|The following was written by Dr Khoo Hoon Eng, as a response to Yvonne Lee's Review article for The Straits Times 'Decriminalising homosexual acts would be an error', published on May 4, 2007. These are Dr Khoo's personal views.
I am writing in response to Ms. Yvonne C. L. Lee's article, "Decriminalising homosexual acts would be an error," published May 4, 2007.
Despite being written by an academic, it is full of misleading rhetoric and did not make any serious attempts to back up its sweeping and alarmist claims. It asserts that "it is a known medical fact that homosexual intercourse or sodomy is an inherently unhealthy act that carries higher risks of a number of sexually transmitted infections." Unfortunately, this "known medical fact" is completely unsubstantiated and patently false. Bacteria and viruses do not care about the gender of those who transmit them. Any unprotected oral or anal sex is risky regardless of the gender of those involved.
The article misleadingly projects that the age of consent for sex between men might be set between 13 and 18. It neglects to mention that the current age of consent for girls is 14, and that there is no age of consent for boys. Any responsible parent would feel anxious about teenagers having sexual intercourse of any kind, gay or straight. However, at least with heterosexual intercourse, the balance that society has struck is not outlawing or penalizing such acts, but giving parents the responsibility of teaching their children about responsible behavior.
The writer also expresses her concern about the "broader agenda" of "homosexual rights." Legalise sodomy, she claims, and same-sex marriage, gays in the media, the erosion of religious liberty, and the sanctioning of paedophilia and bestiality is sure to follow. This is a classic example of a "slippery slope" fallacy where the writer provides little to no explanation exactly how getting rid of 377a in Singapore will lead to all these other laws changing nor how paedophilia and bestiality will follow. I would challenge the writer to name one country where sodomy has been decriminalized and which has now sanctioned paedophilia and bestiality.
It hardly seems likely that homosexuals are "dictating" law reform in Singapore. So it is ironic when the writer accuses the "homosexual rights agenda" of being "divisive". Lest it be forgotten, these "homosexuals" are our brothers, our sons, our friends, and our fellow citizens. There are gay Indians, Chinese, Malays, Europeans, and Eurasians. There are gay Muslims, Christians, Hindus, Buddhists, Atheists. Gay people are as invested as anyone else in Singapore in ensuring that we have a strong, multireligious, multiracial community where everyone is entitled to respect, dignity, acceptance and empowerment.
- Khoo Hoon Eng
Read the article by Yvonne Lee - 'Decriminalising homosexual acts would be an error' (archived on the Yawning Bread website)
Labels: Letters to the Press, News