In a recently FB posting on the interview with Oogachaga, K Shanmugam, the Singapore Law Minister, mentioned the following:
Subsequently, I met with other people, some of whom are opposed to LGBT lifestyles.They also raised with me the issue of harassment, this time, by LGBT groups against those who don’t support the cause. I gave them the same answer: harassment is not acceptable. If a line is crossed, action will be taken. And POHA offers civil remedies. They also said that in foreign financial institutions, young people who are opposed to LGBT causes are subject to a great deal of pressure to go out and support the LGBT cause, despite their personal beliefs. I asked them to give me some details.
From the above report, I guess that these young people are those who had joined the firms under their graduate programs. In general when young people from the graduate programs join a firm, they will be put through the paces and they will be exposed to the various diversity programs and values in which the firm hold dear.
Are these young people justified to complain? Let’s put it another way, if my religious believes say that women should stay at home and is only a property, am I justified to complain that it’s against having to support women’s network in that firm? Granted no one is being forced to kiss another person or forced to eat meat when one is a vegan.
The diversity programs in these firms reflects it’s values and commitment towards its employees and customers and their families. Graduates are put through all these programs because they need to be aligned to the firm’s values and also because they are potentially future senior managers and senior leaders themselves. From the point of view of the firm, these young people surely don’t fit the values espoused by the firm. If as a new joiner, they are so easily upset and so disgusted by the diversity program, what happens when they rise to more senior levels in future? How can one ensure equality and no biasness for workers under them? Will they bring their religious values in accessing their subordinates too? What impression will the customers have if such pathology is allowed in the firm?
If you as a young person, you are already so upset by this, you should just quit and stop being a hypocrite. It an oxymoron to boycott rainbow cakes or firms’ supporting pink dot but yet continue working in a firm that also believes in good family values and equality.
Personally, I hope that firms will take a strong stance on this and not fall prey to such religious blackmailing. If the young people don’t believe in the same diversity values, they don’t belong in the firm period. Is it bigotry? No. Because when a young brain is already that damaged, it will bring more harm to the rest of the firm’s and, ultimately, in losing customers, if they are allowed to fester.
Support for diversity doesn’t mean we should allow all elements equal opportunities. There are elements that directly harm diversity itself and they should not have an equal footing on the same platform. This is what makes diversity truly successful.