Here is the reply I sent to ST Forum on Tan Keng Soon’s letter which we archived in PLURALSG. Don’t know if it ever gets posted though:
I refer to Tan Keng Soon’s letter on ST Forum Online “‘Sexually challenged’ isn’t anoffensive term referring to gays”, dated May 26.
In the letter, Mr. Tan made claims without any evidences from credible scientific research papers and institutions. He called people with same-sex attraction abnormal, but many credible psychological institutions, including those in Singapore, America and England, sees same-sex attraction as part of the human sexuality landscape and do not see it as an abnormality. This is like Mr. Tan saying that the earth is flat without needing to proof it.
He also tries to use unsubstantiated claims by suggesting that he knows what the “law of nature” and its “intend” is. Ask any credible biologists or anthropologist and they will tell you that one cannot explicitly define the “law of nature” nor its “intend”.
Furthermore, some teachings like Buddhism view same-sex attraction as part of the natural laws and treats the subject with an equal weighting as opposite-sex attraction without discrimination, judgement nor moralistic views. Even if Buddhist teachings ever does disagree with same-sex attraction, Buddhists will not seek to impose their values to the rest of the society through discriminatory laws that promote discrimination, inequality and division.
With that, Mr. Tan also inferred that infertile people, couples who choose not to procreate or those who chose to be celibate like Buddhist monks, go against law of nature and hence are abnormal since they do reproduce as nature intended.
The writer associated being deaf and blind as an abnormality just like same-sex attraction. By this association, is he indirectly implying that there should also be laws to discriminate against those who are abnormal like deaf and blind and prevent them from have equal rights and protection, since he surely agrees with the law that discriminates against homosexual.
On the whole, Mr. Tan seems confused as to the position he wants to take.
Firstly, he claims that same-sex attraction is abnormal but inborn like a disability. Then, he claims that if we teach our young that same-sex attraction is normal, they will take to it like bees to honey. Is he then suggesting that all people including young children are born with this abnormal disability, if not how can just teaching them about homosexuality make them have same-sex attraction? Then again, if everyone is born with that same disability, won’t this make it normal?
Secondly, Mr. Tan think that all children are either very malleable, stupid or cannot discern for themselves what they like or dislike. Any parents can tell you about how difficult it is to force their own children to practice piano, study or eat vegetables if they really don’t want to. Here,however, Mr. Tan is suggesting that the mere mention that “same-sex attraction is okay” will cause children to sudden have urges of same-sex attraction and experiment with it. This is as ludicrous as suggesting that just because one is taught how to use a condom, one will surely want to have sex.
Lastly, he makes reference to ancient Greece where it was socially acceptable to have same-sex attraction. Is Mr. Tan suggesting that if our society becomes socially acceptable to same-sex attraction, then he and his friends would try it out with a same sex partner?