Monday, June 29, 2015

Why Shouldn't Adam and Steve Tie the Knot?

Last week’s hottest news item was the historical decision by the United States Supreme Court to declare the concept of Gay Marriage constitutional. In that decision, the nine justices who make up the Supreme Court declared that homosexual people were legally allowed to wed and to live in holy matrimony.

As expected, the decision provoked intense feelings on both sides of the debate. The liberals celebrated this as a victory of constitutional liberation. The religious right claimed this was a sign that God’s wrath was about to descend on earth. The extremely religious in America even went as far as to leave Tweet in cyberspace declaring that they would immigrate to Australia, while the more liberal parts of Australia was aghast that such “hateful” people were about to descend upon them.

Here in Singapore, we tried to ignore the issue and to follow the Prime Minister’s advice that for now, “legal ambiguity is best.” The official stance is that Singapore remains too conservative a society to grant the homosexuals such freedoms but we’ll wait and see how things turn out.

Personally, I don’t see how secular societies can deny homosexuals the right to marry. One doesn’t need to be a “Champion” of Gay causes to see that there is no rational or legally defensible argument against allowing members of the “LGBT” community to tie the knot.

Ironically, the person who best makes the case for homosexual marriage is Professor Thio Li-Ann, Singapore’s most famous “homophobe.” In her 2007 speech in Singapore’s Parliament, Professor Thio declared that, “Homosexuals are not entitled to special rights, they are only entitled to the rights that the rest of us enjoy.”

Let’s think about this, every heterosexual has the right to sign a piece of paper and in many cases, go through a ceremony to tell the world that they want to spend the rest of their lives with a particular person.
Now, if this is an “ordinary” right for heterosexual people, why should it be any different for homosexual people? If you strip marriage down to its basics, you’d realise that what the homosexual community is asking for is merely the right to legally live with a single person for the rest of their lives.

In her 2007 speech, Professor Thio went on to cement the case for “Gay Marriage” when she declared that homosexuals tended to be more promiscuous than heterosexuals.

Professor Thio’s comments are probably a sweeping generalization about the homosexual community (there are at the time of writing no statistics to prove the point), but she has a point. If homosexuals, as Professor Thio says, more likely to promiscuous than heterosexuals and therefore more likely to endanger public health, isn’t the obvious course of action to encourage homosexuals to be less promiscuous?

The record of “marriage” as an institution is not good when it comes to keeping people sexually loyal to each other. However, it is currently the only institution that human societies have that encourages sexual fidelity. So, what is stopping us from expanding this institution to encourage greater sexual fidelity?

Then there are the economic benefits of “Gay Marriage.” Heterosexual marriages are big enough business and if we were able to throw in the homosexual variety, think of how many more times we can expand the industry?

Saying that we should ban something just because it is “not natural” or that “people disapprove” is short sighted. When you think of the social and economic benefits that allowing gay marriages would bring, there’s n reason why we shouldn’t have it around. 

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