client’s money and abscond). And what about the orphan? The orphan’s right to a normal, heterosexual, family unit trumps your desire to have an offspring that’s biologically impossible given your lifestyle choice. (Oh, you claim it isn’t a choice. Well, those with Down Syndrome didn’t choose their condition either. Should we allow them the right to adopt?) Just because you want something doesn’t automatically make it a right. Summary: the child’s right trumps your wants.

    BTW, the hypocrisy operating here is hilarious. You claim I should not be against your kind because your sexual perversion… oops, I meant, behavior, has a biological origin. I showed you that my behavior here has a biological origin as well ( http://www.healthfinder.gov/news/newsstory.asp?docID=603144 ) but you conveniently brush it aside and hurl invectives at me for being a troublemaker and to get lost. Well, I can claim that gay activists are troublemakers as well: Singapore is facing stiff competition from the Asian tigers and the ever-expanding economies of India and China, and the fudgepackers take up so much time and energy of Parliament, the media, and the country on THEM. What a bunch of spoilt, narcissistic, insular brats with a “Me! Me! Me!” mentality. Anyone who opposes their drama queen shenanigans are mercilessly persecuted, even sent thinly-veiled threats of bodily harm, and defilement of their graves thereafter. And these are the same clowns crying persecution over a law that hasn’t been enforced since 1988. This is like a cheap copy of the regicidal peasants of the French Revolution, where those who claim oppression oppress under the bankrupt banner of their indignance. It is even more hilarious given that I am not even homophobic — I just get my jollies winding people up — but you treat me worse than an anti-gay fundi who is genuinely out to get you. What a joke.

    Now, if you will excuse me, I have a bunch of fundies to rile. (Feel free to offer suggestions on how best to raise their blood pressure.)

    sieteocho, so, when are we going to have tea?

    Comment by SeowTeochew | November 1, 2007

  91. Better leave seowteochew alone. Not sure if seow is a guy or gal. But he seems like “the lady doth protest too much” against gay people. Hmm… maybe hiding behind the toilet door like Senator Larry Craig.

    Comment by Billie Jo | November 1, 2007

  92. He’s a guy. I think the name Ben Mok is a guy.

    You can see for yourself: http://sandboxtests.blogspot.com

    Comment by sieteocho | November 1, 2007

  93. tl;dr

    Comment by ian | November 2, 2007

  94. Hi there

    Comment by Christianity revisted | November 2, 2007

  95. Hi Ben Mok

    I’m not sure if you are christian but I am. I’ve read counter-arguments and assertions and I think it is a waste of time because the pro-gay camp and anti-gay camp will just continue to rebut each other with equal verocity.

    Thio-Li Ann’s speech, I presume arises from her deeply held convictions about christianity.

    It would thus be prudent to establish morality based on the bible itself. The bible to me, is the word of God but human interpretation can be fallible. The basis of the anti-repeal camp’s belief is that homosexuality is categorically a sin, perverse, deviant etc.

    However, after a thorough examination of the bible, I’m not too sure if it is really sin and we need to re-examine our intepretation.

    We can see how morality has evolved within the bible itself.

    1) After the fall of Sodom and Gomorrah (Gen19), Lot and his daughters commit incest to perpetuate reproduction when Lev 18 and 20 clearly prohibit it. (Gen 19:31). Eventually, this incestuous relation spawned a tribe of Moabites (Ruth). From Ruth’s union together with Boaz (son of the prostitute Rahab) came David and later Jesus.

    2) Women were regarded as chattels/property as evidenced in several of God’s laws in the Old testament. Eg when a woman was raped, the rapist had to marry her after paying a sum of money to her father. Women were also regarded as vessels of reproduction. (There was a law in which a widow who had no son had to marry the second son in line to sire a male.) Many of the men in the Old Testament had several wives, Abraham, Issac etc again for the purposes of reproducton. It was only when Jesus came that adulterty was sanctioned and the status of women was elevated.

    3) Slavery was allowed in the olden times but it is now clearly “abominable” and “criminal” as is incest and rape.

    When the bible is read, it has to be intepreted within its proper context which includes the following:-

    a) the point in time in which the book is written;
    b) the history, literature and philosophy employed by the writer;
    c) the audience that the writer is addressing etc.

    In my view, there is a distinction between absolute morality and contextual morality ie you cannot simply superimpose what is infinite onto what is finite.

    Most Christians assume that the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah represents God’s wrath against homosexuality. Unfortunately it is not so.

    Ezekial 16: 49 reads: Look this was the inquity of your sister Sodom. She and her daughter had pride, fullness of food, and abundance of idlenes; neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy, and they were haughty and committed abominations..and so I took them away as I saw fit.

    Zephaniah 2:8-11: I’ve hear the reproach of Moab…. With which they have reproached my pple, & made arrogant threats against their borders. …..Surely Moah shall be like Sodom, & the people of Ammon like Gomorrah…..because they have reproached & made arrogant threats against the people of the Lord of Hosts” (pride, arrogance and inhospitality but not homosexuality)

    Matt 10:11-15: “Now whatever city/town you enter, inquire who is in it is worthy & stay there till you go out & whoever will not receive your words, when you depart that house/city shake off the dust from your feet….Assuredly I say to you, it will be more tolerable for the Land of Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment than for that city!” (Jesus’ words of inhospitality but not homosexuality, see also Mark:6-11, Luke 10:10-12, Luke 17: 26-29, Lamentations 4:3-6,Isiah 13: 11-19 etc)

    There are a total of 29 verses pertaining to Sodom and Gomorrah and nowhere is homosexuality mentioned. Hence, christians who maintained that it does have according to the bible, gotten the Gospel wrong.

    Interestly is the parallel story in Judges.(Read Judges: 19:11-30)(Gen 19:29). There, the men in Gibeah similarly demanded sex from a travelling Levite who took refuge in an old man’s house. In Gibeah, the men too were offered women which they first spurned but later raped & killed . The offering of women by Lot and the old man was obviously a diversionary tactic and if the men were really gay, then it makes no sense to offer women to them just for them to spurn it. The difference between the two stories is that the travellers in Sodom were angels who blinded them while the Levite in Gibeah was only an ordinary man. Otherwise the men in Sodom would have raped Lot’s daughters. The Levite in Gibeah subsequently chopped up his raped and dead concubine into pieces and distributed them to other people. (This again emphasizes how low the status of women was in that society). Later, the Levite, with the help of the Israelites and God, too destroy the city.

    The sin in Sodom was inhospitality, not homosexuality. In the olden times, the ancient code of hospitality was sancrosant ie, when a foreigner seeks refuge in your home, you cannot let anything happen to him and this stems from Jesus’ second commandent of loving thy neighbour as thyself. It is repeated several times in the Old Testament:

    And, if a stranger dwells with you in your land, you shall not mistreat him. The stranger who dwells among you……you shall love him as yourself; for you were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God” (Lev 19: 33-34, See also Ex 22:21, Deut 14:29, 24:14-22, Rom 12:6-15 etc)

    In the olden times, there were dangerous places in various lands & wars and the winner often raped the defeated male enemy for to treat them as women would make them feel inferior. Lot & the old man in Gibeah were merely abiding by the ancient code of hospitality by extending a roof over the angels and Levite (travellers seeking refuge in a foreign land)

    Christians who assume that the sin in Sodom was homosexuality have equated the homosexual act/ rape with homosexuality. However, there is a fundamental difference between the two; one is merely an act while the other is a sexual orientation/preference/inclination (whether biological/psycological). As in heterosexual unions, it is not the sex that governs the relationship but the mind and emotions of gay people that governs it. The question is whether the writers at that time had a concept of sexual preference when they penned down God’s word.

    Another salient point is that Jesus said nothing on homosexuality. Jesus had plenty to say about adultery but mentioned nothing on homosexuality. If it is really that evil, perverse or dangerous, then it is odd that he said nothing about it. Christians who take that stand have to address this point.

    In Matt 19:11-12 Jesus makes the following remark:

    All cannot accept this saying but only those to whom it has been given..For there are enunchs who were born thus from their mother’s womb, & there are enunchs who were made enunchs by men……He who is able to accept it, let him accept it.

    In the old testament, enunchs were mentioned several times in Esther & Isaiah. (The prophet Daniel too was a enunch). The king in olden times used to get enunchs to look after his concubines. These men were either castrated ones or born enunchs who were the homosexuals….(Others though, take the view that born enunchs are men without testicles). Whatever Jesus meant, it is unclear. However in Isaiah 56:4-8, it is prophesized

    To the eunuchs who keep my covenants…I will give in my house…a name, better than that of sons and daughters; I will give them an everlasting name that shall not be taken away.

    There were apparently also intimations of homosexual relationships in the bible.

    See 1 Sam Chap 18-20, 2 Sam I:26 for the relationship between Jonathan and David:

    “…the soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David, & Jonathan loved him as his own soul…” (1 Sam 18:1)

    ” Now Jonathan again caused David to vow, because he loved him; for he loved him as he loved his own soul” (1 Sam 19:17)

    “I am distressed for you, my brother Jonathan; You have been very pleasant to me; Your love to me was wonderful, surpassing the love of women” (2 Sam:1:26).

    Depending on the version used (the one I quoted above is NKJV), the depth of the relationship differs– the NIV version claims that it was a relationship between best friends. Whichever it is, it begs the question of what exactly about homosexual relationship is prohibited.

    I have heard different intepretations of Lev and Romans but will not propose to address them here. Contrary to what anti-christians may think, the bible is actually a moving account of love, compassion, inclusiveness and humanity. The underlying theme from the Old Testament to the New Testament is encapsulated in Jesus’ words:

    Matt 22:36-40: Teacher what is the greatest commandment in the law? Jesus said to him, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul & with all your mind This is the first & great commandment. And the second is like ‘You shall love your neighbour as yourself. On these 2 commandments hang all the law & the Prophets. (Both christians, non-christians, aethists or agnostics may refer to the bible and see if all that I’ve said is true).

    I think that before we stand up what what is right and just, in particulary for christians, we have to establish that what we stand up for is indeed the truth. I am not saying that the above is the truth but in the light of so many questionable points, it is really impossible to make a clear stand on this matter.

    Finally in Rom 12:9-21 of the behaviour of a christian is stated thus:
    “…Be kindly and affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honour giving preference to one another…Be of the same mind toward one another. Do not set your mind on high things but associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own opinion…If it is possible, live peaceably with all men…Do not be overcome with evil but overcome evil with good.”

    I hope that both camps will keep this in mind the above when expressing their opinions in future, rather than name-calling or quarrelling.

    In Christ’s love
    Amen

    Comment by Christianity revisted | November 2, 2007

  96. Anyone who chances upon this may forward it to anyone they like

    Comment by Christianity revisted | November 3, 2007

  97. Hey christianity revisited – thank you for your well-reasoned treatise on how the bible views homosexuality and morality within the bible. Highly useful for christian detractors, I would think.

    Comment by pleinelune | November 3, 2007

  98. Christianity revisted,

    I do not remember quoting from the Bible in my posts. In case you haven’t notice, I am neither for nor against the gay camp. I enjoy raising the blood pressure of both. The thing is, the pro-gay camp, with their drama queens and hysterical antics, prove more amusing. But do carry on!

    As for pleinelune, she forever has my gratitude for luring the elusive sieteocho out of his hermithood. Damn, I tried for half a year and no bites, but one post here, and POOF! here is little sieteocho like and obedient little cur. Aww… ain’t that sweet?

    Comment by SeowTeochew | November 4, 2007

  99. Hi pleinelune,

    Thanks for your compliment…FYI I was a former practising lawyer and a law grad from the graduating class 03′ from the National University of Singapore and was from Prof Thio’s PIL class as well…he he…

    Comment by Christianity revisted | November 7, 2007

  100. Hi, Christianity revisited

    Thank you for reaffirming the love and brother hood that is the foundation of Christianity. Thank you.

    Have a good day, and thank you for your contribution to the discussion. A cool balm on fevered heads.

    Adam

    Comment by blueadam | November 8, 2007

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  102. […] confidence in them bolstered after the revelation that Dr Thio Su-Mien is behind it. I have already had a run-in with her daughter, Dr Thio Li-Ann before, as some people would remember – and while I disagreed with her and found her remarks in parliament […]

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  104. […] repeal debate, I read much about Thio Li-Ann’s speech to Parliament &mdash including a rebuttal by a first-year law student and Janadas Devan’s courageous article in the Straits Times &mdash but watching the […]

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