Dec 3, 2009
Changes to law may add to problems
I REFER to last Thursday's report, 'Court to mistress: Law can't help you', in which Judge of Appeal Chao Hick Tin was quoted as suggesting that the law be changed to protect innocent children born out of wedlock.
I sympathise with the children caught in this unfortunate episode. However, while changing the law may protect innocent children born out of wedlock today, it may also create a side effect - that is, encourage women with little or no moral values to prey on married man for monetary gain.
While changes to the law may discourage some men from making the mistake of taking a mistress, many will still fall prey to the temptations of lust.
Furthermore, changing the law will not solve the bigger issue of discouraging reckless adults from adding more illegitimate offspring to society. Irresponsible people with little or no values should not bring children into this world - causing them to suffer. Changing the law may even lead to more social problems over time.
Marriage is a sacred affair. There is no secrecy to the relationship because the two partners in life willingly and openly show devotion to each other, an important value in Singapore which is emphasised in law.
As a married woman, I sympathise more with the innocent widow. I cannot imagine the pain the lawfully wedded woman had to go through - first losing her husband, then finding out he has another family and then having to go through a legal tussle to protect her husband's estate that rightfully belongs to her and her children.
Compassion can be a motivating factor to create a law, but the spirit of the law should continue to protect the innocent.
The fact that the widow in this case offered the mistress monthly maintenance shows she is truly magnanimous and compassionate.
Claudia Tan (Mrs)
[I think the point the judge was trying to make is that the children of the mistress are innocent. They did not choose to be born out of wedlock, and there is injustice to them. As for the pain of the widow, not being in her shoes, and not having spoken to her, one can hardly claim to understand her or her feelings. In trying to "punish" the wrong-doers i.e. the immoral mistresses, the writer ignores the the morality of the husbands. In castigating the irresponsibility of the women, she overlooks the responsibility of the men. In the middle are the innocent children, labelled illegitimate, and given fewer rights because of their "illegitimacy". The concept of legitimacy is outdated. Morality cannot be legislated.]
Respect is fine but don't glorify
I REFER to Tuesday's letter by Mr Harvey Neo, 'Respect those outside traditional family'.
I agree with his view that people with alternative views and lifestyles should be treated with respect, empathy, compassion and tolerance. However, I also share the concerns of the Anglican Church of Singapore regarding the increasing trend to glorify lifestyles alternative to the traditional family. I am not an Anglican but the church's concerns resonate with me - and I believe they resonate with the silent majority of Singapore.
In my workplace, I work with and I have hired gays and single parents, and I am entirely blind to their lifestyle choices. I have good friends who are gay. To me, their lifestyle is a personal choice and has no bearing whatsoever on their character and the work that they do.
However, I draw the line if I am expected to somehow 'celebrate' and support their lifestyle. I draw the line if I am regarded as a bigot or a lesser human being if I do not approve of the alternative lifestyle.
While a single parent can justifiably be proud to have brought up her child despite her single parenthood, I do not think single parenthood in itself is anything to be proud of or celebrated. In the same vein, gays are entitled to their views and lifestyle, and they should not be subjected to any pressure to conform or, worse, somehow convert to be 'normal' heterosexuals. But in my view, they are not entitled to expect non-gays to celebrate and approve of their lifestyle.
I think the line is crossed when respect, empathy, compassion and tolerance are not regarded as sufficient any more; and the silent majority are expected to actively endorse and approve alternative lifestyles. The silent majority are entitled to their views and should not be vilified for supporting traditional family values.
[He has a point: "I'm not anti-gay, I'm pro-traditional family." ]
Dec 7, 2009
Lesbian bishop elected in LA
LOS ANGELES - THE Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles has elected the second openly homosexual bishop since the national church lifted a ban on gays in the church's highest ordained ministry, the church announced.
The leader of the world Anglicans, the Archbishop of Canterbury, immediately issued a statement saying the development raised 'serious questions' about the Episcopal Church's place in the Anglican Communion.
The Reverend Canon Mary Glasspool, 55, who has openly maintained a relationship with another woman since 1988, was elected bishop by members of the Episcopal church at their annual convention here.
Another gay candidate, the Reverend John Kirkley of San Francisco, withdrew late Friday, the church announcement said. Rev Glasspool received 153 votes in the clergy order and 203 lay votes, meeting the required majority of ballots after the Convention's necessary quorum was declared.
Consent to the election of Rev Glasspool by the bishops and standing committees of the Episcopal Church's other 108 dioceses will now be requested under longstanding denominational procedures.
'I am very excited about the future of the whole Episcopal Church, and I see the Diocese of Los Angeles leading the way into that future,' said Rev Glasspool, a native of Staten Island, New York, whose father was also an Episcopal priest. -- AFP
[Then we have this. Presumably the Episcopal Church is no gay dominated and the election of a lesbian bishop would be because of her dedication, competence and spiritual leadership, and not simply because she's lesbian. Then to deny her the post on the grounds that she is lesbian would be discriminatory.]