Singapore’s anti-LGBT summit organizers pack manifesto with culture war cliches

Organizer Jason Wong speaking at the townhall meeting in July. Photo: Jason Wong/Facebook
Organizer Jason Wong speaking at the townhall meeting in July. Photo: Jason Wong/Facebook

Weeks after a private town hall gathering opposed to the repeal of Singapore’s gay sex law set off LGBT communities, its organizers have petitioned the government with positions ripped from the usual far-right corners of the internet.

Organizers Jason Wong and Mohamed Khair have summarized the opposition to repealing Section 377A of Singapore’s penal code after 1,200 attended last month’s meeting at the Singapore Expo convention center. Clocking in at 82 pages – 20 of which list library books they don’t like – the document was reportedly forwarded to unspecified government agencies and lawmakers. 

“Late last week, we sent the Townhall Report elaborating on the concerns surfaced at the Townhall and our proposed way forward to our government and our Members of Parliament,” Wong wrote today, adding that they had made the report public for reference.

Wong is the former chairman of Christian values group Focus on the Family who now leads groups called Dads for Life movement and Yellow Ribbon Project. Khair is the CEO of SuChi Success Initiatives, a training and development company that promotes conservative Muslim values.

The duo along with other unidentified speakers argued that criminalizing sex between men was necessary to protect families, the institution of marriage, children, and freedom.

The first section of the report of any heft goes directly to their sense of persecution. The authors decry “the high degree of intolerance from certain LGBTQ+ activists or those who endorse LGBTQ+ ideas” and in the next sentence argue this unspecified opposition provides “yet another example of the threats to marriage and family.”

Much of the content, including warnings about “woke ideas,” are recycled talking points from the American culture wars, including criticism of libraries stocking books they object to.

Coconuts has reached out to representatives from LGBT+ rights groups Oogachaga and Pink Dot for comment on the manifesto.

Pink Dot earlier responded to the event by saying its organizers were putting their beliefs ahead of others’ rights.

“It is not right for a group to hold the whole country hostage on social progress, especially when the concessions that they are demanding in return for acceptance of repeal will disadvantage a group that they do not represent,” spokesperson Clement Tan said in a statement.

While any recommendations on their “proposed way forward” are not readily found beyond urging the government to maintain the law, two of the books they don’t like include one written by a trans author in which the repeal opponents “see hints” of a character attracted to men, and a book about a friendship between a fox and a kid with two dads.

LGBT groups clap back at townhall held against repealing Section 377A

The Protect Singapore Townhall – Safeguarding Our Future event spanned three hours and was attended by mostly middle-aged Singaporeans. It garnered criticism from LGBT communities and mixed reactions from the public.

Wong today said after the meeting, “thousands” of Singaporeans were on their side because of the “adverse impact” left on their daily lives by LGBT activism locally and globally. Also, he said “comprehensive safeguards” must be in effect before the law is repealed, without elaborating on what those were.

Among the “threats” laid out in the report regarding their meeting, the authors included police reports filed against the event which were dismissed as it did not break any laws, and accusations of discrimination.

Other stories you should check out: 

South Korean rapper honeymoons with German wife in Singapore (Photos)

Singapore couple in multi-million-dollar luxury goods scam finally charged with fraud

USS’ Halloween Horror Nights back to scare Singapore with new haunted houses this year

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