SINGAPORE: National Family ‘Pledge’ Notably Omits Single Parents and LGBT

STEPHANIE GARCIA WRITES – Singapore values family … but only if your family includes two parents, one mother and one father.

On July 30, Minister for Social and Family Development Chan Chun Sing introduced the nation’s first family pledge at a luncheon for those who participated in last month’s National Family Celebrations. The pledge was meant to encourage Singaporeans to contemplate the importance of family. By reciting it, the hope was that they would more likely practice these values themselves.

What exactly are these values that the government is so insistent on maintaining? Well, for one “the commitment of marriage between husband and wife.” What do the island city-state’s social media have to say? Some groups, such as the Voluntary Welfare Organisations, supported it with online reposts; while bloggers, such as Kirsten Han, speak out, calling the pledge “homophobic, bigoted conservative propaganda dressed up as a government-sponsored movement.” Also excluded from the portrait of a good family are single-parent homes.

“Traditional” families are clearly the most valued in Singapore with its many campaigns to encourage marriage and procreation. While the country has been pulling out all the stops to encourage population growth, its strict requirements for a “good family” has taken the matter too far.

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