So I've been thinking about this whole Adam Lambert fiasco. The petitions
currently up right now are (1) to remove / ban (whichever you prefer) Adam
Lambert from performing in the 2016 New Year Celebrations lineup, citing a
variety of disagreeable values and ideas his performances will propagate, and
(2) to allow him to continue performing, citing discrimination. As of right
now it is about 16000 vs 16700 (so pretty much equal).
But I don't want to talk about who's right or who's wrong, or about the
numbers. I want to talk about our values. The values that we work so hard to
defend by the act of being pro-family.
As some background, I identify myself as a Christian and support the merits
of society's continued recognition of a stable nuclear heterosexual family as
beneficial to all. But above that I seek to love all those around me (in the
non-sexual, unconvoluted way) by providing them emotional and social support,
personally and as a society, irregardless of their beliefs or social
The consensus among us is that only through the traditional family will the
needs of every individual be best supported. We often cite research on
divorce rates among non-heterosexual families, HIV rates etc and argue on
behalf of protecting our children. And I fully approve and believe in this
But the very core of our compassion lies in wanting to provide the citizens
of Singapore the love that is needed. The love that can only be truly
experienced by having both a father and a mother playing their respective
roles. The love that no adaptive, modified version of a family will be able
to provide. This is a fundamental tenet that we believe in.
But what does signing this petition portray to those outside? We are
censoring Adam Lambert's voice. We disagree with his opinions and his values
and therefore he should be removed from the equation entirely. We seek to
deny his existence from the public sphere. For those who happen to be in the
minority group of pro-LGBT supporters in Singapore, we are, by definition,
discriminating against them by taking away their opportunity to share their
perspective with the rest of the national community. They have nominated
(metaphorically) Adam Lambert as their spokesperson and we are petitioning to
have their voices squelched out.
Is this showing them love? Is choosing to not to listen to their cries and
pleas and perspectives a display of our love for them? Or is this us
unknowingly putting forth a display of intolerance, apathy and self
This is a thought worth thinking about.
So while I initially signed the petition and voiced my support, upon further
scrutiny and discussion among peers I have come to realise the error in my,
in many of our actions. In our haste to condemn and share our disgust and
dissatisfaction with Adam Lambert's morals, we are telling a good number of
citizens that we are bigots.
I hereby withdraw my support for this petition. As a proponent of free speech
(and it is very much our right to free speech that we are able to justify
such an extreme stance in the public sphere), taking this stance would be
that of a hypocrite. The hypocrite who on one hand claims to support the
allowance of all voices to speak, big and small, those they support and those
they do not, and on the other attempting to silence those they disagree with.
Give the public their own freedom to be exposed and to be their own judges.
Just as much as we do not want to be censored, let's do the same in kind and
not censor others. Doing so will only make everything worse. We will damage
our credibility and our relationships with our friends and family who just so
happens to sit in the opposite camp. We need to persuade them over with our
words and actions, not shut them up and stamp on their parade. It foreseeably
gives them more of a reason to hate us.
While it is not comforting for us to see our society exposed to such
disagreeable influences, it is equally if not more harsh to pursue the denial
of their right to exist and be heard.