Blessing instead of approval

By TAY TIAN YAN
Translated by Soong Phui Jee
Sin Chew Daily

A recent Sin Chew Daily coverage on a Chinese traditional wedding of a lesbian couple has spread heat across the newsroom.

My colleagues received many calls the next early morning from readers, who asked a similar question: "Why did you report such story?"

They were worried that other same sex couples would follow suit.

After receiving a large number of calls, a colleague asked me: "Do you agree with such kind of marriage?"

Seemed like not answering the question, I said: "There is no opposition nor approval, but only blessing!"

Well, since it is an open society, people might join a street rally or get married based on their own will. At least, rallies might bring business to dealers selling bottled beverages while marriage could help boost restaurant business.

"Mr" Thomas is 29 years old while Ms Apple is 27, instead of views and opinions from unrelated people, they are in a greater need of blessings.

Some readers might ask: "It's better to keep gay or lesbian affairs low profile and why should they hold a wedding?"

Getting married is a kind of courage and why must they keep a low profile?

It is a kind of explanation to let others know about their affair. A wedding represents a commitment and responsibility and it demonstrates that even same sex couples are able to stay together till the end.

The gay marriage bill has recently been passed in the New York City and an 85-year-old "groom" and a 77-year-old bride has become the first lesbian couple getting married under the law. They celebrated the big day after a long wait, and before it was too late.

Of course, those who oppose to it are reasonable too. There is a question: "What if it were your daughter or son? Would you accept it?"

Indeed, it is not easy to accept it since all parents wish positive community affirmation for their children.

One of the factors that makes it hard to accept is, the path for same sex couples is too hard and of course, no parent would want their children being marginalised or discriminated.

I admire not Thomas nor Apple, but their parents.

Their parents' love, which has gone beyond expectations on their children, leads them to accept and help their children in resisting social pressure.

In fact, I am very much touched by Mohd Ashraf Hafiz Abdul Aziz, who has failed to have a name change to Aleesha Farhana after undergoing a sex change operation.

He died on the wedding day of Thomas and Apple.

His application to the Kuala Terengganu High Court for an order to change name and gender was rejected on July 18.

He suffered a long-term mental pressure and rejection after the transexual operation before dying.

In the conservative Kuala Terengganu, he insisted till the end while his parents changed from opposing to supporting him. However, in stead of a happy ever after marriage, he ended up in a painful tragedy.

Only blessing and toleration can help prevent tragedy.