In the end it was full of sound and fury signifying nothing.
A case of “easy come, easy go” or more aptly “here today, gone tomorrow”.
The moment DBS, the authorities, the politicians, the churches and The Straits Times weighed in, those women from Church of Our Savior who usurped the AWARE throne in a coup on March 28 didn’t have a chance.
Their éminence grise 71-year-old Dr Thio Siew Mien explained that one of the reasons for the ousting of the old guard was her concern about the content of the sexuality education provided by AWARE in schools.
Examples furnished by TODAY and verified by AWARE’s old guard:
- Anal sex – can be healthy or neutral if practiced with consent and with a condom.
- Pre-marital sex – people might place pre-marital sex as negative, but it is really neutral.
- Homosexual – people have different preferences for their partners. Homosexuality is perfectly normal. Just like heterosexuality, it is simply the way you are.
- Since lesbian, gay and bisexual people are not ill or abnormal, they don’t need to be “cured.” These are not abnormalities or perversions; they are orientations or preferences, just like being left-handed or right-handed.
On April 29, the Ministry of Education, in a letter to the press, basically said it has not received any complaint from parents.
Anthony Yeo, Consultant Therapist at the Counseling and Care Center – who has collaborated with AWARE before – came out swinging the next day, echoing the same sentiments. In his letter to the press, Yeo blasted the new AWARE leadership team for invading a civil society that is meant to be non-sectarian and secular.
On May 3, the press reported a retired Methodist Church Bishop saying he has no problems with the content of AWARE’s sexuality education program. The 80-year-old is chairman of the Chen Su Lan Trust, whose donation to AWARE made it possible for the organization to conduct its Comprehensive Sexual Education in schools.
Then perhaps the final the straw that broke the camel’s back was when the women’s own pastor came out saying he has abused his pulpit when he tried to garner support for them.
AWARE’s EOGM on May 2 attracted 3000 members – prior to this, membership has dwindled to a couple of hundred – and lasted seven hours; the new team was booed, shouted down and abused; a vote was taken and the new team was thrown out.
The final tally that the new team should go: 1,414 to 761.
Their guerilla tactics, their membership in a what was being perceived as a fundamental, intolerant, anti-gay church, their initial silence after taking power which baffled many, their spending 90,000 bucks since taking over, were some of the things Singaporeans could not stomach.
They were trounced and relegated to history’s trash bin of have-beens.