Friday, May 8, 2009

Homosexuality and AWARE

Well, the AWARE Singapore saga -- an interesting case of old-school thinking versus new-school, has finally come to an end.  It was a heated affair and very dramatic - more drama than local tv serial. In short, very wayang.

It all started when a woman found that the sex education programs conducted by AWARE for secondary school students do not use negative words to describe homosexuality, and decided that no negative words on homosexuality means promoting homosexuality. (What a nuisance!)  Then she went on to tell her church friends that their children will grow up being homosexuals if they attend such programs.  Don't you think the reasoning is mighty outrageous ?!.  Anyway, the biggest joke is that her church friends really believe all these nonsenses.  Thus, they mounted a "holy crusade" in March to infiltrate and take over a secular NGO  -- Apparently, this bunch of narrow-minded fundies just joined AWARE, showed up in large numbers to AGM, nominated for committee positions and voted themselves in. 

Thankfully, the crusade has eventually and thoroughly failed.  Skepticism over the motives of these crusaders led hundreds of women signing up as new members of AWARE.  The ousted pro-gay leadership then launched a no-confidence vote against the new board and finally won a landslide victory. (Phew!)  The saga once again proves that though majority of people are heterosexuals, it doesn't mean that they should discriminate against gays and lesbians. Homosexuals are entitled to all the rights and respects as human beings too.  Their homosexual behaviors do not make them less humans, do they ?

You may want to take a peep at these crusaders' private emails about their take-over plan.

It is a pity that even though they may have lost the battle, the fundies appear to have won a moral victory. The Ministry of Education said in a statement on Wednesday it had suspended sex education programs provided by AWARE and other external vendors to government schools because parts of the curriculum did not conform to guidelines.  I find the following statement very questionable. 

"In particular, some suggested responses in the instructor guide are explicit and inappropriate, and convey messages which could promote homosexuality or suggest approval of pre-marital sex."

What can you say ?  Yes, I do agree our DPM Teo Chee Hean's statement : "There are people in our society with different views and if ... we push them too hard, there will be a push back from the other side.  You are not going to resolve some of these differences because they are strongly held, and you risk polarizing society if you push too hard."

It takes time. Whether you like it or not, gays and lesbians exist and have always existed.  It is part of the nature.  Do you know that animals show homosexualism too ?

"Education is one of the most powerful tools for ending prejudice. Teaching in schools that homosexuality exists will help prevent prejudice. If you think it will some how ‘turn’ your children into a gay, then perhaps you need to learn more about sexual identity yourself." ~ apu @

I'm from the mainstream --  a mother with a 10 years old son. I do sometimes wonder what if one day I discover that my son leads an alternative lifestyle ?  I surely don't want the society to discriminate against him.  Of course, i am definitely against promotion of lesbian/gay mentality toward kids in primary/secondary schools as well as promotion of religious agendas.  There is a big difference between teaching TOLERANCE/ACCEPTANCE and pushing an agenda.  We should teach in a neutral way (no demonisation!), but not promoting.

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