Contributed by C. D.

From a traditional Christian, here’s why I want homosexuals to be granted the basic rights that they deserve.

In 2015, someone very close to me came out as gay.

My initial reaction was one of shock. It was something that I had never expected and immediately, the implications of what this person had just told me started rolling in. The main thought, of course, being, ‘how will people treat him?’.

Now I grew up as a very traditional Christian. Every week, probably from the time I was born, I attended an 8am traditional Anglican service. I went to Sunday School, I memorised bible verses and I pray.

So I know the stance that the bible takes on homosexuality. I know that according to the bible, homosexuality is wrong and unnatural. It’s a sin. Marriage should only be between a man and a woman. A homosexual person will not inherit God’s kingdom.

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Growing up in a Christian household, it was only natural that the bible’s views very quickly became my own. Despite what the world said, I was clear that homosexuality was a choice and a wrong one at that.

Yes. We are so afraid of insulting people that often we disregard the views of the minority. But I am standing up and saying that I do not accept homosexuality.

However, the difference between me and the person in the comments of this article who has written a preachy comment about how ‘wrong’ homosexuality is, is the way I choose to treat gay people.

From the ‘Wear White’ campaign, which was, sadly, backed by religious leaders, to petitions on Facebook. We certainly have not been very kind to our fellow Singaporeans who simply have chosen to love in a way that is different from what we believe to be right. We have dehumanised them.

But that’s wrong. That’s not the right way to go about being against something.

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For starters, as a straight person, you have to ask yourself. How does someone else’s homosexuality affect your life? What changes will you need to make in your life if they are given rights?

You will never see me out there campaigning against legalising gay marriages or saying that Pink Dot shouldn’t exist simply because realistically, how does legalising gay marriages affect my life? As a straight person, it does nothing for me. How does destroying Section 377A of the Penal Code solve any of my own life problems?

It doesn’t.

Which is why, I see no reason to be afraid of homosexuals being given the right to marry and have sex. It isn’t any of my business what people do behind closed doors. Just as much as it is none of my business who decides to marry who.

If you’re sitting there telling me that you’re worried that your children will grow up with the wrong morals, maybe you aren’t teaching them the right things.

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Homosexuals are humans before they are anything else. If I, as a human being, value my ability to marry whoever I wish, then how can I in good conscience say that someone else should be denied that right?

If you believe that homosexuals should not be given rights simply so that you can go about your day with the peace of mind that men are only having sex with women and that women are only raising families with men, then you are wrong.

Think about it. These things already happen as it is. Homosexuals live amongst us. They’re in relationships. They date. Some of them even live together if they can manage to get around the law. How have these laws made a difference? They have not. They have just created an environment of secrecy and left our homosexual community feeling unwanted.

Which brings me back to the church. As Christians, we are instructed to love our neighbours as we love ourselves. Homosexuals are our neighbours. We are not supposed to judge them or give sermons condemning them or send letters out to every church warning members against a Disney film because a gay relationship was hinted at for three seconds.

We were never supposed to make them feel unwanted.

These things drive people away from the church. They drive them further into what we consider to be a sinful life.

No matter what religion you subscribe to, each of them are rooted in love. In reaching out to people and bringing them into your community. Nowhere does it say that you should wage a war of sorts with them.

I don’t support homosexuality despite having someone very close to me who is gay. I don’t support homosexuality because I am a Christian. But I support humanity and I support love. I support being given the freedom of choice. I support not impressing your beliefs on someone else.

You can choose to not support homosexuality while also giving other people the space and the safety to be themselves. Remember, we are all human first.

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