The US Supreme court strike down the “Defense Of Marriage Act” yesterday as unconstitutional, to the rejoice of many of course. However, let’s not forget that it was a 5-4 voting, pretty close if you ask me.
Naturally, many Singaporeans will now turn to Singapore arguing how archaic our laws are and how unequal it is. Unfortunately for us, we don’t have the fifth amendment like the US nor a comprehensive human rights bill in the constitution. Also our jurisdiction is still perceived as not independent of the ruling government party and we are 100 steps backwards; we still don’t have gay rights yet, don’t even talk about marriage.
When the high courts refused to rule against 377a as unconstitutional, many gay folks lamented how terrible they felt and decreed the end of their happiness as a gay person in Singapore. Honestly, looking at those who said this, I can only surmise that they are mostly very young and naïve and/or closeted or at least not entirely out yet (they may go to gay bars and bath houses, but not out anywhere else). Most if not all of them blamed 377a for their sad state of affairs and of not being about to “opening” hold their partner’s hand or have a relationship recognised by others or even out as a gay person. The closet certain grew lots of mould and ticks into the brains of these people.
Another group will declare that they will migrate to countries which would accept them as gay person and where they can get married and live happily after, or so they hoped. What this group forget is how long it took for those countries to achieve the rights which they have; the struggles that the citizens had to go through and the ordeals of discrimination, hatred or even violence against them. To compare their state of affair to Singapore is like a 2 year old baby wondering why he is not fly a Boeing 747. Also this reveals, to me, a quick fix mentality and a personality that only wants good things to come their way, but not putting any efforts themselves to achieve them. Which is why they can only think of escaping to gay friendly countries, but forgetting how much struggles those countries had to go through before they are where they are.
Does this mean that we should wait 10 or 20 years or wait for the government’s change of mind in order to get 377a repealed? Of course not, if 377a could be repealed today and if gay marriage is allow today in Singapore, why not and why wait? But equality takes effort and time, maybe not necessarily proportional to the effort and time. Nevertheless, this is something I hope gay people work towards, if this is what they want.
So for those lamenting again as DOMA is struck down, my question to you is how much personal effort have you put up to get what you want?