SINGAPORE : Focus groups to help gays and lesbians understand their sexual identity are just one of the things that newly set up Liberty League plans to put in place.
The non-profit organisation has received a S$100,000 grant from the National Volunteer and Philanthropy Centre.
Liberty League says it is the first community service group of its kind in Singapore.
Its mission is to promote gender and sexual health for the individual, family and society.
To achieve this, it will conduct sexuality talks in schools.
It will also work with organisations such as the Girls' Brigade to educate teenagers on sexuality and biology.
The group will address issues related to romantic relationships, be they heterosexual or otherwise.
It says another important aspect of its work is focus groups for gays, lesbians and transsexuals who are grappling with their gender identities.
Currently, 70 percent of those it works with fall into this category.
There will also be support groups for parents of homosexuals.
Said Leslie Lung, founder and executive director of the Liberty League , "This is very much based on the Alcoholic Anonymous self-help principles. So people come; it's an environment that is friendly, warm, based on friendship, encouraging people to take small steps to talk about the issues, recognize why they are doing certain things, find resolutions."
Does it mean that Liberty League champions gay and lesbian rights?
Leslie Lung explained, "We champion human rights really. It's about people being able to say, I'm human and sexual orientation is so wide. Being gay and lesbian is part of it; coming out of it is part of it as well."
In a conservative society like Singapore, the league's work can be expected to be controversial.
But the NVPC's S$100,000 start-up grant has helped given the low-profile group a public platform for its work.
The money comes from the Ministry of Community Development Youth and Sports; a ministry official also sits on the panel that approves the grants.
Said Tan Chee Koon, chief executive officer of the NVPC, "Among teenagers, there are some who are confused about sexuality issues, and do need to seek clarification and help to work them through their confusion."
She added, "They need to go to some non-threatening parties to talk about their concerns."
Asked about the nature of the group's work, and those it will be working with, Mrs Tan says the NVPC is all for work that benefits the community.
She said, "We don't sit in judgment on this score but of course it must be for the public good. It must benefit the community; it must be about good works. But if somebody in this case seeks to go out to affirm gender -- in their case healthy sexuality and gender affirmation -- we are neutral on that score."
Mrs Tan added, "When I look at the grant, we are like social investors that invest in non-profit initiatives, which if they prove to be successful, the outcome is that lives are rebuilt, needs are met, volunteers are raised and community resources mobilised."
Liberty League will be officially launched on 25 January. - CNA /ct
So the government is now trying a new tactic. Instead of prosecuting gay people for having sex, for giving blood, and just simply existing, they are now trying to make them straight.
It made my jaw drop, at first, to see this matter discussed so openly on CNA. For a moment, I thought my wildest dreams had come true, and the government was actually relenting on gay people - and giving funding to an actual support group.
Then I saw Leslie Lung's name, and it all crashed down around me.
Newsflash: Liberty League is an ex-gay group, insidiously hiding their real intentions behind polished words and a $100000 grant. At first, their statements sound promising - "clarification", "human rights".... then you read past all that glitter, and the real meaning surfaces. Phrases like "coming out of it" are a dead giveaway. Their statement reads: " ..... explore issues of sexual brokenness, orientation, gender identity and addiction." Addiction? Interesting.
What nauseates me is not so much that this is yet another Christian ex-gay group [because, make no mistake, this IS a thinly disguised diversity-intolerant Christian ex-gay group] trying to "stamp out" homosexuality, but how the government, the media and Liberty League are colluding to make this appear all rosy and inviting.
If anyone knows anything about Leslie Lung, the founder, is that he is a self-proclaimed "ex-transsexual", who is preaching the message of heterosexuality to anyone who listens. He is the author of the book "Freedom of Choice", a collection of greatly exaggerated, depressing stories, mostly about being gay. He also travels around, preaching in schools and such. I know, because I was one of those girls once who were trapped in a hall listening to his ignorant words. That he, would actually set up a gay-affirming group, is beyond imagination to anyone who knows him. I've met him, and his new-found "heterosexuality" does not seem to have extended to his effiminate behaviour. The psychologist must have had a hard time trying to change that - that's the way he was born, after all.
I just hope that girls and boys out there, who might be struggling with issues of same-sex attraction and not knowing the real nature of Liberty League, will never fall into their hands. For it will certainly destroy them emotionally and psychologically.