Did you wake up to a Facebook feed of rainbows, #LoveWins quotes and all things nice? Hehe, there’re even some jokes about how some older folks were checking with their kids if it’s National Rainbow Day or something.
I really like the Visa ones. It brings out the gay marriage agenda and yet the brand retains their own ‘wide acceptance‘ flavour.
Love. Accepted Everywhere.
Visa ain’t the only brand that’s either embracing this or some people might say, jumping onto the bandwagon. Check out MASHABLE’s ARTICLE to see who else have.
Not just brands, individuals too have been quick to express their support too. Mark Zuckerberg was amongst one of the first to say and in fact, do something.
Check out his profile pic on Facebook!
And he even showed how the LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) community has been growing. Or perhaps it’s more a case of the community feeling more comfortable to come out.
Do you see your friends’ profile pics touched with rainbow? Yea, they’d used the FACEBOOK CELEBRATE PRIDE TOOL.
OK, gotta make sure all of us here DO know that it’s not National Rainbow Day. Just in case there really are people who haven’t heard what’s with all the rainbowy stuff going on…
Basically, the Supreme Court (US) has legalized gay marriages.
Yup, the loooooong battle to make same-sex marriage legal across the US has finally seen a win last Friday (hehe, which is sorta Saturday in our side of the world.)
Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy read out the court’s decision to a room waiting with baited breath. HIS CLOSING STATEMENT was a beautiful tribute to the power of love:
No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family. In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were. As some of the petitioners in these cases demonstrates, marriage embodies a love that may endure even past death. It would misunderstand these men and women to say they disrespect the idea of marriage. Their plea is that they do respect it, respect it so deeply that they seek to finds its fulfillment for themselves. Their hope is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization’s oldest institutions. They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The constitution grants them that right. The judgement of the Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit is reversed.
It is so ordered.
President Obama, too, said something about this. But wait, before that, did you hear about how the media’s calling this OBAMA’s BEST WEEK! There’s even a A HILARIOUS VIDEO ABOUT THIS ON HUFFINGTON.
Anyway, here’s what the very charismatic leader (and public speaker!) has to say about this humongous milestone for advocates of same-sex marriage.
And check out how the White House turned into an astoundingly beautiful rainbow house!
For the record, I’m straight. And still for the record, I really don’t care if other people are straight or whatsoever. To me, a person’s sexual orientation is something personal.
It’s none of my business who other people choose to love. So long as other people don’t bother me with how I live, or better yet, don’t be too judgey, they can fancy whoever they fancy. So long as no humans and animals are hurt during the process.
I like to believe we live in a free world, and I believe we should and can LIVE AND LET LIVE. After all, there are sooooo many people in the world, surely we can’t all be the same, ya? Diversity abounds in humankind. Even if we cannot understand or explain why other people don’t see or feel the way we do, it does not necessarily mean that the other people are wrong and we are right.
Maybe we are just different. It takes all kinds to make the world. They don’t come up with stuff like ‘All roads lead to Rome‘ for nothing, you know. I like to read that as there are many different ways to get to the same destination.
And don’t forget, happiness and success, too, mean different things to different people.
So what about Singapore? Are we ready to be more open to the LGBT community?
I know of many people who think so, and are openly advocating for more freedom and rights for the LGBT community.
There’s even a PINK DOT EVENT that takes place every June. Each year, they get more and more big-name sponsors, more and more famous ambassadors and yes, the turnout also grows from year to year.
For the most recent Pink Dot that happened just a couple of weeks ago, at Hong Lim Park as usual, some 28,000(!) people turned up. Of course, not all are LGBT, many are in fact straight people who want to lend their voice to the so-called #FreedomToLove cause. Some parents even brought their kids so a to educate them to be more all-embracing.
But there’re some quarters in our society who are less ready to accept this. Yup, mainly the religious groups, particularly the Christians and Muslims. Since last year, a few more vocal ones even came out to encourage the pro-family people to WEAR WHITE on the Pink Dot event day where their supporters traditionally wear pink.
Don’t get why the intolerance, to be honest. From my point of view, it is just one day out of 365 days that the LGBT community wants to hold an event and wear pink collectively. Why can’t just let them be?
And quite recently, our PM LEE was also asked about HIS VIEWS ON THE LGBT ISSUE.
Long story short, PM Lee doesn’t think Singapore is ready for same-sex marriage since our society is still conservative. But he does acknowledge that the tide is changing gradually. He’d also said,
But the gay community have the space to live their lives in Singapore. We do not harass them or discriminate against them.
Where we are, I think, is not a bad place to be.
Know what? I agree with him.
While I am all for letting everyone make up their own mind who they wanna fall in love with, who they wanna spend the rest of their lives with, I can totally understand why most of us still would not want the LGBT community to set the tone for Singapore society.
Call me traditional, or call me Asian if you like (hehe, actually I am Asian!), but I believe rather firmly that family as a foundation is important. And I am largely supportive of the current ruling party’s pro-family stance and hence, policies. If so, given our limited land and other resources, it is only logical that policies would slant towards family units.
One of the main gripes of the LGBT community is that they cannot buy a HDB flat, since they can’t form a family necleus in the traditional sense with their same-sex partner. But hey, the same housing rule is applicable to singles too, alrighty? So it’s not like the rule’s there just to make things difficult for the LGBT community.
Surely most of us are logical enough to understand that the government cannot go all foot-loose and free up the rulings such that everyone is allowed access to subsidized flats. And hey, it’s not like we have no recourse, you know. If you have the money, you can always buy a private property. And if not, just wait till you’re 35 years old. Meanwhile, you can always continue to live with your family, or go rent a place if you really want, need and can afford the privacy.
I am with PM Lee in that there is space for the gay community, but they gotta be careful not to push their agenda too hard. Why? Coz if they push the agenda too hard, there will potentially be very strong pushback from the more conservative (and possibly religious) sections.
The country is not restricting your freedom to love, but within the parameters of the law and policiies, we are still largely Asian and family-focused. For most of us here, this is how we’ve chosen life to be.
Guess it’s hard to talk about this topic without touching on what THE LATE LKY had said, ya? He was, to many people’s surprise, quite tolerant and understanding.
Here, a very interesting exerpt from his Hard Truths to Keep Singapore Going book,
Homosexuality – It’s in the genes
(pp 377 – 380)
As in many societies, the issue of homosexuality is controversial in Singapore. From the heated parliamentary debates in 2007 over whether to retain or repeal Section 377A of the Penal Code, which prohibits sex between men (it was eventually retained), to the unease over homosexual content in student sex education manuals, the subject polarises the public. It was no surprise then that we received questions on this topic from both sides of the conservative-liberal divide, including one that asked how Lee would feel if one of his grandchildren were gay.
Q: What is your personal view on being gay? Do you think it’s a lifestyle or is it genetic?
A: No, it’s not a lifestyle. You can read the books you want, all the articles. There’s a genetic difference, so it’s not a matter of choice. They are born that way and that’s that. So if two men or two women are that way, just leave them alone. Whether they should be given rights of adoption is another matter because who’s going to look after the child? Those are complications that arise once you recognise that you could actually legally marry, then you say I want to adopt. Vivian Balakrishnan says it’s not decisively proven. Well, I believe it is. There’s enough evidence that some people are that way and just leave them be.
Q: This is more of a personal question, but how would you feel if one of your grandchildren were to say to you that he or she is gay?
A: That’s life. They’re born with that genetic code, that’s that. Dick Cheney didn’t like gays but his daughter was born like that. He says, “I still love here, full-stop.” It’s happened to his family. So on principle he’s against it but it’s his daughter. Do you throw the daughter out? That’s life. I mean none of my children is gay, but if they were, well, that’s that.
Q: So what do you see is an obstacle to gay couples adopting children? You said, who’s going to look after the child?
A: Who’s going to bring them up? Two men looking after a child? Two women looking after a child, maybe. But I’m not so sure because it’s not their own child. Unless you have artificial insemination and it’s their own child, then you have a certain maternal instinct immediately aroused by the process of pregnancy. But two men adopting a boy or a girl, what’s the point of it? These are consequential problems, we cross the bridge when we come to it. We haven’t come to that bridge yet. The people are not ready for it. In fact, some ministers are not ready for it. I take a practical view. I said this is happening and there’s nothing we can do about it. Life’s like that. People are born like that. It’s not new, it goes back to ancient times. So I think there’s something in the genetic code.
Q: It took time for Singaporeans to be able to accept single women MPs. Do you see Singaporeans being able to accept a gay MP? It’s already happening in a fairly widespread fashion in Europe.
A: As far as I am concerned, if she does her work as an MP, she looks after her constituents, she makes sensible speeches, she’s making a contribution, her private life is her life, that’s that. There was a British minister, I shouldn’t name him, a Conservative. He was out of office but he was hoping to become the leader of the party and we had dinner with a few friends. He thought he had to come out upfront that when he was at university at Oxford, he did get involved in same-sex activities. But he’s married now with children, he’s quite happy. So he came out with it. He didn’t become leader of the party, and that’s Britain. He thought he had come out upfront and it’d protect him him from investigative reporting. It did not help him. But had he kept quiet they would have dug it out, then it’s worse for him. So there you are. You know, there are two standards. It’s one thing the people at large, it’s another thing your minister or your prime minister being such a person. I mean Ted Heath  was not married. I shouldn’t say who the ministers were who said he’s a suppressed homosexual. So the opposition party leaders were telling me because it’s very strange. Here’s a man in the prime of life and getting on, 40, 50, still not married, single, and he was that way at Oxford. So they said, suppressed homosexual. That’s the opposition talk by very reputable leaders who tell me that seriously. So? And with it of course is disapprobation, that he’s unworthy to be a leader. But that was in the early 1970s.
Q: Did you come to this view on homosexuality just through scientific reasoning alone?
A: No, by my observation and historical data. I mean, in the Ottoman empire, they had a lot of it. And there was one story that D. H. Lawrence was captured in Arabia and they sodomised him. The Ottomans had their share of homosexuals and I’m sure there were also women in the harems. So? So be it.
Q: What about your acquaintances or your friends growing up throughout life, were any of them gay as well?
A: I’m not sure about acquaintances, but not my friends. I mean, they were all married. But I’m sure there must have been. This is not something which is recent, it goes back into historic times. And you have animals sometimes acting that way. So it’s not just human beings, there’s something in the genetic code.
Q: So is this one aspect where the conservative views of society are diametrically to your own practical view?
A: I’m not the prime minister, I told you that before I started. If I were the prime minister I would hesitate to push it through against the prevailing sentiment, against the prevailing values of society. You’re going against the current of the people, the underlying feeling. What’s the point of that, you know, breaking new ground and taking unnecessary risk? It will evolve over time, as so many things have, because after a while my own sort of maturing process will take place with other people. You don’t just live and then you cut off your ideas after a certain time. You keep on living and you watch people and you say, “Oh that’s the way life is”.
Q: But are you, personally speaking, frustrated by this conservatism?
A: No. I take a purely practical view.
Q: But are you frustrated by how this conservatism is perhaps opposed to the practical view?
A: No, that is life. I can’t change them overnight. I think society , their own experiences, their own reading, their own observations will bring about change despite their innate biases.
Click HERE if you’re keen to read more about what LKY thought about the subject of homosexuality.
Yea, it’s really a matter of time. But the time is not now.
Like what LKY had said, we have a part Muslim, another part conservative older Chinese and Indians, it’s best to go it slowly. We have to be careful so as to maintain social and racial harmony. Not everything in the world is about the pursuit of ideals and exercising our freedom of choice and expression to the fullest. It’s a lot to do with balancing our freedom with other people’s, and the delicate part is in how we’re all so blardy different.
But when it’s time, when we’re ready, we will know it. And come that time, nothing will stop it from happening coz it will come naturally.
For now, perhaps we should just live and let live. And respect others’ views as much as we want ours respected.
Of late, there’s a BLOGGER whose writing I’ve come to enjoy. Her posts are typically short, but so alive with sassiness and personality. I wish I write like her.
Anyway, saw this on her INSTAGRAM.
Wish wish wish people are more tolerant. At least for this weekend. It’s a win for the LGBT community after decades of championing and all that. Wish we could just let them bask in the happiness for a bit. You know, like don’t rain on their parade? (But oh wait, LKY did say no gay parades here for now ^^)
Perhaps there’ll be people who say I don’t understand since I ain’t a Christian nor am I Muslim, hence I don’t get how the LGBT acts are all deeds of sin or whatever the heck they wanna label it. Can’t argue with it, since I really don’t know. But that doesn’t mean I ain’t entitled to my own views. Last I checked, views and opinons are personal, and even agnostic people like me are entitled to them.
There are so many other things that can do with more care and attention than the LGBT issue. Heck, I’ll just come outright and say it. There are more (and perhaps bigger?) sins than LGBT acts.
Besides, the world that we live in is falling sick. There are so many problems everywhere we look. Surely these LGBT-concerned parties can go concern themselves with other things like saving mother earth or helping poor children, rather than to worry themselves about what happens in other people’s bedrooms?
Of course that’s just me and my runaway thoughts expressed in my personal blog.
And oh, THIS is a pretty good read, no matter which side of the fence you’re sitting on.
Anyway, wanna leave you with some rather interesting food for thought. Not sure about you, but I had a ‘Ya hor?!‘ moment when I read it.
Image Credits: visa.tumblr, pinkdot.sg