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Hiding Behind Rhetoric: A Rebuttal of Thio Li-Ann

on . Posted in Commentary.

Dear Ms Thio

I am not as learned as you in law. I am but a first-year law student. A law student who happens to identify as queer, and has spent the last two years working in the queer activism scene, who now loves a woman, who now wishes to rid this country of the blight known as section 377A.

Ms Thio, I am sure you know this section very well… in fact, you dedicated an entire speech to the impassioned defence of it, not even touching on things like marital rape immunity. I am surprised… I thought an educated, feminist woman like yourself would have some feelings on this section which effectively takes away the right of married women to their bodies…. but I digress. You expounded in detail upon the merits of retaining this law. You showed us all how much you hate us gay people – like we couldn’t tell from the letters to ST. When I read your speech, my first impulse was to laugh. Then as I read on, cringing at the leaps of logic, and wincing at the palpable hatred pouring out of the paper.

I will now proceed to rebutt you: point by point.


These flawed arguments are marinated with distracting fallacies which obscure what is at stake - repealing 377A is the first step of a radical, political agenda which will subvert social morality, the common good and undermine our liberties.

Ma’am… what exactly is a “radical, political agenda”? A radical political agenda would to be overthrow the Singapore government. A radical political agenda would be terrorism. A radical political agenda would be what the fundamentalist Christians are doing in the US, pulling the weight of the church in influencing elections and infiltrating the education system. What we are doing, ma’am, is none of that – what we are asking for, is our rights. In fact, madam, if you have studied human rights at all, you would know that rights are ordained by creation – it is the establishment which takes them away through rule of law. Does anyone question that the Africans under apartheid in South Africa had their basic human rights? Is their campaign to end the apartheid and reclaim their rights a radical political agenda? No ma’am, it is not… it becomes a radical political agenda when you impose your values on everyone else, in a way that takes away their rights. Not unlike the right-wing Christian crusade.

Which comes back to your point about “undermining liberties”. I ask you in all humbleness… how does removing section 377A infringe on the liberties of the average heterosexual person? Let’s take it one step further – how does gay marriage take away the rights of the heterosexual person? Is he any less entitled to marry, any less entitled to procreate, get a job, withdraw his CPF when he retires and in short, go about his life like any normal person?

‘Conservative’ here is not a dirty word connoting backwardness; environmental conservation protects our habitat; the moral ecology must be conserved to protect what is precious and sustains a dynamic, free and good society.

Ma’am, you abuse the English dictionary for your own purposes. Yes, conservative is what you use to protect something that is already there – but you never stop to question whether in this case, what you are protecting is worth protecting, and whether in not protecting, you create a better world. The world will change, ma’am, in case you haven’t noticed. You can scream and yell all you want – but all you can really do is stand by and watch while it changes. Seasons will change, people will change, administrations will change. You mention a dynamic, free and good society… are you not contradicting yourself? You do not want things to change, yet you want society to be dynamic.

We should reject the ‘argument from consent’ as its philosophy is intellectually deficient and morally bankrupt.

Ma’am, once again, to advance your own political argument, you are throwing away the fundamental concepts in law. Consent is an all-important philosophy. Let’s go back to first-year tort law course – is consent not a defence against negligence? Is consent not the fundamental precept in determining whether sexual assault has occured? Concept is not morally bankrupt at all… please do not try and mask your opinions through senseless rhetoric.

The real question today is not ‘if’ we should repeal 377A now, or wait until people are ready to move. This assumes too much, as though we need an adjustment period before the inevitable. The real question is not ‘if’ but ‘should’ we ever repeal 377A. It is not inevitable; it is not desirable to repeal it in any event.

Ma’am, I direct you to the paragraph above: the world will change. Whether you like it or not.

Not only is retaining s377A sound public policy, it is legally and constitutionally beyond reproach.

Rhetoric, once again, I see… how is it legally and constitutionally beyond reproach? Would you like to point me to the relevant section?

Responsible legislators must grapple with the facts, figures and principles involved; they cannot discount the noxious social consequences repeal will bring.

That’s what I should be saying to you, ma’am.

First, to say a law is archaic is merely chronological snobbery.

Second, you cannot say a law is ‘regressive’ unless you first identify your ultimate goal. If we seek to copy the sexual libertine ethos of the wild wild West, then repealing s377A is progressive. But that is not our final destination. The onus is on those seeking repeal to prove this will not harm society.

Ma’am, we have proved conclusively that it does not. I point you to the extensive articles on, to the volumes of research done by scientists to prove that gay marriage and gay parenting does not harm society. Massachussetts, the first US state to legalise gay marriage, suffers no damage from the rights they have granted their citizens. You choose to ignore the evidence, for your own purposes.

Third, to say a law which criminalizes homosexual acts because many find it offensive is merely imposing a ‘prejudice’ or ‘bias’ assumes with justification that no reasonable contrary view exists… The liberal argument which says sodomy is a personal choice, private matter and ‘victimless crime’ merely asserts this. It rests precariously on an idiosyncratic notion of ‘harm’ ‘ but ‘harm’ can be both physical and intangible; victims include both the immediate parties and third parties. What is done in ‘private’ can have public repercussions.

What harm, ma’am? Once again I ask you… what harm do heterosexuals suffer when such “sodomy” occurs? Even intangible harm… what harm? I keep hearing this from you and the other homophobes… but I still haven’t heard what harm we are causing you, with our private activities. And may I politely dissent… it is not an idiosyncratic notion, but a solid, practical notion. If you wish to talk about third parties… ma’am, then as we say in civil law, the liability is indeterminate. Where do we draw the line where I stop owing the duty of care? At my great-grandfather? At yours?

They urge legislators to be ‘objective’ and to leave their personal subjective beliefs at home, especially if they hold religious views which consider homosexuality aberrant.

This demand for objectivity is intellectually disingenuous as there is no neutral ground, no ‘Switzerland of ambivalence’ when we consider the moral issues related to 377A which require moral judgment of what is right and wrong – not to take a stand, is to take a stand!

Ma’am, apparently you live in a binary world, because there are indeed people who are neutral. If you have taken the time to read through the comments on repeal377A, there was a specific comment which stated that he was a staunch Christian, but did not believe in imposing his values on other people. Some people are indeed capable of divorcing their religious views from objective analysis of issues, as shocking a concept that might be to you.

Religious views are part of our common morality. We separate ‘religion’ from ‘politics,’ but not ‘religion’ from ‘public policy’. That would be undemocratic. All citizens may propose views in public debate, whether influenced by religious or secular convictions or both; only the government can impose a view by law.

I refer you to the above paragraph. And apparently, you are not familiar with the concept of secular values. Nor of the idea that our country is made up of more than one religion. Hinduism and Buddhism do not hold homophobic views. Wikipedia, ma’am, may help you here.

Incidentally, one does not have to be religious to consider homosexuality contrary to biological design and immoral; secular philosopher Immanuel Kant considered homosexuality ‘immoral acts against our animal nature’ which did not preserve the species and dishonoured humanity. [link mine]

And I am bothered by what he thinks, because? Have you not considered that it is the views of his times that influence him… the man was born in the 18th century. If you asked him whether women should be allowed to vote, I doubt the answer would be yes.

The issues surrounding s377A are about morality, not modernity or being cosmopolitan. What will foreigners think if we retain 377A? Depends on which foreigner you ask. Many would applaud us!…. A group of Canadians1 were grieved enough to issue an online apology to the world ‘for harm done through Canada’s legalization of homosexual marriage’, urging us not to repeat their mistakes.

Ma’am, morality is also what compels us to be fair to our neighbour, morality is what dictates that we agree to live and let live. Indeed, not all foreigners are gay-friendly… the same problems that exist here exist there too. But one day… perhaps one day, we shall rid the world of people who are racist, sexist or homophobic.

If a group of people from USA issued an apology to the world for legalising interracial marriage, would you hold that as evidence of its immorality? What precludes me holding the hand of another woman in love, when I am not precluded from holding the hand of a man who is not the same race as me? Incidentally, ma’am… in the 1950’s in California, when this issue was raised, many people reacted exactly the same way as you and other people are doing. They were disgusted by the possibility of removing the ban on interracial marriage, because it was just so wrong in their eyes, so disgusting to imagine a white man and a black woman holding hands. They raised the same points… citing public morality, and the harm to society. They gave dire predictions of how the society would collapse, how having ethnically-mixed children running around was just unthinkable.

Human rights are universal, like prohibitions against genocide.

Contradiction, once again. If they are universal, ma’am, why are we denied sexual freedom as opposed to heterosexual people?

Demands for ‘homosexual rights’ are the political claims of a narrow interest group masquerading as legal entitlements. Homosexual activists often try to infiltrate and hijack human rights initiatives to serve their political agenda, discrediting an otherwise noble cause to protect the weak and poor. You cannot make a human wrong a human right.

I am saddened you think so… because there is no such thing as homosexual rights, only equal rights. We ask for the same entitlements as everyone else – nothing more, nothing less. If asking for the right to be treated equally under law is hijacking human rights… ma’am I see nothing wrong with it.

Second, while homosexuals are a numerical minority, there is no such thing as ‘sexual minorities’ at law. Activists have coined this term to draw a beguiling but fallacious association between homosexuals and legally recognized minorities like racial groups. Race is a fixed trait. It remains controversial whether homosexual orientation is genetic or environmental, perhaps both. There are no ex-Blacks but there are ex-gays. The analogy between race and sexual orientation or preferred sexual preferences, is false. Activists repeat the slogan ‘sexual minority’ ad nausem as a deceptive political ploy to get sympathy from people who don’t think through issues carefully. Repetition does not cure fallacy.

Ma’am…. have you taken a good look at the track record of ex-gay people? Do you have any idea how many of them, many famous, are caught in gay clubs afterwards? A deceptive ploy, is it? I had no idea we were so clever and ingenious… and I had no idea it was such a fallacy. If you have taken the trouble to search the internet, there is much highly accredited research which backs up the idea that sexuality is an inborn trait. [See below for some assorted links]

Science has become so politicized that the issue of whether gays are ‘born that way’ depends on which scientist you ask. You cannot base sound public philosophy on poor politicized pseudo ‘science’.

But I see no research that proves sexual orientation is a choice – at all. What you are faced with is an overwhelming amount of evidence, when put together, points to the existence of homosexuality as either a genetic or an inborn trait, and very few, if none at all, accredited research otherwise. Even the Spitzer study that ex-gays like to quote does not support your position, because Spitzer himself has come out and said that is not what his research meant.

Homosexuality is a gender identity disorder…

With all due respect, ma’am, last time I checked, you were a lawyer, not a psychologist. So on what basis are you declaring this, when APA itself has removed it from the DSM?

…there are numerous examples of former homosexuals successfully dealing with this.

And just as many who choose to come back after trying to go straight.

Just this year, two high profile US activists left the homosexual lifestyle, the publisher of Venus, a lesbian magazine, and an editor of Young Gay America.

Who are influenced by the scare-mongering and propaganda of the fundamentalist religious groups. It is a religious move, not a sexual.

An article by an ex-gay in the New Statesmen this July identified the roots of his emotional hurts, like a distant father, overbearing mother and sexual abuse by a family friend; after working through his pain, his unwanted same-sex attractions left. While difficult, change is possible and a compassionate society would help those wanting to fulfill their heterosexual potential. There is hope.

I don’t think I need to repeat my arguments. By the way, that theory about distant father? So Freudian, and already discredited. Research has shown that those who try to become “ex-gay” usually suffer immense psychological hurt, guilt, shame and emotional trauma because they can’t stop being who they are.

Singapore law only recognizes racial and religious minorities. Special protection is reserved for the poor and disadvantaged; the average homosexual person in Singapore is both well educated, with higher income ‘ that’s why upscale condo developers target them!

Maybe it should recognise more than racial and religious minorities – how about women? And are we not disadvantaged? You speak of this stereotype of wealthy gay man, but ma’am…. there are many of us who are just common folk, and are not rich. You conflate economic wellbeing with legal protection. A wealthy man is equally culpable under the law a poor one.

Homosexuals do not deserve special rights, just the rights we all have

That’s exactly what I have been saying so far, ma’am… may be we are on the same page after all.

‘Sexual minorities’ and ‘sexual orientation’ are vague terms ‘ covering anything from homosexuality, bestiality, incest, paedophilia ‘ do all these minority sexual practices merit protection?

No, ma’am… it does not cover all this. For one, bestiality and paedophilia are crimes because there cannot be consent. Animals can’t consent, and children are deemed not to have the capacity to consent until a certain age. Paedophilia is enacted to protect children – what is homosexuality enacted to protect? Other adult gay individuals? The key difference is harm – homosexual acts between two consenting adults does not harm anyone or anything unlike the other crimes. As for incest, there is a strong biological basis, which is inbreeding.

Criminalising same-sex sodomy but not opposite-sex sodomy is valid ‘differentiation.’ S377A does not target any specific actor; it would cover a heterosexual male experimenting with male sodomy.

And that makes a difference?

Both these practices are efficient methods of transmitting sexual diseases and AIDs / HIV which are public health problems.

Ma’am, have you heard of a thing called the condom? It is designed to protect the person against sexually transitted diseases – straight or gay. Unprotected, heterosexual sex is equally efficient in transmitting HIV/AIDS… you could ask the virus whether it prefers gay men, but I doubt it is going to give you an answer.

These are not victimless crimes as the whole community has to foot the costs of these diseases.

I have worked in the HIV/AIDS prevention field long enough to know that the cost is exarcebated by the fact that we are not allowed to reach out to the MSM legally. We have to operate on a tenuous basis, because we are faced with the difficulty of having to tell the practicing MSM to be safe, but to step carefully so that it is not aiding and abetting a crime. Unless you have worked in the sector, ma’am… I think you are highly unqualified to make the comments about public health. With all due respect.

Anal-penetrative sex is inherently damaging… with adverse health implications like ‘gay bowel syndrome’, anal cancer.

‘Acts of gross indecency’ under 377A also covers unhygienic practices like ‘rimming’ where the mouth comes into contact with the anus. Consent to harmful acts is no defence ‘ otherwise, our strong anti-drug laws must fall as it cannot co-exist with letting in recreational drugs as a matter of personal lifestyle choice.

Oh, and I do suppose the act of smoking, which carries much greater risk of cancer, is not legal. Neither is driving, which I am sure, kills more people than this supposed ‘gay bowel syndrome’. Neither is unhealthy food – imagine biting into a McDonalds burger and being charged with the crime of consuming fat.

Ma’am, the difference between drugs and gay sex is that the former can kill – very fast, and very potently. The pictures of heroin addiction death are not pretty.

Opposite-sex sodomy is harmful, but medical studies indicate that same-sex sodomy carries a higher price tag for society because of higher promiscuity and frequency levels.

Ma’am, promiscuity is a loose term – by employing this term, you choose to ignore that there are gay individuals and couples who are monogamous, or non-promiscuous. You choose to ignore that there are people in the heterosexual community who are promiscuous too.

A British Study showed that the legalization of homosexual sodomy correlated with an upsurge of STDs among gays.

Did you inquire whether they have good public health programmes in place? Britain’s public health, as we all know, is a big crisis.

The legal issue is not whether the state should be concerned with heterosexual sodomy but whether it is reasonable to believe same-sex sodomy poses a distinct problem. Medical literature indicates that gays have disproportionately higher STDs rates, which puts them in a different category from the general public, warranting different treatment.

No ma’am… medical literature puts promiscuous gay people as a different category. See my point above. And might I add, the difference in numbers also due to the fact that gay people go for testing more frequently than straight people, who are more likely to believe that they will not get infected. Also, might I add… just because they have higher rates doesn’t mean we shut them off and shut them down. All the more, we have the responsibility to help them. And not by criminalising it, because that then drives the activity underground and makes it more difficult for public health programmes to target them. If you are willing to invest money to help the heterosexual community who, according to your logic, apparently acquired AIDS out of their own fault, then why are you not extending the same privilege to gay people?

Sir, the power to legislate morality is not limited to preventing demonstrable harm. The Penal Code now criminalizes the wounding of both religious and racial feelings (s498)…. S377A serves public morality; the argument from community reminds us we share a way of life which gives legal expression to the moral repugnancy of homosexuality.

The wounding of racial and religious feelings through words uttered or printed in a public domain is a completely understandable offence. However – when an act does not occur in public domain, and is confined to the bedroom, am I supposed to accept your argument that the average person loses sleep thinking of a faceless gay man having sex with another, when he sees or hears nothing?

Public sexual morality must buttress strong families based on faithful union between man and wife, the best model for raising children. The state should not promote promiscuity nor condone sexual exploitation.

Public sexual morality can buttress it all they want… but supporting that is very different from preventing other forms of family from forming. In other words – the government can give third-child bonuses, but that is a different thing from slapping single mothers with fines. And once AGAIN, you slap the community with a stereotype that we are all promiscuous. Many of us are actually monogamous. Many of us would like to start families, buy a HDB flat together – our dreams are not different from yours. The law promotes nothing, ma’am… it prevents harm. And how exactly is sexual exploitation tied into this? I am completely mystified, since we are talking about consensual adult sex.

The ‘argument from consent’ says the state should keep out of the bedroom, to safeguard ‘sexual autonomy’. While we cherish racial and religious diversity, sexual diversity is a different kettle of fish. Diversity is not license for perversity. This radical liberal argument is pernicious, a leftist philosophy based on radical individualism and radical egalitarianism. It is unworkable because every viable moral theory has limits to consent.

Why is it a different kettle of fish? And why are you talking about perversity? Ma’am, with all due respect – you do not determine what is perverse and what is not. [Neither do I, for that matter.] But I am assuming that you make this judgement based on a judeo-christian notion. Ma’am, consent is not radical – it is actually the basis of law, as I’ve stated at the beginning. By all philosophical standards, what is happening here now is nowhere close to “radical individualism” and “radical egalitarianism”. Indeed there are limits, but by all secular standards, once again… this falls into the acceptable ambit.

Radical egalitarianism applied to sexual morality says the state should not morally distinguish between types of consensual sex. It exudes a false neutrality but actually sneaks in a substantive philosophy: Hedonism which breeds narcissism. This extols satisfying desire without restraint as a matter of autonomy. But some desires are undesirable, harming self and society.

I don’t see the connection between the neutrality stance and hedonism, ma’am… hedonism is a loaded word, and it is not to be misused to refer to the pursuit of simple pleasures which all individuals are granted. Is it hedonism, to spend a lazy afternoon at the beach? Is it hedonism, ma’am, to try and be happy? Individuals do not owe a duty to the society to be productive and act with respect to the interests of society 100% of the time. And with all due respect, you don’t decide what is undesirable.

The argument from consent ultimately celebrates sexual libertine values, the fruit of which is sexual licentiousness, a culture of lust, which takes, rather than love, which gives. This social decline will provoke more headlines like a 2004 Her World article called: ‘Gay guy confesses: I slept with 100 men’one of them could be your hubby.’ What about the broken-hearts involved?

Ma’am – the culture of lust is not invoked by gay people, but it is a consequence of loosening sexual mores and media portrayals. That particular headline from a tabloid magazine can be met by a thousand other headlines about heterosexual scandals. “Tao Kay loves and loses $24,000 to 2 China women”. And since when is it the Law’s job to prevent broken hearts? When is it the law’s job to prevent tabloid headlines? Ma’am, I don’t see your logic here.

Sir, government policy is not to pro-actively enforce 377A. Some argue that just keeping this law on the books will erode the rule of law. I disagree. It is not turning a blind eye on the existence of homosexuals here; it is refusing to celebrate homosexuality while allowing gays to live quiet lives. This is prudent, as it is difficult to enforce ‘bedroom’ offences; such intrusive powers should be judiciously used anyway….

…A non pro-active policy does not mean 377A will never be enforced ‘ who knows what another season may require? Policies can change.

In other words… ma’am, you have no idea how we live.

Sir, it is true that not all moral wrongs, such as adultery, are criminalized; yet they retain their stigma. But adulterors know they done wrong and do not lobby for toleration of adultery as a sexual orientation right.

Ma’am – what is there to lobby for? It is not a crime in the first place, and they do not experience any legal discrimination. And it is precisely because we think what we are doing is not wrong, that we lobby for our rights.

Step 1: repeal laws criminalizing homosexual sex. They consider this ‘pivotal’ to… push for government funding and support for special programmes, such as the New York Gay High School. Governments don’t promote criminal activities. You need to change the criminal law before changing civil law.

Wow – I never thought of that.

Step 2 is to equalize the age of consent for heterosexual and homosexual sex; in some countries, this is as low as 13. Do we want to expose Sec 1 boys to adult sexual predators? To be sexually creative?

Ma’am the age of consent is 16 here – so why are you talking about 13 and bringing in a fallacious argument? And furthermore, are these boys not vulnerable to advances from female predators?

Step 3 is to prohibit discrimination based on ‘sexual orientation’. But would this not include all sexual behaviour? ‘Sex before 8 or else it’s too late’ is the motto of the North American Man Boy Love Association. Should we judge pedophilia or be relativist and promote ‘anything goes’ sexual experimentation?

Refer to my point above – 99% of the gay community is against paedophilia – we have sisters and brothers too, nieces and nephews, and for some, kids.

Sir, to protect homosexuals, some countries have criminalized not sodomy but opposition to sodomy, making it a ‘hate crime’ to criticize homosexuality. This violates freedom of speech and religion; will sacred texts that declare homosexuality morally deviant, like the Bible and Koran, be criminalized? Social unrest beckons. Such assaults on constitutional liberties cannot be tolerated.

Ma’am – is it not a assault on liberty to be not able to speak our mind against these religions? And furthermore, there are conflicting religions, most of which prescribe that the other religions are false. By applying rule of law, then such declarations would be mutually offensive, and in sum total, all the religious books should be banned. But no ma’am, nothing like that has happened. We learn to live in harmony, sooner or later. Or simply live and let live.

Steps 4 and 5 relate to legalizing same-sex marriage or partnerships, child adoption rights. This subverts both marriage and family, which are institutions homosexuals seek to redefine beyond recognition. Will MOE then commission a book copying the US, ‘Heather has 2 mummies’ called ‘Ah Beng has 2 daddies?’ What if parents disagree with their kids studying homosexual propaganda?

Ma’am, what is wrong children learning to accept diversity? Does the MOE not take pains to issue books with racial and religious diversity to teach the kids about that? So if a religious parent was opposed to seeing the portrayal of someone from a different religion treated equally in a text… are we to concede his wishes?

Repealing 377A will further batter the institution of ‘marriage’ which we must bolster!

The institution has already been battered many times, and not by us. We pose no threat – in fact, we enforce it, because, really… gay people seem to honour the institution of marriage more than straight people. Heterosexual people take it for granted, but we know what is at stake. Not only that, having marriage to look forwards to, will possibly reduce promiscuity, which you so seem to be concerned about. But we are not talking about marriage, but section 377A.

Legalising sodomy would set a bad example; by signaling approval, it may change both attitude and conduct; coupled with sexual hedonism, it makes a mockery of strong family values. 377A helps to protect against this harm.

What exactly are family values? Would you like to tell me what values we are harming through wanting to love and cherish someone for life? Ma’am… the institution of family is what we grew up in as well, and it is something we honour and desire as much as straight people. We have families too[in case you thought we dropped from the sky] And we want families of our own as well. Sexual hedonism is a universal trait, not a gay trait. Please do not equate the two.

To slouch back to Sodom is to return to the Bad Old Days in ancient Greece or even China where sex was utterly wild and unrestrained, and homosexuality was considered superior to man-women relations. Women’s groups should note that where homosexuality was celebrated, women were relegated to low social roles; when homosexuality was idealized in Greece, women were objects not partners, who ran homes and bore babies. Back then, whether a man had sex with another man, woman or child was a matter of indifference, like one’s eating preferences. The only relevant category was penetrator and penetrated; sex was not seen as interactive intimacy, but a doing of something to someone. How degrading.

Ma’am – you are drawing a false analogy. Those were the days when women were not given equality. Those were the days when men freely did whatever they wanted, with disregard to their marriage vows. Those were the days when women and children were treated almost as property. We are not living in those times now, and things have changed radically.

Homosexuals as fellow citizens have the right to expect decent treatment from the rest of us; but they have no right to insist we surrender our fundamental moral beliefs so they can feel comfortable about their sexual behaviour. We should not be subject to the tyranny of the undemocratic minority who want to violate our consciences, trample on our cherished moral virtues and threaten our collective welfare by imposing homosexual dogma on right-thinking people. Keep 377A.

Ma’am – we don’t do that. It is often the homophobes who do so. In trying to fight for the right to live our lives, unfortunately we are made to convince the majority of our entitlement – which by right, we should not be, because it should be given automatically.

Instead of reasoning, some have resorted to name-calling to intimidate and silence their opponents. People with principled moral objections to the homosexual agenda are tarred and feathered ‘homophobes’, ‘bigots’, to shut them up. This strategy is unoriginally imported from foreign gay activists, which stifles creative thinking and intellectual enquiry….

I believe in free debate but this oversteps the line. I was distressed, disgusted, upset enough to file a police report. Does a normal person go up to a stranger to express such irrational hatred?

I am sorry you and your compatriot has received such vitriol – but the actions of the individual is something we cannot control. However in this speech, you have called us perverse, radical, immoral, promiscuous, licentious, hedonist, subversive, a threat to public health, mental patients and more… ma’am, irrational hatred is not professed only by those who have insulted you.

I rest my case, ma’am. I only hope that you will read this in the spirit of your own philosophy of free debate and speech.

Gay Men’s Brains Respond Differently to Pheromones

Obscure origins of desire

Gay Men Read Maps like Women

Queer Animals

Sexual orientation may be determined at 6th week of life – Summary article by Yawningbread

Clue to Sexual Orientation Found in Lesbian Brain


Tags: singapore activism human rights


# uma 2010-02-02 19:44

uma said,

October 24, 2007 at 1:32 am

*Phew that was a lengthy read..and damn it was rebuttal, if she reads this she’d faint!
# awed 4th year 2010-02-02 19:44

awed 4th year law student said,

October 24, 2007 at 10:39 am

your idealism is inspiring. keep your chin up and be proud of yourself. if only more of our fellow law students could be like you. keep fighting and never stop believing.
# 1st year law 2010-02-02 19:44

1st year law student said,

October 24, 2007 at 1:06 pm

Well said! Ms. Thio should be a gymnast instead, since she enjoys taking such strident leaps of logic. It pains me to know that she’s sitting just a block away from where I have classes daily, that this hatemongering of hers will seep into her teachings and that she’s actually allowed to spew such cockamamy rhetoric in a public domain. May I never have the displeasure of being taught by her.
# darapid 2010-02-02 19:44

darapid » Blog Archiv » Hiding Behind Rhetoric: A Rebuttal of Thio Li-Ann said,

October 24, 2007 at 8:21 pm

[...] click here for full story Der Beitrag wurde am Tuesday, den 23. October 2007 um 11:28 Uhr veröffentlicht und wurde unter gay activism abgelegt. du kannst die Kommentare zu diesen Eintrag durch den RSS 2.0 Feed verfolgen. du kannst einen Kommentar schreiben, oder einen Trackback auf deiner Seite einrichten. Einen Kommentar schreiben [...]
# dafaster 2010-02-02 19:44

dafaster » Blog Archive » Hiding Behind Rhetoric: A Rebuttal of Thio Li-Ann said,

October 24, 2007 at 9:28 pm

[...] sourced here [...]
# jjin 2010-02-02 19:45

jin said,

October 24, 2007 at 10:08 pm

May I bring up another point in response to Ms Thio’s paragraph in which she states:

“To slouch back to Sodom is to return to the Bad Old Days in ancient Greece or even China where sex was utterly wild and unrestrained, and homosexuality was considered superior to man-women relations. Women�s groups should note that where homosexuality was celebrated, women were relegated to low social roles; when homosexuality was idealized in Greece, women were objects not partners, who ran homes and bore babies. Back then, whether a man had sex with another man, woman or child was a matter of indifference, like one�s eating preferences. The only relevant category was penetrator and penetrated; sex was not seen as interactive intimacy, but a doing of something to someone. How degrading.”

I do agree that during those Bad Old Times, women were regarded as property, that is known. Only men had any status in society. And indeed homosexual behaviour was prevalent as far as we know.

However I would like to point out, for Ms Thio’s benefit, that the opposition to homosexual behaviour stemmed from the fact that Two Men were having sex. With heterosexual behaviour, we have a Man and a Woman. Inherently, a ‘penetrator’ and a ‘penetratee’. But with two men doing it, one of them had to assume a role of ‘penetratee’. The objection was to the fact that a Man (read: human status, aggressive, active) was assuming the role of Woman (read: property, submissive, passive, receptacle).

Related point: Back in those days, no one cared if two women had sex with each other. No one cared what women did at all. In any case, women had hardly opportunity to do as they pleased.

We have to be very careful not to confuse the cause with the effect. Women’s lowly status in society was not caused by the prevalent homosexual behaviour. Rather, it was precisely women’s lowly status which produced the opposition to homosexual behaviour.

If I may quote from the book of Leviticus chapter 20 verse 13 (New King James Version), it is an abomination if “…a man lies with a male as he lies with a woman…” I’m sorry that the Bible does not make it an abomination if a man enters into a committed monogamous mutual loving relationship with another man.
# jjin 2010-02-02 19:45

jin said,

October 24, 2007 at 10:37 pm

I feel that it is also my duty to clarify about Sodom. The Bible itself refers back to the city of Sodom in the book of Ezekiel chapter 16 verse 49 (let’s use the New International Version since it is easily understood by all):

“Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy.”

(the New King James version says it even better):
“Look, this was the iniquity of your sister Sodom: She and her daughter had pride, fullness of food, and abundance of idleness; neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy.

It does not say “the citizens of Sodom were all gay men for whom anal sex had been recently decriminalised and thus it eroded the values and morals of society and people then became arrogant and selfish”. To follow that train of thought requires more credulity than it takes to watch a badly-written soap opera.
# Cru Ciferae 2010-02-02 19:45

Cru Ciferae said,

October 25, 2007 at 10:51 am


What a great rebuttal. You have really put it down on paper what many of us feel but are unable to articulate as well as you. I encourage you to send it to her. Not that it will change her views but just to let her know how disgraceful she is; being all so well-educated with public money (I checked out her CV on the NUS Law Faculty page, she received many scholarships). EDUCATED FOOL.

I was shocked when I first read about this woman’s ranting reported on the internet. She has no idea what it means to belong in a minority group or being disadvantaged (despite being schooled in Human Rights).

And all that fear-mongering by calling out to women and women’s groups to be wary of being relegated to objects if we let gay men have their way. DISGRACEFUL. Although, I must say that it is working…. women like Indranee Rajah are also against the repeal.

It’s also scary that news reports say that while she was speaking this piece in parliament there was much chair thumping in agreement by many MPs. Sounds like a start to many bad things to come….

# humphh 2010-02-02 19:45

humph said,

October 25, 2007 at 7:45 pm

If I were a student in NUS law I’d skip her classes. Can’t be too sure what untruths she’d try to teach me.
# jance 2010-02-02 19:45

jance said,

October 26, 2007 at 12:23 pm

because of the level of her hate. I will fear for my life and grades if i’m in her classes. So i’ll skip it too.
# JjUst Me 2010-02-02 19:46

JUst Me said,

October 27, 2007 at 3:25 am

BRAVO! wonderful response. I just wanted to ad that Ms. Thio inquired about there being a lack of ex-gay information, Im assuming to support her illogical argument and views. She is even more ignorant than she displays as theres a huge controversy going on right now in politics, law, and psychology in America regarding the ex-gay movement & gay marriage. The techniques used by therapists who attempt to change ones orientation have been condemned by every major medical and mental health association in America (check out link below) because they not only do not work, are extremely damaging, but more importantly are an attempt to fix a ‘problem” that doesn’t exist.

Also her claim or hint seems to be transparent, if one can choose their orientation then they need not be protected under law. She is a despicable and should be ashamed of herself as a “scholar” and especially as a human being!
# The Crux of Romney’s 2010-02-02 19:46

The Crux of Romney’s Evangelical Problem — Biography. writers and their biography said,

May 5, 2008 at 8:29 am

[...] of the blight known as section 377A. Ms Thio, I am sure you know this section very source: Hiding Behind Rhetoric: A Rebuttal of Thio Li-Ann, Sayoni [...]

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