A petition has been recently signed by over 20,000 ‘concerned citizens’ to prohibit Adam Lambert’s performance at the popular ‘Countdown 2016’ concert in Singapore. The petition was created in order to stop Lambert from performing due to his “active promotion of LGBT rights, which are contrary to mainstream Singaporean values”.
Lambert is due to perform at the end of the calendar year, but do the people who created the petition have the right to prohibit Lambert’s performance at the famous ‘Countdown concert’?
Singapore’s government repealed many acts that made things deemed inappropriate illegal. These included laws that prohibited oral and anal sex, however sex between two men is still illegal and ‘homosexual propaganda’ is still prohibited. Is it therefore disrespectful to the views of the Singaporean people? If Lambert’s sexuality is against the law is it therefore right to prohibit his right to perform in the country?
The laws however are shifting due to a changing attitude towards the LGBT+ rights movement in Singapore, ‘Pink Dot’ has been growing in size showing a growing support for the LGBT+ population of Singapore, and changing attitudes in the former colony.
A study carried out by the Nanyang Technological College (NTL) between 2005 and 2010 showed that the attitudes of Singaporean people are changing and therefore is the prohibition of Lambert’s performance representative of the current population? A further three per cent more of the population agree with homosexuality than in 2005.
It’s also key to note the Lambert’s artistry is not dependent on his personal life. Lambert himself is a talented artist and has released top 40 singles worldwide, alongside touring with Queen in their 2015-2016 world tour. Is it right to discriminate against an artist, and prohibit his performance in response to his sexuality? I don’t think so. Lambert’s career should not be dictated by his personal preferences, but his talent; to dictate where he performs on the grounds of personal beliefs is discriminatory.
In response to the initial petition, a counter petition has been released in order to gain support, describing Lambert on Facebook as a “uniter, not a divider.” The counter-petition shows people do support Lambert’s performance! The counter petition has racked up an equal number of signatures within five days of posting, and this continues to rise. The support from people in Singapore is clearly growing with the increased attendance of the ‘Pink Dot’ campaign and the repeal of some laws, so why is Lambert still being oppressed for his sexuality?
The performance of Lambert would as he said act as a “unifier.” A recent study performed by the Nanyang Technological College (NTL) found that people who had had contact with gay men, or seen gay men in the media had a much better response than those who had not seen homosexuality in the media. In order to change attitudes towards homosexuality and therefore increase acceptance, individuals such as Lambert should have the right to perform. Archaic views on sexuality must be challenged by individuals such as Lambert in order to change them.
I don’t think it’s wrong that the petition to prohibit Lambert was started, people have the right to say what they like in a democracy. It is not okay however to actively condemn someone for their actions, and the creation of the counter petition shows that people’s attitudes towards homosexuality in Singapore are changing. The NTL proved that people just need exposure to new attitudes, and those that created the petition calling Lambert’s sexuality ‘immoral’ just need to be educated on the matters at hand, and the attitudes of the LGBT+ population.