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Sunday, December 19, 2004

Hear Hear.

A brilliant rejoinder by Caleb...


Firstly, how did this bitch gain tenure at NUS law fac? This woman should not be teaching law. Pottery perhaps, or table etiquette, but not law. Her conception of law seems to predate HLA Hart and is disturbingly monistic and "utilitarian" in a what-is-good-for-ME-is-good-for-everybody-therefore-this-should-be-made-law way.

Secondly, her argument is totally absurd:

>The police noted in their press statement that they had noticed
>same-sex couples 'openly kissing and intimately touching each
>other' during other Fridae.com-organised events.

Well yes but as far as I am aware (though I must admit I am not much aware of S'popo law -- I just found out today that all land in S'popo is owned by the state in a weird neo-feudal kind of way) same-sex couples are not legally disallowed from 'kissing and intimately touching each other' in private. What is illegal is oral and anal sex (for both hets and gays) and gay PDAs. Though these couples 'openly' conducted their activities according to the police report, the fact that it was during a Fridae event means it was not open (public) at all but private. There is therefore no basis in law (the basis on which the police are supposed to operate) to ban the Fridae party on this count.

>Furthermore, they noted that the use
>by patrons of toilets meant for the opposite sex suggested
>most patrons were 'probably gays or lesbians and that the
>event was almost exclusively for them'.

This is wrong in so many ways. Most gays use male toilets and most lesbians use female toilets. It is only transsexuals who use the toilets of their assumed gender. This gem of a turd produced by the police has no implications for the sexual orientation of patrons, only on their perceived gender identities. But of course, in this vale of misinformation and obstinacy, ppl still insist on confusing homosexuality with transgender issues.

More brainlessly, the argument is incoherent. If they said that 'almost all' of even 'most' patrons used toilets meant for the opposite sex, then they would have been logically consistent (though not factually correct) in saying that most of the patrons were homosexual and that the event was gay-targeted. BUT their point here is that an unspecified but probably insignificant number of patrons used toilets meant for the opposite sex therefore 'most' patrons were probably homo and that the event was meant 'almost exclusively' for them. This is the most faulty logic I have ever read since attending a David Liew lecture.

Most brainlessly, considering that Fridae is a gay and lesbian website, the fact that the events it organises attract and are meant for homosexuals is not exactly surprising. Were I to attend a meeting of the Legion of Mary, I would really not be like 'Oh my God, that woman is clutching a rosary and saying a Hail Mary. How odd!!! I thought she would be reading a tract by Zwingli and Calvin and calling the Pope the Antichrist!!' No really I wouldn't.

>As Straits Times Senior Writer Andy Ho noted recently: 'It is
>homosexuals who engaged in condomless anopenetrative sex
>that are culpable of spreading HIV in Singapore', causing
>the 'second wave of HIV here and worldwide'.

I know he is *Senior Writer* but that does not mean he is an authority. So how does quoting him establish anything? (Might I suggest the ST invent a new post of Writer Mentor? This would surely lend greater weight to its pronouncements.) And "anopenetrative" is a very ugly word. Written by a very ugly Senior Writer.

>To facilitate or allow such activities to carry on unchecked would
>constitute a gross breach of the public trust and be highly
>irresponsible. The Aids problem cannot be ignored.
>
>Blatant flaunting of homosexual activities is offensive to the
>conservative mainstream which wants to see enduring standards
>of public decency and morality upheld - it would be regressive
>to allow this to degenerate.

Once again the the-public-good-is-MY-good mentality surfaces. I do not agree with the conservative argument that certain restraints such as censorship must be imposed so that public morality is upheld. But it is a respectable argument (for example, if there were a spectacle in which a perfectly consenting Christian martyr is torn apart by lions in an arena while watched by baying crowds, the govt would not be unjustified in stepping in to stop it, even though the martyr may be consenting and even glory in her public mauling. That is because apart from the evil of her death there is also the evil that the crowd becomes depraved in watching this spectacle.) However, this argument is clearly inapplicable here. For Fridae did not publicise this event on national tv, complete with images of gays performing unmentionable anopenetrative acts. I assure you that the conservative 'mainstream' was not aware of the very existence of this event. 'Public morality' cannot be depraved when the public is not aware of this event. And even if the public were aware, there is no consensus that this awareness would lead to them being depraved.

Furthermore, since the majority of ppl are het and as the writer asserts, 'conservative', even if they bought tickets and went, they would not be depraved and have their impeccable standards of morality lowered. They would either be indifferent or disgusted and they would certainly not join in the fun. As conservatives who are so 'offended' they would hardly participate in such a -- private -- function and as hets they would not join in the fun as to them it would not be fun. Her argument that allowing gay parties depraves public morals is therefore deeply flawed. If she had been against showing graphic gay sex on tv should might have had more of a case.

Also...

She is so utterly wrong. To criminalise and suppress homosexual sex would be to exacerbate the Aids problem. Since, as she seems to concede, gay men and women exist, then it should follow that they have sex -- gay sex. If we were to publicly discuss gay sex, then young gay men might be better educated as to the dangers of barebacking and be more likely to use condoms. They would not, as some of them currently are, be misled by shitheads within the gay community who think that barebacking is fun and not that unsafe.

Her policy is wrong, both on grounds of legal principle and in terms of its practical effect. She should shut up soon, retire, and spend her days reading Hans Kung, Rowan Williams and Home & Garden.

- Caleb.

6 Comments:

Blogger The Legal Janitor said...

The argument FOR discrimination and prejudice against gays from the perspective of HIV infections is illogical. As I have pointed out before, how is gay sex a threat to heterosexuals?

Even if gay sex is ONLY (which it is not) vector of transmission of the HIV virus, I fail to see how the HIV virus can make the leap from gay to straight, unless you're talking about rape or needles. The threat of HIV transmissions to heteros do NOT come from gays. It comes from other heteros.

Hence the argument that gays and gay sex should be proscribed because they transmit HIV is a straw man, designed to inflame the masses and spread FUD (fear uncertainty and doubt) about gays.

The real surprising thing is the amount of stupid and illogical arguments being issued from the mouths of supposed intelligent people. I'd say that if a person of Thio Li-Ann's intellectual capacity can be a tenured professor at NUS, then I think a wannabe like myself can surely be qualified as well. So is the Vice-Chancellor reading this? =D

December 20, 2004 1:49 am  
Blogger the truth is rarely pure and never simple said...

I have recently discovered that Thio Li-Ann is considered a regional authority on constitutional law and that her mother, Thio Su-Mien, who has also publicly expressed strongly homophobic views and has lauded Singapore's anti-sodomy laws, was once the DEAN of NUS law. This is disturbing, to say the least. Oddly, though Thio Li-Ann is generally liberal in terms of constitutional matters (she objected to the curbing of the powers of the elected president) though her religious convictions w.r.t. homosexuality seem to have won over her otherwise liberal sensibilities.

March 06, 2005 1:33 am  
Blogger ivan said...

the truth is...:
i was just about to mention the same thing as you. By the way Dr Thio isn't liberal, she is through and through conservative, believing in the book, in her case it would be Hart and Dicey. A strong believer of the rule of law, and separation of powers. It then follows her "lauding" of anti-homosexuality is not surprising and in fact in tune with her convictions. an illustration, when britain tried to legalise homesexuality, it was opposed by the house of lords, to avoid going down the salisbury route, the gov opted for the concession of having a higher age of consent for homosexual act. It was only recently in the Sexual offences Act 2003 that the age of consent for homsexual acts was lowered to be on par with heterosexual sexual activity.

just though you'd find it interesting :D

March 24, 2005 3:14 pm  
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October 13, 2005 7:33 pm  
Blogger O2 said...

TSM doesn't teach on the NUS Law Faculty. She was formerly a Dean of the School yes, but as I recall, she currently runs her own firm TSM, having been part of a group of lawyers who walked out on another big name firm some years ago.

December 20, 2005 6:19 am  

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