Saturday, March 17, 2007
SAFE's response to The National Council of Churches
SAFE's response to the feedback given by The National Council of Churches (NCCS) on the proposed amendments to the Penal Code.

SAFE is a group of family and friends who affirm and support gay and transgendered people as persons with equal rights to respect, dignity, acceptance and empowerment in society.

SAFE is appalled at the NCCS's view that, not only should criminalisation of men who engage in same-sex acts be upheld, but that the government should further criminalise women who engage in same-sex acts as well. In the same breath, they claim to express their love for sinners, but hatred for the sin, as if it were possible for our sexuality to be separated from our personhood.

We strongly object to the NCCS calling "criminals", our adult gay sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, nephews and nieces, aunts, uncles and friends. That Christians would call for the criminalisation of gay people surely speaks against their faith ideals of love, kindness, compassion, acceptance, humility and justice.

Different religions hold different stands on homosexuality, from the Christian right's view that it is sinful to the Buddhist one that it is not immoral and has the same moral status as heterosexuality. The NCCS, by attempting to turn their Christian moral teachings into state law, contradicts what the government has been trying to build and strengthen - mutual respect and harmony in our pluralistic society, as evidenced in the Penal Code S298 and proposed S298A which oppose prejudice and ill-will amongst religious groups and call for religious harmony.

As is commonly recognized, homophobia largely emanates from the West's conservative evangelical Christian religious right, that is today, the main context for almost the entire Christian community in Singapore. This is evidenced not only by their stand on homosexuality but also their stand on the casino issue, stem cell research, and inter-faith dialogue. Hardly do they speak up for human rights, civil society and justice.

The NCCS is merely reflecting a traditional western conservative religious position on homosexuality, refusing to acknowledge their place in a multi-cultural and multi-religious Asian society, where in our history, same-sex love has been an integral part and parcel of Asian life; a society which respects and values the wisdom and tolerance of traditional yet diverse Asian cultures; and a society which upholds the Asian value of family against all odds.

Supporting, Affirming & Empowering our LGBTQ friends and family