Civil society, not juz LGBTs, are being victimised

In Political governance on 19/05/2017 at 4:35 am

The PAP administration is not singling out for bullying those with different sexual tastes. They are targeting all S’poreans who do not hold the “right” views.

So the LGBTs should stop KPKBing that they are being victimised, and trying to appease the PAP by saying some gays are “politicising” the movement, not them.

Hey guys by taking ang moh money and then successfullyraising funds locally when the ang moh avenue was closed, u guys were taking on the PAP authorities:

A successful NGO is a threat to the PAP

(Related post: Would this happen in a one-party state?)

A wannabe Jedi (from NTU’s School of Journalism who trained under a wannabe Seth Lordess turned traitor) posted this recently. Give him a fistbum.

Ng Yi-Sheng

A friend wrote this:

“Having read others’ criticisms of the prohibition of non-citizens from participating in this year’s Pink Dot, I am worried as much by the legislative amendment as the responses to this news, which seem to have comfortably but troublingly framed this as yet another example of how the LGBT community is targeted/ discriminated.

It isn’t. The amendment will affect every single assembly at Hong Lim Park. What this means is, when a rally is organised in solidarity with the Bersih, umbrella or saffron movement, the Malaysians, Hong Kongers and Burmese living in Singapore will not be able to participate. What this is is not so much an example of discrimination against the LGBT community but an example of the state flexing its muscles against civil society, narrowing the already-narrow space we have to contribute to a participative democracy.

The more fundamental question here is whether non-citizens deserve the right to freedom of assembly, to participate in political free speech and expression. This goes back not only to the November 2016 amendment of the Public Order (Unrestricted Areas) Order, but the framing of our Constitution: Article 14 is the only fundamental liberty that is reserved to citizens. In comparison, such constitutional rights, like the freedom of religion, are conferred to every person.

While emotive and appealing to get people up arms, I think it is troublingly distracting and unhelpful to characterise the current circumstances as discriminatory against the LGBT community.

Firstly, Pink Dot itself was an enactment of homonationalism itself and it just seems confusing to me that one can be outraged that foreigners are prohibited from participating when the meaning of that thing they are now prohibited from was never meant to include them. The colour pink was selected because as explained in Pink Dot’s About page, it is “the colour of our ICs and the colour when you mix red and white – the colours of our national flag”. (This issue definitely merits much deeper analysis, but I’ll just leave it for now.)

Secondly, if the attendance at Pink Dot was meant to convince the state of the increasing support for the LGBT community so that it would more likely repeal s 377A, this upcoming Pink Dot will provide, if well-attended, the strongest evidence yet. In my view, previous years’ participation by non-citizens and giant MNCs served a different purpose: to signal to the population, not the state, of the changing global attitudes. Seen in this way, isn’t the new amendment more helpful to the movement strategically? Of course, the only caveat is that citizens and PRs must now do their “civic duty” to participate in Pink Dot.

Lastly, the state has repeatedly emphasised its reasons for maintaining this less-than-balanced balance between the LGBT and conservative religious communities through pronouncements by Ministers and MPs alike in Parliament, at public talks and international interviews. The maintenance of religious harmony is of utmost and critical importance to the state, and it is not as much bigoted or malicious towards the LGBT community as it is striking a balance or compromise it deems fair to sustain the precarious “social stability” it has achieved thus far.

It seems therefore counterproductive for us to play into the imagined dichotomy of the state – that we are against “we are against pinkdot”/ FCBC/ Wear White as if we are two monolithic categories that are irreconcilably at odds with each other. It does not have to be this way; I believe this binary can be dismantled through a more mindful engagement with both the state and other parts of society. The goal cannot be to silence, convert or ‘win over’ these more oppositional groups in society (as we would do with the more ambivalent/ apathetic 80%) that they have to or should accept that homosexuality is not a sin but to live in a plural society where we can live with differences and disagreement.

Ultimately, this incident was yet another example of the reactionary character of our movement and as much as such tactics have served us well over the past many years to gain attention and raise awareness, it might be time to move towards a more calculated mode of advocacy. The “other side” might think that we are engaged in the culture war of this decade, and that is precisely how it succeeds in preserving the status quo. I believe we would be mistaken to do the same; rather, the only way we will win this “war” is when we can show that this is in fact not a war.

(I may have missed out other important aspects in my analysis and would love to hear what others think about this, as I have been mulling over it since the news broke to much agony!)”

 (Err didn’t ask permission to use this.)

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