The recent decision by National Library Board (NLB) to take two children books that appear to propagate lgbt lifestyle off its shelves has garnered quite a bit of a storm from both sides of the divide. Those who are against the ban cited the usual diatribe about freedom of expression and ideas. Those who are for the ban, cited the need for the NLB to reflect the mainstream cultural norms of Singapore.
One thing that those who are against the ban failed to understand is that the ban has got nothing to do with freedom of expression because freedom of expression must always have limits. Even the supposedly freest country in the world, the USA, has its limits. Instead, it has a lot to do with protecting the children. By and large, Singaporeans have gotten used to the gay lifestyles. They have accepted the existence of the lgbt community within the society. Kumar, who is blatantly gay, has become a comedic icon somewhat. But do Singaporeans want him to be a role model for their children? Nope.
Gay lifestyles and choices should be left to the adults to ponder. Children are too young to understand or taught about a lifestyle that even the adults are divided on its merits, especially in Singapore where conservative and traditionalist forces are still strong. As far as they are concerned, lgbt lifestyle is deviant and abnormal and should be left in the fringes of mainstream culture and values. To have children books espousing the values of gay and gay parenthood available in the national libraries is bringing a controversial matter too close into the comfort zone. In this regard, the action by the NLB to remove the gay titles is justified because Singapore is still by and large a conservative nation. In short, Singapore is not ready.
And this has raised the spectre of the gay agenda being brought into Singapore shores. The term `gay agenda’ first appeared in the US and has been used by some social conservatives to describe alleged goals of LGBT rights activists, such as recruiting heterosexuals into what they term a ‘homosexual lifestyle’. It argues that after the gay liberation phase of the 1970s and 1980s, gay rights groups should adopt more professional public relations techniques to convey their message where they laid out a six-point plan for how they could transform the beliefs of ordinary Americans with regard to homosexual behavior — in a decade-long time frame. In their private publications, homosexual activists make it very clear that there is an agenda. The six-point agenda that they laid out in 1989 was explicit:
1. Talk about gays and gayness as loudly and as often as possible
2. Portray gays as victims, not as aggressive challengers
3. Give homosexual protectors a just cause
4. Make gays look good
5. Make the victimizers look bad
6. Get funds from corporate America
So the question is; are the books that somehow or rather managed to worm their way into the national libraries, part of this agenda? And are the vitriol by the lgbt quarters regarding the ban also form part of this agenda? The lgbt community will have to thread carefully if they want to be accepted by the mainstream and to be pugnacious and loud in protesting against the ban is not the way. It will only lead to them getting ostracized even further.