The religious right are at it again.
This time, one TOUCH Family Services (an affiliate of TOUCH Community Services, which was founded by Faith Community Baptist Church pastor Lawrence Khong) tried to organise a ‘pro-family’ event at Padang on 28 June. The venue was rejected, which led to a fresh round of outcry from their supporters about religious persecution. Playing at victim is never attractive – especially if one could never lay claim to victimhood.
It should be no surprise that the choice date of 28 June is also the day of Pink Dot, one of the few increasingly successful and popular pro-LGBT events. It should also be no surprise that the event was initially named Red Dot, which was eventually replaced by #FamFest. Both choice of date and name either show an unprecedented dearth of imagination or thinly-veiled, even by the standards of the dense, antagonism.
But how dare one even suggest that?
The organisers insist on portraying themselves as ‘pro-family’ in a way that people of all religious or non-religious persuasions obviously are. But therein lies the hypocrisy. Not to mention that family models vary between religious denominations and across religions, the bumptious assumption that their definition of family should apply to everyone else is simply revolting. And by way of selling themselves as ‘pro-family’ (as opposed to ‘pro-their-definition-of-family’) to imply that pro-LGBTs are in some way family wreckers is plain wicked.
There’s no persuading people otherwise, who live in an echo chamber of their own bigotry. Riding on our nation’s conservative history to define a family as comprising a husband and wife, and go on to insist that any attempt to redefine this model is inherently anti-family – that’s just shameful bullying. It may be tempting not to dignify claptrap such as this with comment, but the number of featherbrained dogmatists susceptible to these suggestions makes it risky not to speak up.
In fact, if #FamFest were to happen, I’d recommend all pro-LGBT folks to join the event and show this country how pro-family we all can be. And the religiously sensible and loving can also step up and show that one doesn’t need to reject how others live their lives in order to be spiritual and pious.
After all, there’s no love, but loves and their differences.