Thank you Ng Shu Tsung for your insightful and humane letter ' LGBT are Malaysians too, and they do vote '.
Ng hits the nail on its head when he said that we should let each individual answer to his/her God. Religion is a personal matter, and no amount of legislation will improve it.
On the other hand, heavy legislation has been known to do just the opposite, give those in power the chance to abuse their positions, and mostly to give the religion a bad reputation and to work to disgust and drive people away from religion.
I remember watching the wonderful play by Instant Cafe Theatre called Air Con, where the lead 'actress' makes a poignant statement saying just that.
She, a transvestite murdered by one who had 'used' her, tells her religious leader, "if I have sinned, let me answer to God. If he thinks I have sinned, let my judgement be made by Him and only Him", something to that effect.
She is right. People who cry fire and brimstone at LGBT are only using religion to make themselves seem more righteous than others.
LGBT persons here have never wanted publicity, they only want to be left alone to live their life in peace and not be forced to do things against their nature, like getting married to a partner that they feel nothing for.
Is it not perverse and anti-religion that society prefers LGBT to lie and live dishonest lives?
The people in the videos by Seksualiti Merdeka must be congratulated for their courage. The point is not to 'propogate' their orientation (I do not use 'lifestyle' because it is not a 'lifestyle', it is simply what they are).
The main aim is to send a message to fellow LGBT that they are not alone, and there is no need to be afraid or confused. It is not activism, it is simply an attempt by a Malaysian to try to help a fellow Malaysian from destroying their lives because of society's hate and ignorance.
The greatest comfort to a gay person is to know there are others like him/her who have succeeded in leading normal lives as who they are and not a pretend life. It is a message of hope and their motive to help, is noble. Far nobler than the actions of their detractors.
If the religious authorities only bothered to look beyond the noise, and even to ask those behind the initiative with an open mind, why they put out those videos, perhaps, if they had brains, they would realise their calls for action are misguided, and in my view, hardly Islamic.
If the religious authorities think they are duty bound by their superior religious spine, to call action to transgressions, why pick on the small fry?
Why not condemn and call for stoning those who lie, steal public money, cheat, rape their maids, misuse public funds? Is it because they are complicit in their silence, or bound by some political allegiance because a lot of such perpetrators are big shots?
Should they then not examine their own spirituality to see if they really deserve to be the guardians of our religion?
Why have we not heard a peep from the religious authorities on all these major crimes and sins against Islam? Instead they allow people to incite hate and call for the death of innocent minorities who are already victims?
Personally, I think the government religious authorities have lost sight of their job specifications. Their job is to ensure their religion receives adequate support, in terms of infrastructure, networks, administrative support, to give opportunities to the followers to practice easily and widely.
That is the intent of the constitutional provision on Islam.
Their job is not to police the rakyat whose money goes into the officials' salaries, to push them around and tell them how to behave and practice, and to lord over them like masters ever ready to wield the whip. That is not the job of the religious authorities, I argue.
If it has become like that, it's time for the rakyat to review whether our tax dollars should go to such institutions that behave this way. It is our money that pays bodies like Jakim.
Perhaps it's time we had some say as to how they go about their jobs.