Section 377A: A lesson from history?

Women's SuffrageAs we head into a by-election to start off the year 2013, it is fitting to remind ourselves that exactly a hundred years ago, women were still fighting for their right to vote. The women’s suffrage movement lasted many years, and was at its peak in the 1910s. Eventually, the UK finally granted women partial rights in 1918, followed by full rights in 1928. The US had the Nineteen Amendment ratified in 1921.

Today, nobody in his sound mind would dare proclaim that it is wrong to allow women to vote. Yet, back then, opposition against this right was very strong, with reasons that would appear to the rational person today as illogical, mis-informed or prejudiced.

I shall not go into what’s right or wrong about Section 377A, but I find the arguments presented by Pastor Lawrence Khong against its repeal very similar to those against women’s suffrage. Here is a fictitious appeal against women’s suffrage to show how incredulous such a statement will read today. The appeal is modelled after Pastor Khong’s statements [a][b], but worded with real arguments by people against the suffrage movement a hundred years ago. While circumstances behind women’s suffrage and gay rights are no doubt very different, we see the same sort of floodgates argument and frightful scenarios.

Appeal against Women’s Suffrage (circa 1913)

Sir, we are convinced that there’s no better starting point for this noble endeavour than the Family.

Therefore, we are committed as a church to build strong families in Singapore.

We affirm that the family unit comprises a man as Father, a woman as Mother, and Children. This is the basic building block of society, a value foundational for a secure future, a premise fundamental to nation-building.

We see a looming threat to this basic building block by suffragettes seeking for the women’s right to vote.

Examples from around the world have shown that the repeal of similar laws have led to negative social changes, especially the breakdown of the family as a basic building block and foundation of the society. If the vote was given to women, it might cause political disagreements with their husbands and consequently accelerate the break-up of the family. In short, women were a civilising element in society. Forcing women into a public, political role would detract from their femininity or, as William Gladstone put it, “trespass upon their delicacy, their purity, their refinement, the elevation of their whole nature”. Giving women the vote, therefore, would damage their femininity[1].

Women should keep out of the political arena. Their strength lay within the family providing support, inspiration and raising children. Women would be corrupted by politics and chivalry would die out. If women became involved in politics, they would stop marrying, having children, and the human race would die out[2].

To any woman out there seeking the right to vote, I want to say: God loves you. The Bible (God’s Word) unequivocally calls me and my fellow Christians to love you unconditionally. While we reject sin, we love and accept the sinner. But God has clearly imposed upon us that each sex is wisely and well adapted to the proper performance of the duties of each[3].

The appropriate duties and influence of woman are stated in the New Testament. The power of woman is in her dependence, flowing from the consciousness of the weakness which God has given her for her protection. When she assumes the place and tone of man as a public reformer, she yields the power which God has given her and her character becomes unnatural[4].

Having said all the above with genuine sincerity, please understand that, as concerned citizens of Singapore, we are NOT against women, but we are unapologetically against the women’s suffrage agenda. And that makes a world of difference.

Nothing can be further from our minds than to seek to depreciate the position or the importance of women. It is because we are keenly alive to the enormous value of their special contribution to the community, that we oppose what seems to us likely to endanger that contribution. We are convinced that the pursuit of a mere outward equality with men is for women not only vain but leads to a total misconception of woman’s true dignity and special mission[5].

Please understand that the women’s suffrage agenda is a political movement. It is well-funded internationally. The objective is to restructure societies so that suffrage becomes universal and traditional core values are thrown aside and trampled upon. Suffragettes have a well-thought out plan. It comes in five steps:

1. Enfranchisement of women through limited voting rights.
2. Political empowerment of women.
3. Anti-discrimination laws e.g. pushing for further rights for women
4. Universal suffrage[6]
5. Rights to political office, e.g. MPs, cabinet ministers and judges[7]

Can you see now that the repeal of the denial to vote is pivotal to the implementation of the women’s suffrage movement? Once repealed, the door opens to everything else. There will be no distinction between men and women in families. This will naturally lead to the political empowerment of women.

Once we admit any section of females to the right to the Parliamentary vote, it must ultimately lead to adult (universal) suffrage[6]. Because in some states there are more voting women than voting men, this will place the Government under petticoat rule[8].

The next step is to seek anti-discrimination laws to establish once and for all that that men and women must have equal rights. It builds on the premise that women want the right to vote. I do not wish to discuss this now. Suffice it to say, that there is no evidence that the majority of women wants to vote. In effect, anti-discrimination laws will reverse-discriminate against anyone who does not believe in women’s suffrage. We will be prohibited to voice our moral and religious views on the issue. I am told that at least three churches in Canada were attacked by militants because the pastor spoke up against the agenda.

Women’s political rights will be taught in schools as the accepted norm and parents will have no rights, no say over that. To speak against this would be deemed discriminatory. Future posts on this appeal will feature more cases in which freedom of speech and freedom of religion have been denied those who hold different views from that of the suffragette community.

Once anti-discrimination laws are passed, the inevitable next step is universal suffrage. After all, no one can object anymore or else he or she will be found guilty of violating the anti-discrimination laws. All this leads to further rights to government and political office.

There is one more step: the enactment of “hate crimes” legislation! These are laws which make it an offence to say anything against women’s suffrage. This drives the final nail into the coffin of freedom of speech and freedom of religion.

This is the end game of the suffragette agenda. Some of you may say: “No, this is not going happen to Singapore.” Think again. Many have said that too about their own nation. We have seen this agenda advance step by step in countries around the world. We must not allow women the right to vote, because when we do that, we open the door of our nation to unbridled destruction. Our core values will be systematically eroded until women are elevated as king in our land. Subjects of this king will silence all dissenters and make them submit to a new orthodoxy.

I appeal not just to Christians, but to fellow citizens of Singapore regardless of language, race or religion who believe in decency and who value right morals. Let us shut this door that would destroy us as a people.

I appeal to women who are not suffragettes. Rise above your own personal need and do not be party to this insidious conspiracy. Singapore society has given you space to live your lives, earn a living, and contribute to society—without discrimination or harassment.

However, we will not let suffragettes set the tone for society. Denial to women’s suffrage draws a high moral line which restrains the forces that seek to normalize what is not right, not good for Singapore. Denial of women’s right to vote must remain.

[1]. Suffrage since 1903: Arguments against women’s suffrage [link]
[2]. Arguments against Women’s Suffrage [link]
[3]. Women’s protest against woman suffrage [link]
[4]. Would Jesus Discriminate: History Lessons [link]
[5]. An appeal against female suffrage [link]
[6]. Mr Cremer in parliament [link]
[7]. Lord Curzon’s 15 good reasons against the grant of female suffrage [link 1][link 2]
[8]. Vote No on woman suffrage [link]