Thursday, August 23, 2007

I'm Gay so now I can't Jog?

I've always enjoyed jogging, it's rhythmic, it doesn't require any mental effort beyond pacing yourself and it's certainly good exercise. Which is why it's the one form of exercise (other than sex which doesn't count cause it's so enjoyable) that I can get myself to do on a regular basis even though I haven't been religiously doing so as of late. The news about the list of gay events that were cancelled in rapid succession wasn't really news to me, after all this is Singapore and anything that is 'unconventional' or 'promotes an alternative lifestyle' is deemed as 'going against our conservative values and family values that Singaporeans cherish.' Like please, people have a brain of their own, let them decide.

Anyway, the entry on Mr Wang's blog about the police harassing a group of 40 gay and lesbian men and women, prohibiting them from running as a group just set me off. It's downright ridiculous why the Police have so much spare time on their hands to harass 40 homosexuals on a Saturday morning and prevent them from jogging as a group. Don't they have better things to do? Like spending the time currently directed towards harassing and entrapping homosexuals, solving cases and enforcing real law and order instead. And the joggers were simply 40 men and women out for a jog on a Saturday morning, they weren't disruptive or out to create public disorder.

It's become a norm, an accepted policy to target homosexuals or events perceived to have a homosexual agenda/slant in the name of the greater good. So much so that some of the police officers didn't even know the correct Act the alleged offence was committed under, let alone the correct section. Indignation's post on the incident cites Inspector Kelvin Yeo as stating the offence was committed under the Miscellaneous Offences Act(but he didn't know the section). The correct act and provision should be Section 141 of the Penal Code for Unlawful Assembly(unlawful gathering of 5 or more people with a common object to commit an offence, etc).

But then again the elements of the offence would not be satisfied. The 40 gay men and women were not there with the common objective of commiting any trespass, offence or mischief. They weren't there to compel others to commit any crime by show of criminal force. They weren't even nude. All they wanted was to go jogging. But apparently that's 'illegal' too. I was born in Singapore and this will probably continue to be the place I'll stay in at least for the foreseeable future. But it's hard to be 100% proud of your country when it's not even proud of you in the first place.

Comments and posts by a young PAP member on the young PAP blog that borders on downright bigotry, only encourages greater prejudice and reinforces the notion that gay men and women are second-class citizens in their country due to their sexuality. It is even more disturbing because a young professional PAP member who might possibly be one day governing the nation is making such lame and repulsive remarks online and feels justified in doing so. 'We threaten the societal fabric of the Country? We cannot procreate and are thus unworthy?' Makes one's blood boil.

The way things currently stand, we don't ask for much, just greater acceptance and an open mindset free from the bigoted views held by that young PAP member. It's bad enough with entrapment, bad enough knowing that everytime we have sex, it's illegal. At least let us jog in peace.

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