I congratulate our American family and friends today as the USA becomes the 21st country in the world to legalise same-sex marriage. It has been a long and hard battle, with many sacrifices made along the way to achieve this phenomenal result. Congratulations!
White House had a new Twitter Avatar after the ruling was annouced.
12 years ago, the Supreme Court ruled anti-sodomy laws to be unconstitutional. 12 years later, the Supreme Court has finally ruled that same-sex marriage bans are unconstitutional as well. I hope this opens the doors for better protection of the LGBT community, especially in respects to healthcare, insurance and the rights of their families. The battle is not over, but today’s victory is definitely a significant milestone.
This was only achieved because America recognises that “all Americans are entitled to equal protection under the law” as stated by President Obama. One of the things the justices pointed out in their ruling was that extending the right to marry protects families and “without the recognition, stability, and predictability marriage offers, children suffer the stigma of knowing their families are somehow lesser.”
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Leong recently said that Singapore “is not ready for same-sex marriage” and that there is “considerable resistance” even in developed countries. Well, it is no longer “state by state” in America. In fact, they no longer have same-sex marriage. It’s just marriage now. I agree that “There is a trend in developed countries” and that trend is in favour of equal rights.
Singapore has always been proud of our meteoric rise from developing country to developed country in less than 50 years. We consider ourselves to be a mature nation, capable of holding our own on the world stage. More and more developed countries are moving to legalise same-sex marriage. When will it be our turn?
With the anti-sodomy law (377A) still in place, it is apparent we have an uphill battle to fight before enjoying equality. As long as 377A exists, the LGBT community will continued to be viewed as wrong and against the law. This is really institutionalized homophobia. Our marriages are not recognised in Singapore. Our children are not granted the same protection and rights as their peers. I don’t really want to wait for another 10 or 20 years for equality and I believe most of my friends feel the same way.
I know Prime Minister Lee Hsien Leong has stated that “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.”
Regardless of entrenched views, conservative society or otherwise, I think the time has come for the government to take the lead in facilitating this discussion. I believe the logical path forward is for our leaders recognise that it is their responsibility to provide equality for all Singaporeans. My hope is that we can start having the conversation now instead of waiting for Singapore to be ready.