Friday, 22 May 2015

[Straits Times] Enough space for groups to co-exist

IN HIS letter, Mr Han Junwei ("Protect line between
tolerance, normalisation"; last Saturday) disagreed with the affirmation of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender
(LGBT) identities by undergraduate interest
groups, and argued that institutions cannot remain neutral.
Given the reality that
various segments of Singapore society hold different value systems, it would be unwise to push for restrictions on one group just because its
worldview does not fit with that of another.
Tolerance is about mutual respect, not presumed disagreement.
This, coupled with
acceptance, gives meaning to
the "live and let live" maxim
that we abide by as a society.
There is sufficient space for various groups, including LGBT-affirmative networks, to co-exist and cater to their respective audiences.
Such networks are not conceptually new and have been a part of the existing common space for some time.
By allowing the formation
of various identity-based
networks (for example, race, religion or sexual orientation), university administrators are addressing the needs of their large, diverse and global
student, staff and faculty
It is imperative that
campuses remain a place where different ideas and values can
be discussed, shared and
debated openly.
Efforts that seek to create a safe, inclusive and affirmative space for learning deserve our encouragement.
Cashwinn Dev Singh