Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Same Sex Marriage

By way of introduction, Andrew Sullivan is a prominent blogger in the United States. He is homosexual, Catholic and a conservative. What is most important about Mr Sullivan is that he is lucid and eloquent.

I cannot do better than to point my readerst to this post.

"I remember a story told by a friend during the plague years. He was visiting a dying friend in hospital and a couple of beds down the ward from his friend, the curtains were drawn around a patient. From behind the curtains, he could hear a man softly singing a show-tune. "Well, at least that guy's keeping his spirits up," my friend remarked. "Actually," his dying friend replied, "the man in that bed died this morning and was taken away by his family. That's his boyfriend. The family won't let him go to the funeral or ever see his spouse's body again. They've kicked him out of their apartment. It wasn't his name on the lease. So he's just sitting there, singing their favorite song to an empty bed. It's the last time he'll get that close to his husband. The nurses didn't have the heart to tell him to leave yet. He's been there for hours.""

Singapore's greatest flaw is not its inability to debate. It's greatest flaw is its inability to confront. We've lived too long in a city where the homeless are out of plain sight, religious and racial sensitivities get undiscussed but somehow acted upon, and a magic vacuum cleaner exists to santise our words, thoughts and deeds so no difficult questions ever have to be dealt with, merely discussed.

I wonder what I would do if I was there at the hospital. Don't you?

(Hat Tip to Zach for putting this link up on his blog, and for pointing out that Mr Sullivan is a conservative, not a Republican.)


Zachary Drake said...

Hey Anthony, I'm glad to see this story spread.

one minor point: Andrew Sullivan is a conservative in the obsolete limited government, Burkean, libertarian mold. He isn't a Republican and has been distancing himself from them a lot recently. He extremely reluctantly endorsed Kerry in the 2004 presidential election.

He is a very good writer, and even when I disagree with him I find him interesting to read.

Anthony said...

Hey Zach,

Thanks for the correction. I'm not sure I fully understand the implications of US politics at the moment, so forgive me for equating conservatives with Republicans.

I'm glad to spread the story. Singapore has only recently decriminalised consensual homosexual sex. It really goes to show how far back we are.

-ben said...

He is homosexual, Catholic and a conservative.

Is there any particular reason why Sullivan's sexual orientation is mentioned first?

I have nothing against Andrew Sullivan. In fact, I enjoy his writings and have quoted him on more than one occasion. I ask this question because there seems to be a significant segment of gays out there who seem to define themselves mainly -- and stridently -- by their sexual preferences. I think it is this "in your face" attitude that creates unnecessary friction between gays and certain segments of the population. You may or may not know what I am talking about. I.e. individuals who, within a minute of first meeting you, thrust their sexual orientation in your face. As far as I know, for those of the heterosexual persuasion, only frat boys and sleezebags do that. Thus, the negative response experienced may not be so much homophobia but simply an outraged sense of decorum or simply disgust with poor manners.

I am not homophobic. I have friends who are homosexuals. In fact, one of my mentors is one. The similarity among all of them is that they do not wave it like some sort of battle flag; they do not parade it before others and demand respect; they live their lives just like any other individuals -- well-rounded individuals, and keep their private lives private. This is not to say they hide in the closet. Far from that, but they do not advertise their sexual preferences. For example, I do not need to know that such-and-such a professor enjoys being tied up and tickled with a feather by his wife, and decorum would dictate that he keep such details to himself. To expect the same from the homosexual crowd is neither unfair, discriminatory, nor unrealistic.

An interesting trend: many first gay couples to marry, file for divorce shortly thereafter.

Lesbian couple married in Massachusetts files for divorce in Rhode Island.

Ontario lesbian couple marry, separated 5 days later, seeks divorce.

Married British gay couple seeks annulment.

First gay divorce heads for courts in South Africa.

And who says God doesn't have a sense of humor?


Anthony said...


As far as I know, Sullivan doesn't identify himself solely as being homosexual. Neither does he attempt to use it as a battle standard.

I identified him as being homosexual first because the article was pertaining primarily to same-sex marriage rights. The article obviously hits him harder than it would a heterosexual, which is why I sought to identify it as a potential source of bias.

I understand your concern - no one needs to have their sexual preferences thrust in anyone's face. In a social context I understand where you are coming from.

In terms of agitating for legal change though, how -else- do you do that apart from being so annoying that people can't ignore you? That I think is the core of civil disobedience.