29 June 2015

Singapore Warns Gays From Pushing Their Agenda

Singapore PM Lee
ABS-CBN reporter Tony Velasquez was in Singapore for a 5-day visit by ASEAN journalists who were invited to see firsthand the progress Singapore has achieved in its 50 years as an independent nation.

Velasquez was also part of the group that were allowed to ask questions to Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. And the question he asked was very timely because it reinforced the belief of many Asians that gay marriage has no place in the region.

Velasquez exact wrods were: "Same sex marriage seems to be taking off in other more developed countries. Is Singapore ready to take that issue as well?"

Prime Minister Lee's answer was quick, short and directly confident. "No, I do not think Singapore is ready."

"In Singapore, there is a range of views," he went on to explain. "There are gay groups in Singapore. There are gay people in Singapore. And they have a place to stay here, and we let them live their own lives. And we do not harass them, or discriminate against them."

And then he emphasized, "But neither, I think, if you ask most Singaporeans, do we want the LGBT community to set the tone for Singapore society. The society is basically a conservative one. It is changing, but it is changing gradually. And there are different views, including views especially from the religious groups who push back. And it is completely understandable."

PM Lee wrapped up his reply in a forceful tone and a stern warning. "There is space for the gay community, but they should not push the agenda too hard. Because if they push the agenda too hard, there will be a very strong pushback. And this is not an issue where there is a possibility that the two sides can discuss, and eventually come to a consensus. Now these are very entrenched views, and the more you discuss, the angrier people get."

Good move Singapore!