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28 Nov 2008

LGBTs protest Singapore bank's charity drive for anti-gay Focus on the Family

News of Singapore's largest bank's S$15,000 Christmas present to the anti-gay Focus on the Family group has spurred gay and lesbian credit card holders to act.

Leave home without it, or better yet, cut it up. That is what some members of Singapore's gay community are saying in response to a credit card promotion by a Singapore bank in which up to S$15,000 will be donated to the infamous Focus on the Family (Singapore).

Picking up on the Focus on the Family brand name which is synonymous with the anti-gay, rightwing Christian agenda, some gay and lesbian credit card holders have reportedly started to cancel their cards and/or sent protest letters to the bank.

In a letter posted on an email group, Dominic Chua, an educator, has written to the bank to say that he is "thoroughly disappointed to learn that DBS is supporting a right-wing Christian organisation as part of its corporate social responsibility drive this Christmas" and that it "could do better than support an organisation that wilfully perpetrates misinformation about and prejudice toward gay persons."

In a full page advertisement in the Straits Times on Nov 13, DBS Bank declared that it would contribute up to S$15,000 towards Focus on the Family, "a charity dedicated to helping children and families thrive" when DBS/POSB credit card members spend S$300 on their cards from now till Dec 21 at selected malls.

The bank, which is Singapore and Southeast Asia's biggest with branches in 16 countries and territories in Asia including Hong Kong, China, Malaysia, Taiwan and US, is said to have about 1 million cards in circulation in Singapore.

Headquartered in Colorado, Focus on the Family is at the forefront of numerous anti-gay initiatives in the United States and most recently contributed US$600,000 to the Yes on Proposition 8 campaign in California which overturned the state Supreme Court ruling that legalised same-sex marriage.

The group made the headlines worldwide in 2005 when its founder James Dobson accused the cartoon Spongebob Squarepants of promoting homosexuality as Spongebob was often holding hands with Patrick Starfish!

Focus on the Family also stages Love Won Out, a 10-year-old ex-gay ministry that seeks to "cure" gays of their homosexuality, despite the contrary opinion reached by the American Psychiatric Association that reparative therapy is dangerously misguided and risks "depression, anxiety and self-destructive behaviour."

In Singapore, Focus on the Family has on numerous occasions made their anti-gay stance known in the press. In a 19 December 2004 article (Gay party no-go 'a signal not to push limits) in Singapore's Sunday Times, Tan Thuan Seng, the then president of Focus On The Family Singapore, agreed with the ban on gay events in Singapore saying, "We don't want them to encourage young people who have some degree of gender confusion to make the mistake of going into a gay lifestyle."

In 2003 the group organised "Homosexuality: Myths and Truths," a conversion/reparative therapy seminar with sessions on 'Preventing Homosexuality,' 'Recovery Therapy' and 'Unwanted Homosexuality: Steps to Early Detection and Prevention.' Due to protests by People Like US, a gay advocacy group, that highlighted the claims purported by the seminar organisers to be contrary to the beliefs held by the mainstream medical community, the state run and funded National Council of Social Services withdrew its training grant originally offered to participants on grounds of the speaker's lack of qualifications.

Focus on the Family Singapore currently distributes a series of "Love Won Out" booklets published by its parent organisation to promote conversion or reparative therapy to change one's sexual orientation. In Straight Answers (or Straight Talk), it asserts that despite safer-sex campaigns, "an estimated 30 percent of all 20-year-old homosexual men will be HIV positive or dead by the age of 30."

The literature continues to misquote psychiatrist Dr Robert L Spitzer to say that gays and lesbians are able to "make changes toward becoming heterosexual" despite his protest that his study has been misquoted by proponents of conversion therapy.

In a May 23, 2003 Wall Street Journal commentary, he wrote: "I did not conclude that all gays should try to change, or even that they would be better off if they did. However, to my horror, some of the media reported the study as an attempt to show that homosexuality is a choice, and that substantial change is possible for any homosexual who decides to make the effort."

The booklet further lists details for Choices, a local ex-gay ministry linked to Church of Our Saviour and Exodus International, for those who are "seeking to overcome homosexuality."

While the group in Singapore bills itself as a non-religious organisation with no mention of its Christian affiliation on its web site, it links to its parent web site and in two clicks readers are presented with its mission statement: "To cooperate with the Holy Spirit in sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ with as many people as possible by nurturing and defending the God-ordained institution of the family and promoting biblical truths worldwide."

Focus on the Family (US) has also been referred to as an "evangelical Christian group" by major media including the Washington Post and the New York Times among others, and "one of the pillars of the Christian right" by United Press International, a newswire service.

When contacted by Fridae, the bank declined to say if they are aware of Focus on the Family's international reputation as an anti-gay Christian rightwing group.

A DBS spokesperson however told Fridae that the donation is in line with DBS' corporate social responsibility (CSR) efforts and will be "directed towards building a new learning centre for children� with various learning disabilities."

She further added that "it is not the intention of the Bank to discriminate against any group through the choice of FOTF as our beneficiary."

Miak Siew, a prominent member of Singapore's gay community and postgraduate student in Berkeley, California, wrote on his blog: "Yes, one can defend DBS by saying they might not have known about the darker side of Focus on the Family. My view is this - before you pick a charity, do your homework."

He has appealed to his friends to not use their POSB/DBS cards and added that he is planning a mass action to protest the bank's decision when he returns to Singapore for the Christmas holidays.

While many applaud the bank's charity initiatives such as for The Children's Society as cited by the bank as the beneficiary of its Christmas in 2006, many object to raising funds for an organisation that spreads disinformation about gay men and lesbians.

Focus on the Family's founder James Dobson has written in his books and other literature that homosexuality is a mental disorder caused by family problems and bad parenting, and that the "homosexual activist movement has sought to implement a master plan that has had as its centerpiece the utter destruction of the family."

Chua said in this letter: "If it is a deliberate policy on DBS' part to support institutions that are so opposed to the well-being and happiness of gay people everywhere, I will ask my friends, both straight and gay, to consider switching their accounts to banks that affirm and support social diversity."

Ovidia Yu, a novelist and playwright, who is a DBS card member said she phoned the bank to register her complaint and that she would not be using her card and will be looking around for another bank.

Another irate customer Irene Oh told Fridae that she intends to stop banking with DBS and will tell her friends to follow suit. "It is important for us to respond so that companies will sit up and take notice," Oh said in an email to Fridae. "They are likely to be more aware that they cannot get away with supporting homophobic organisations without generating a backlash from their gay and lesbian customers."

When asked by Fridae, a gay finance and banking journalist with 10 years experience, who declined to be named for this story, advises gay and lesbian consumers who object to the bank's alliance to not use the card for the time being and to think twice before cancelling the card.

"If members of the gay community want to express unhappiness with DBS, the best way to do it is to take your DBS or POSB credit card out of your wallet and leave it at home for this festive shopping season. This way, you won't use it. Don't cancel the card, because you may eventually need the credit facility and it will be a hassle to re-apply."

But don't forget to tell the bank why you are leaving your card(s) at home this festive shopping season. Send DBS a message through the General Customer Feedback Form or the Consumer Banking department.

Page 2: Falsehoods spread by Focus on the Family

Falsehoods spread by Focus on the Family

The information below is extracted from A False Focus on My Family. The 32-page booklet is published by Soulforce, an American civil rights and social justice organisation whose vision is "freedom for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people from religious and political oppression through the practice of relentless nonviolent resistance."

The booklet can be downloaded online from www.soulforce.org .

A False Focus on My Family: Why every person of faith should be deeply troubled by Dr. James Dobson's dangerous and misleading words about the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community

The Psychology Of Fear
Five false and spiritually violent claims by Focus on the Family

VIOLENT CLAIM ONE: Homosexuality is a mental disorder caused by family problems and bad parenting.

Response to Claim One: Forty years of research concludes that gay men and lesbian women are as healthy, stable, and functional as their heterosexual friends.

VIOLENT CLAIM TWO: Gay people want to destroy marriage and the family.

Response to Claim Two: America's health and mental health associations and scientists say that same sex couples have the same hopes and dreams as any other family.

VIOLENT CLAIM THREE: Same-gender parents are unfit and seek to hurt children.

Response to Claim Three: Numerous studies show that children raised by same-gender parents grow up to be just as healthy as children raised by heterosexual parents.

VIOLENT CLAIM FOUR: Homosexuality can be prevented by parents and "cured" through "reparative therapy."

Response to Claim Four: America's major health and mental health associations warn that "reparative therapy" is ineffectual or even psychologically damaging.

VIOLENT CLAIM FIVE: Gays and lesbians are sick, ungodly people who want "special rights" not civil rights.

Response to Claim Five: The widow of Martin Luther King, Jr., other civil rights heroes, and distinguished biblical scholars say that homophobia is like racism and other forms of bigotry.

Reader's Comments

1. 2008-11-28 19:16  
These are all opportunities for the gay community to send out strong messages and show unity.

Here's a bank that uses its profits AGAINST the very people from whom it makes its money.

And what's the gay community's response?

"Don't cancel the card, because you may eventually need the credit facility and it will be a hassle to re-apply."

Wow! Spineless, to say the least.

So, because you think it's a "hassle" to change, you plan to keep funding this bank with your money, so that they can use more money against the gay community and against you in the future?

What message are you sending to this bank as well as to others out there?

Can't the gay community transfer its business to some bank that is either gay-friendly or at least not anti-gay? Wouldn't THAT be a worthwhile message to send out?

If the gay community is not willing to put itself to even some slight inconvenience, if the community does not have COURAGE OF CONVICTION to do the right thing, then this kind of thing will never stop.

You should be telling them, "Either cancel that payment, or apologise to the gay community publicly, or make a similar payment to a gay organisation, within a certain period of time, otherwise we will all cancel our cards and take our business to a friendly bank."

Meanwhile, scout around for suitable alternative banks, and make good your threat if the bank doesn't comply.

Standing up for one's rights can be a "hassle" sometimes. It is known as "fighting for your rights", and sometimes you have to choose between putting up with this "hassle" and being deprived of your rights.
2. 2008-11-28 19:46  
What a disgrace!

Focus on the Family have been utterly discredited in the USA and (I seem to recall) even John McCain rejected support from Dobson's mob - and he was desperate for right wing Christain support!

Focus specializes in promulgating lies about gay people to frighten straight folks and stimulate homophobia. Self-respecting gay people should dissociate from DBS for this outrage.

Truth is - you can't be "cured" of same sex attraction and even the Christian group who specializes in this nonsense in the US no longer argues this position and has been consistently embarrassed by pictures of its prominent members (cruising?) at gay venues.

Suggesting gay people are less likely to experience a free and open lifestyle in the face of torment and oppression is correct - and shamelessly immoral. Not only is this cruel and possibly un-Christian; but it leads to closeted men and women having terrible marriages and ends up being cruel to their "innocent" partners.

And what an outrage to suggest it is good for kids to grow up in a family where their parents have minimal sexual attraction and likely minimal warmth and affection. In fact, forcing two people to stay married when they have little attraction may be a source of argument, domestic violence, or worse. A great example for the kids, Dobson.

And so DBS has become an apologist and supporter for this kind of unenlightened and cruel behavior.

Any good work they do is no excuse...thee are plenty of decent groups who help children and are in need of funding.

Well, I won't be opening an account at DBS - and I can put more on a credit card in one month than their whole donation to Dobson's appalling organization.

I hope the gay community will stand up against this by leaving DBS. The bank is likely infested with people who share Dobson's views. Though your credit rating may take a brief hit and you may have some inconvenience applying for another card, your rise in self esteem will more than make up - it's kinda nice to do the right thing and DBS deserves a strong message for doing the wrong thing.
3. 2008-11-28 20:31  
What a disgrace.

Im definitely not going to be spending on DBS cards till they retract this.
4. 2008-11-28 20:51  
wow better shift my millions out of DBS now.
5. 2008-11-28 21:11  
I couldn't see on a quick look anything overtly anti-gay or religious on the Singapore FOTF website itself, and the gist of their work, if you can judge by the website, seems to be helping people with their parenting skills (would their workshops be open to gay couples with children though?). The site does imply some sort of link to the US group though.

The leaflet is another story. It might be a good idea for a gay-friendly lawyer to see if it breaches Singapore's wide defamation laws, and threaten legal action if it does; and if FOTF is engaging in politics, is this allowed under their charitable status? If not then maybe that could be challenged if they persist.

As for DBS, if I had an account there I would certainly want to switch it to another bank and explain the reasons, and if DBS has international banking partners with policies against homophobia I would complain to them too.

6. 2008-11-28 21:32  
It's like a masquerade ball, strip away the beautiful smiling mask and see the ugly maggot-ridden flesh beneath. They appear to preach love and hope and peace on the surface, but are in fact propagating a legacy of myopia, intolerance and hate.

Fight those insufferable hypocrites to the end, and flush those cards down the toilet.
7. 2008-11-28 22:08  
Shame on you DBS - you should have done your homework! I'm definitely not using my DBS cards till DBS withdraws its support for this fake family organization.
8. 2008-11-28 22:14  
i actually plan to cancel my dbs card for awhile but kept delaying. now it seems i got a very gd reason to to just that. anyway i lost faith in dbs for awhile now so for sure i'm switching banks.

9. 2008-11-28 22:22  
Disgusting and TOTALLY Outrages! Already their account sucks in terms of % interest. I'm gonna shift my $$ out as well!
Comment #10 was deleted by its author
11. 2008-11-28 22:33  
You can feedback to DBS at https://www.dbs.com/contact/feedback/

I have done so and this is their reply:

Dear Mr XXX

I refer to your feedback of 26 November 2008 and appreciate your

Our charity partner, Focus on the Family (Singapore), is a non-religious
and non-political organisation, supported and endorsed by the National
Family Council and the Ministry of Community Development, Youth and
Sports in Singapore. Its community programmes are widely supported by
like-minded socially responsible corporate citizens such as MediaCorp,
Far East Group, to name a few.

Please allow us to clarify that the Bank will contribute only when there
is a redemption made for the bears and the contribution does not come
from the cardmember's retail spending. The contribution from DBS will go
towards supporting the children's programmes in Singapore. This is part
of our efforts at DBS to support families and children during this
festive period. We have supported various local charities before in the
past such as The Singapore Children's Society during Christmas in 2006.

DBS will continue to play its part to support the community at large,
and we hope to have your kind understanding and support.

Yours sincerely
Daisy Ong
Customer Care & Feedback Management
Consumer Banking Group
DBS Bank Ltd

This message and the attachments transmitted with it, if any, are
privileged and/or confidential, and are subject to legal and/or
litigation privilege. It should not be disseminated or distributed to
parties outside DBS. No part of this document may be reproduced in any
form outside DBS without an authorized release.
12. 2008-11-28 22:39  
Hear, hear.
While waiting to see what Miak/others intends to organise, here's the letter that I've already sent to DBS.
Dear DBS,
I am dismayed to learn that you are supporting the anti-diversity and Christian right-wing group, Focus on the Family. With the smallest of effort, you would realise that their aims and goals are discriminatory and worrisome.

I am a DBS customer of good standing. This week, I received my new pre-approved DBS American Express credit card.

I regret to inform you that I will withdraw all my accounts with DBS unless you reconsider this awful, misinformed decision to support an organisation of such ill-repute. Your CSR action has completely misfired, and your department in charge of community liaisons should be re-examined for their bias and negligence, not to mention outright ignorance.

Thank you for your attention. I intend to write to the media and all my friends and family to instruct them likewise.

I welcome anyone to use my letter; please let DBS know exactly how you feel!

Through my contacts, I'm also looking to get DBS's PR, CSR, and HR email addresses. Will post when successful.

Banks care a lot about their corporate reputation, especially DBS who has sunk a lot into advertising their CSR (corporate social responsibility) initiatives. The more outrage is expressed, the harder it will hit.

What a wonderful Christmas 'gift' indeed.
13. 2008-11-28 23:16  
Remember that it is the intention of the evangelical Christian movement to conceal itself it many ways. And just as the bible tells us -- Satan wears many disguises and may appear as a benign entity. Dobson is a highly disordered sociopath, and DBS' affiliation with his organization aligns itself with an anti-humanitarian force.

All it takes for evil to triumph is for good people to do nothing. Dump your cards! Close your accounts!
14. 2008-11-28 23:20  
seems like a rather flippant reply from dbs- FOTF is far from non-religious and non political. while i respect their stance as a responsible corporate citizen, they should in future avoid religious hateful organisations like FOTF if they want to avoid offending their gay clients. lets make our pink dollars count!

btw- other FOTF sponsors include far east organisation.
15. 2008-11-28 23:22  
Actually i already don't like DBS (Damn Bloody Stupid, or Damn Bloody Slow) and I think their service is pathetic, so what I do usually is when I am stressed at work or upset with something, I just pick up the phone and call DBS and scold them for whatever reason I could think of about my bank account with them (which I did not choose to open an account there, it was assigned by my office). In any case, the service was so bad that I decided to full settle my car loan and not owe them a single cent! So yes, pick up the phone and call DBS and complaint away, and block their customer service phone line!
16. 2008-11-28 23:37  
with High Notes, retrenchments & now Focus on the Family, for me DBS = Disgraceful Bank of Scandals!
17. 2008-11-28 23:47  
We shall all remember this for the rest of our lives....that as long as we are still breathing, we shall BAND DBS!!! They choose to be anti-gay? Let's see what'll happen when gays anti-DBS! I'm sure the impact will be greater. Show them the power of "pink dollar".

Just a wild thought. Perhaps we all should choose one 'auspicious' day, 'auspicious' time and choose one big branch..then we all just appear at the branch and close our accounts, cancel our cards, transfer our all our money etc. Let it be a peaceful protest . Yet powerful enough to create an impact on their business!
18. 2008-11-28 23:50  
haha....ban this stupid bank....withdraw all your money...stop using all their services and credit cards.....

spit whenever u pass by DBS branch
19. 2008-11-28 23:52  
cancelling my card/ acct... let's make our presence felt!
20. 2008-11-29 00:32  
I wonder how stupid DBS marketing team is.. this is a marketing campaign at its worst.. did they buy their degree?

A corporate company should not associate itself with any organisation for whatever causes, even for charity!
21. 2008-11-29 00:39  
While I was in Singapore, I remembered UOB bank and OCBC are the better ones.. gee I still remember the old uncle at teller 8 in UOB People's Park branch..
Comment #22 was deleted by its author
23. 2008-11-29 00:56  
cut DBS now
24. 2008-11-29 01:00  
Hey guys, this isn't really about DBS's support of a Christian group but an anti-gay one that intentionally spreads disinformation about gays and lesbians which results not only in prejudice but also direct harm of those they try to mislead about reparative therapy through prayer and what not.
25. 2008-11-29 01:26  
maybe one day they will develop a drug name "THE CURE"
for us...just like in X-MEN :)
26. 2008-11-29 02:30  
boycott DBS.
flex those PINK muscles!
27. 2008-11-29 02:56  
DBS should have done their homework before choosing a charity organization..now see what happen they messed up with a wrong group of ppl.

Focus on the Family's founder James Dobson i guess all ur books and literature are just full of BULL SHIT+ CRAB! i think u are the one having some mental disorder!

NoMore spending...goodbye my beloved DBS card..time to die!
28. 2008-11-29 03:27  
29. 2008-11-29 04:41  
If we do not send a strong message showing our disgust, we can expect more local MNCs to do the same. It's time each and every member of the gay community does a part to spread the words around how we should reciprocate DBS's unfriendly gesture. I have prepared a letter for everyone who has read this message to copy and mass-email to all around him to spread this message:

Subject: DBS Supports Anti-Gay Group

Dear friend,

I am writing to let you know that DBS (www.DBS.com) had publicly announced a donation of S$15,000 (US$10,000) to a notorious anti-gay organisation called Focus on the Family ( http://www.family.org.sg/donate/donateFOTFS.html ).

According to a report by leading gay online media www.fridae.com, 'In a full page advertisement in the Straits Times on Nov 13, DBS Bank declared that it would contribute up to S$15,000 towards Focus on the Family, "a charity dedicated to helping children and families thrive" when DBS/POSB credit card members spend S$300 on their cards from now till Dec 21 at selected malls.' ( http://www.fridae.com/newsfeatures/article.php?articleid=2344&viewarticle=1&searchtype=all )

If you are strongly disgusted by DBS's action, there are a few practical things that you can do right away, like what I had just done:

1) If you have a bank account with DBS, terminate it now, and switch to other banks.

2) If you must keep a DBS or POSB bank account---for your employer to credit your salary, for example----then you should transfer all except the minimum non-penalty level of deposit (eg. S$500) regularly and automatically (eg. via automatic interbank fund transfer) to a non-DBS bank account. There are many good local banks that do not openly support anti-gay groups.

3) DBS and POSB (its subsidary) also offer various credit cards, which are an important source of revenue. Cancel them. If you have any outstanding payments or loans, try to pay them asap so that they can earn as little interest from you as possible. Switch to other credit cards.

4) DBS has a fund management service called "DBS Asset Management" ( http://www.dbsam.com/distributors/Pages/default.aspx ). Try to switch out of your investments with it if you can do so without making any loss, and do not buy any investments from it.

5) DBS also offers loans. Do not take any loans from it, any try to switch to another financing company if you are have any loan from DBS.

6) For a listing of DBS's businesses, refer to http://www.dbs.com/dbsgroup/businesses/

It's not enough just to terminate your business relationships with DBS. Here are the other important things to do:
A) Make known to DBS why it has lost your business. For personal accounts transactions in Singapore, you can telephone 1800 111 1111 to feedback to their phone banking officers. Remember to make a note that because of its donation to the anti-gay group, Focus on the Family, you feel disgusted and wish to cancel all business relationships with it. Alternatively, use its online feedback forms at http://www.dbs.com/contact/online/ to make this point clear.

B) Mass-email this letter to all your gay friends and those who are similarly disgusted so that the power of unity can work for us.

C) Don't procrastinate. Cancel your business relationships today. DBS is not the only bank that can serve you. If you yourself do not lead by example, you cannot tell your gay friends that they should do likewise. And if everyone selfishly stay passive, then DBS won't feel the pinch. Its top management won't realise that such an action is very offensive.

Unity is power! Together we can tell DBS that we had been very offended. Thank you.

Yours truly,

(your name)

30. 2008-11-29 08:13  
We should send some strong message to the bank and let them know we are not happy with what they are doing.
Lets organise a date for all gays and lesbians walking into DBS and cancel their card and accounts on the same day. CUT DBS MOVEMENT - if we can get few hundreds of people to do the same thing at the same time, for sure it will be on the news.
31. 2008-11-29 10:18  
Look out for FOTF's flag day in Singapore. The last one that I remember was held over the Chinese New Year period (a major festival for ethic chinese), and the "thank-you for your donation" sticker featured prominently the chinese character for "family". Smart or sneaky move, you decide.

For those unfamiliar with street donation soliticitations norms in Singapore, here's a quick backgrounder:
- volunteers each have a tin for passers-by to drop in their coins or notes
- the donators will be given a small sticker which they usually paste the chest area of their clothing
- the stickers indicate that individuals have given to the cause and should not be solicitated again by other volunteers

So spead the word when the time comes. I told all friends not to give and when possible, politely tell the volunteers their reasons for not donating to their "noble" cause.
32. 2008-11-29 10:21  
so, heterosexuals dont have anonymous sexual encounters and dont celebrate sexual obsessions? pffft...
33. 2008-11-29 10:57  
I am reassured of the sure wrath of any LGBT that reads this. But i'm worried: How many people do read Fridae articles and are about to take action?
So please start informing your ONSes, your flings, your i-cant-define-it-right-now, your Fridae "Friends", your friends, your heartboxes, your bookmarks and your partner and every other gay person you know. NOW.

I'm thinking : What are the chances that DBS didn't know about the nature of FOTF? 50-50. Either they didn't care since 15,000 is merely a poop to them, or they have some gay-hating corporate social responsibility (CSR) in charge. But my guess lies in the latter . Cos coming from DBS, with all the disabled, orphans, dysfunctional families out there, i don't see why 15000 would be given to FOTF when 1) FOTF Colorado had enough money to donate 600k to Support Prop 8 ; 2) 15000 in a family service centre (or watever you call this things) doesn't produce any immediate effects and wouldn't generate much media attention and defies the law of immediate gratification for DBS (which most corporates are more interested in, honestly)

So i say use the above links to give your feedback to DBS. Let them know we're here and we're staying and they better not take what they have profited from our investments into the pockets of such foundations next year!
34. 2008-11-29 12:35  
This is great!!! DBS and Focus On Family have given us an early holiday gift....the opportunity to DO SOMETHING very public to show our unity, our strength, our importance, our resolve to earn equal human rights and respect. Now...show 'em (the homophobes, religious zealots, hate-mongers, oppressors, gay-hostile banks and businesses) what you've got. Flex your muscles, show your teeth, march into that bank enmasse and cancel your accounts, transfer your money OUT. I feel encouraged when I read through the posts below which are full of great ideas, mature thinking, and understandable outrage. Now, please don't just sit at home in front of your comupter; get out of your homes, out of your comfort-zone and TAKE DEFINITIVE ACTION. A little "hassle" now, will provide huge benefits later.
35. 2008-11-29 12:40  
Oh dear, can we remember that customer support officers of DBS may not particularly be fans of DBS- it's just bread and butter.

Let's remember that the top-notch people make the decisions, not the lower-ranked employees like customer service officers.

I am against the current situation and am in favor of cancellation of cards/accounts... as well as notification of friends/families not to use the card in this festive season. In fact, i have already done so.
Comment #36 was deleted by its author
37. 2008-11-29 12:50  
Just wrote to DBS and told them my outrage. I am canceling my account. Period!
38. 2008-11-29 13:05  
How many organisations that we all deal with/or are forced to deal have affiliations or give financial support to groups that are anti gay ? Id say the majority. Even giving charitable donations to groups that give aid to disasters (ie Earthquakes,tsunami etc) all have alignments to organisations that may have very homophobic attitudes.

This episode is just scratching the surface.
39. 2008-11-29 13:10  
And as the "scratching" continues, slowly exposing the truth beneath the thin surface of lies, we can take appropriate action. This is called, progress.
40. 2008-11-29 13:15  
Children with families at least have a chance to thrive (without the DBS contribution). What about children without families? Are there no orphanages in Singapore?
41. 2008-11-29 14:04  
I am canceling my POSB account too! There are many reasons for Singaporean to cancel DBS/POSB account after the Lehman Bros. fiasco. For me, this is the last draw!

Have been having this account since 70's while I as in my primary. Termination will be a little more troublesome as I got many GIRO link to this account. Anyway. will go down personally to find out the detail and address my anger!

Will keep my DBS credit cards but will just keep it as reserve. Certainly won't be using it for next few months! Got other credit cards anyway!

Let all join in the protest, whether DBS apologize or not!
Comment #42 was deleted by its author
43. 2008-11-29 14:34  
Good on you, guys, those of you canceling your cards. But you can also give them a chance to make amends before doing so. Why not try winning them over before rejecting them? In any case, whatever you decide, do be sure to write polite letters to them explaining your reasons.

After all, ultimately we want people to understand and accept us; it's not just about confrontation.

Our biggest problems in the world today come from lack of understanding. And, those problems are to do with people's beliefs; not with the people themselves. We should therefore try to give every chance for people to try and understand us.

Cutting off should be a last resort; we must do it when no other alternatives are available. But we must make it clear that that is an option we WILL exercise if necessary.

Strength often lies in the threat of action, and not in the action itself. Once you have acted, a lot of fear may just disappear:
"Oh, was that all you could do? Big deal!"
44. 2008-11-29 15:45  
In the minds of the general world, it's common to view gays as a bunch of "touch-me-not" or otherwise I'll prick and overreact. It's always "don't offend me or else.."

I think they are right..
45. 2008-11-29 16:06  
Hello! They are not TOUCHING! They are walking all over us!
46. 2008-11-29 16:16  
Come on Singaporeans, show the world how valuable your pink dollar is and how important you truly are! Businesses are out there to serve you and not the other way around. If they are not operating in your interest, then bring your business elsewhere. Hopefully, this will send a strong message to your government. Oh yes, they are meant to serve you too! :) Don't be disheartened by people telling you what a drama queen you are. Learn to fight for what is right and what you believe in. If every single gay person removes his money from the bank, it'll collapse, especially in this economically challenging period. Sure, it will make your economy suffer, but people will sit up and listen; and you would have taken the first steps in making a change for gay people in Singapore. Someone should make a facebook group to let others know.
47. 2008-11-29 17:00  
Ermm .. people ... i think the money is specifically used to build a centre for some kids with learning disability right? ...

lets just censor them laa .. if we "break" the bank with petitions and boycott ... they might withdraw their support and the centre might run into difficulties ...

let go some charity give and take too bah ... close one eye if its for a decent purpose ya? ..

we need to fight this war on the turf in Societal awareness ... not on some centre for disabled kids' turf ...

ps: dun spam me with hate mailss ...
48. 2008-11-29 17:14  
post #39 'MyManFriday" yes I agree.
I think that cancelling cards, getting 'up in arms' about such things is rather counter-productive, especially if what Post#43 'Benny101' is correct. It will only alienate others further if all this boycotting becomes public. I can imagine the holier-than-thou's in Singaore portraying the gay community as heartless.
The right response might be to petition this DBS bank into next year contributing their charity dollars into some HIV/Aids charities. They might just agree. You never know.

Your pink dollars being withdrawn from this bank will probably make no impact, but just confuse/blind the minds of those who do not understand the issues.

49. 2008-11-29 17:54  
I'm torn between cancelling my cards with DBS, and not making a fuss about this children centre...
Just in case, anybody knows of a gay-friendly bank in Singapore?? Or are they all likely to support the same homophobic organisations as DBS?
50. 2008-11-29 18:48  

51. 2008-11-29 19:04  
Yes, we should send a very strong message to DBS/POSB to display our dismay at their actions. We should not just leave the cards at home, but to switch banks immediately, withdraw all our money from them asap.

Since the repeal of 377A have been unsuccessful, I already vet all my charitable contributions, making sure not one cent I make goes to groups that have anti-gay links.

I will never bank with DBS again.
52. 2008-11-29 19:18  
Hi funnyboy,

Care to tell us which charity or organisation has anti-gay links?
Comment #53 was deleted by its author
54. 2008-11-29 19:30  
Hi Benny101 and jupiter101,

DBS is not going to care about how singaporeans see gays. Money is the more important thing and this is where we can strike. Sure its a children home, but this is also the usual modus operandi of crafty xtian organisations: hiding behind legitimate social causes. The idea is show FotF that we are not to be trifled with. Attack FotF where it hurts and any organisation that unwittingly support them. Cut off their funds and support!
55. 2008-11-29 20:07  
Re Post#49 'artemov'

yes I do appreciate what you are saying, but one thing about this contribution is that it is public and transparent, giving the oppurtunity for discussion and reasonable protest to this banking organisation. What about the other banks and organisations that you deal with from day to day. Im sure they ALL contribute philanthropic amounts to various groups, including the catholic church ( the most hompohobic of them all ) and so called "christian" fundamentalist groups that are thriving in Singapore. These contributions would maybe not be so public.
I dont know where you would resonably begin, and where you would reasonably end. You would only be opening the gates to people allowing them to brand the gay community as mean, unreasonable and selfish, and playing exactly into their hands. I can just imagine the preachers at their Christmas sermons now. Dont give them ammunition for more of their hateful lies.
Test them out, as I wrote in my last post, and challenge them to contribute to a gay friendly organisation.

Befriend, not alienate.
56. 2008-11-29 21:20  
I think this is the time for the companies out there to recognise the pink dollar power ...and to open their eyes before they support any so called charitable cause with hedious hidden agenda...thank god I dont have dealings with them ..but in spite of that I am going to ask my sister who lives in Spore to cancel her card and my friends too ....we have to show our unity ..
57. 2008-11-29 21:27  
Re: Post #50

Good suggestion! Why don't you go and sweet talk these people while we try other matter of dealing with them?

It's good to have multiple approach, you know!
Comment #58 was deleted by its author
Comment #59 was deleted by its author
60. 2008-11-29 22:27  
guillaume asks if there is a gay-friendly bank he can go to.

You don't need to find a gay-friendly bank (whatever that is)...

What you need to do is pull your $$ out of a bank that HYPOCRITICALLY joins forces with a morality group.

If there is anything in the world more AMORAL, it's banks and bankers. For them to be engaged in so-called corporate responsibility games such as these is phony and deceitful.

Just take your money to a bank that doesn't care about saving the world -- but just greedily taking your money and giving you good service. THAT'S what banks should do, and nothing else!

61. 2008-11-29 22:28  
"many homosexuals have anonymous sexual encounters and celebrate sexual obsession" - I beg to differ that statement and it is wayyyyy untrue! THAT IS A MYTH-ALRITE!

if you want to see homosexuals living a healthy lifestyle I have seen many! PLUS I am one myself! I do not chase for luxury as what stated in there, but I chase for happiness.
62. 2008-11-29 22:41  
The greatest power we have is our discretionary incomes.

If all of you pulled your money out of DBS, you would get their attention. They're a BANK, not a church. They understand money.

They understand losing money and that scares them.

If they understand that joining forces with a religious organization will cause them to lose money, they'll drop FOF like a hot potato.
63. 2008-11-29 23:01  
m cutting my DBS card now...
64. 2008-11-29 23:45  
I'm closing all my accts on Monday. I'm taking all my funds and moving it to StandChart. At least they welcome my "gay" funds....this is an outrage!
65. 2008-11-30 00:00  
i'm taking all my money out from POSB/DBS.

they don't deserve my pink money.
66. 2008-11-30 00:45  
I am closing my accounts next week!
67. 2008-11-30 01:40  
Great article. I love it. Reading it just makes my blood boil. Holding on to my very ungodly thoughts about FOTF, I shall just comment on DBS:

Don't give the PR bullcrap about not knowing the allegiances of FOTC! Like Miak Siew said: Do your homework! Or has your retrenchment exercise affected the functionality of your organisation? Bad decision? Yes it is!

Who are the people behind this campaign? HR department of DBS, please take note: Retrench these people please.

And to the GLBT community - Don't sit on your well-toned arses and think it doesn't concern you, it concerns all of us. Transfer your funds, close your bank accounts, cancel your transactions, stop using your DBS Plat cards. Switch to UOB or Citibank or ABN AMRO or Amex. Just give DBS the boot and show some togetherness!!

Let's see if this 'spend $300' campaign is going to earn money for DBS or cause them to lose more!
68. 2008-11-30 01:45  
oh, ya, i have to be more careful about my card company,thanks for the info
69. 2008-11-30 01:49  
Benny: I understand your concerns about the children centre thing.

I doubt that the children centre will actually run into any difficulties because of this though.

Please keep in mind, DBS is donating the cash to FOTC, and NOT the children's centre. FOTC is rich. They came up with $600,000 to support Proposition 8! Don't tell me they can't afford a measley $15k? I would rather a hundred and fifty gay people donated $100 each to that children's home or whatever it is than to give money to FOTC who labels us freaks and monsters in their holier-than-thou poison propaganda.
70. 2008-11-30 02:12  
This is a disturbing illustration of how insidious organisations like family focus are when it comes to hiding their hate-mongering activities behind a sanitized facade of legitimacy.

Consider how http://www.christianmentalhealth.com/Singapore.htm clearly links to http://www.family.org.sg/ but not the other way round.

An unsuspecting CSR manager who looks at the latter may be fooled into thinking that family focus is a secular, apolitical, and socially acceptable organisation. And not realise its right wing fundamentalist roots.
71. 2008-11-30 03:46  
Darn, I should have read Fridae before I pay for my airfares. Yes, I will support for not using any more DBS in the near future.

Join me and join us.. let them know it is so not right for us to use their services for now until something has been done..
72. 2008-11-30 05:24  
I genuinely hope that ALL those writing on this forum that are going to close their accounts with DBS actually INFORM the bank why they are doing it.
Let it not be a 'silent' protest otherwise frankly, its a waste of time, and wont even be noticed.

And not just using your card for the christmas period at certain Malls is rather pathetic.

Its one thing to spout off your indignant words here on a forum where nobody cares that you are gay, and its fine to move your bank account elsewhere ( by the way people do that everyday, its no big deal), but its another thing to PUBLICLY identify yourself as opposed to THIS particular DBS charity decision.

Dialogue with these organisations is better than petty revenge that will hardly even be noticed and barely ease your own conscience unless you shout it out loud and clear and cite the REASONS why. Otherwise, believe me, you will be viewed by the greater community as petty and mean and anti-family.

But Im wondering how many of you are actually going to that.

Put your MOUTH where your money is.
73. 2008-11-30 05:32  
Well, such publishing would Not be allowed in Ireland, where I can imagine comments on all sides of the political divide in the Dail (government chambers) condeming such advertising as blatantly promoting discrimination and intolerance.

It's true that gay men and women in Ireland still have a long way to go to true equality, with, for example, civil partnerships still not granted/recognised here, amongst others. However, at a surface level at least, our Government, and the political parties, are entirely accepting of homosexuals, with a number of initiatives to improve the lives of gay men and women here, whether through anti-gay bullying posters in schools to policing initiatives to support the gay community.

Such viewpoints as this article is about would be swiftly condemned in the most public forum of all - government offices. It's disgraceful that such a stance can be practised in Singapore, if wholly unsurprising, and many of the comments here are quite right in their annoyance.

What do 'we' have to do to become accepted - cure cancer?
74. 2008-11-30 10:02  
Since the beginning of the "fight", it was not about the normality of homosexuality. It's about discrimination, about humun rights. We should not need to defend what we are, simple because we are what we are. Like Africans are black, women are female... etc.
75. 2008-11-30 11:34  
Chisel, hydrosaint, ct_vision, Ruthchong --

You all rock!

BTW, DBS owns the Islamic Bank of Asia, and DBS' main shareholders include HSBC and Citibank (Weekday--Post #60, please do your homework!), so make sure you're not just passing your money from one "partner" to another
76. 2008-11-30 12:53  
Supporting religious group or individual that promotes discrimination, intolerance and hatred is by far extremely irresponsible. DBS seriously needs to do their homework as this is a big mistake. Perhaps, it also shows the poor standards of DBS's CSR policies. Time to pull your socks up DBS and pull back your campaign.
77. 2008-11-30 13:17  
Singapore wants to be a 1st world country, yet time and time again especially with the regard to the gay issue, we see that the Singapore Government still lives in the dark ages. Do the powers that be really intend to instigate a mass exodus from their small little island-country? When it's in their best interest to actually target the 'pink dollar', they still persist in persecuting people who have real spending power. What gay relationships being a double income family, no expenses for children and any other expenses they would not have to contend with, but straight couples do, it seems ludicrous that once again the Singapore Government is going all out to cut their noses to spite their own faces. I would suggest that all gays people close their accounts at DBS and take their business somewhere else. Attitudes like these need to be nipped in the budd with protest and boycotts to the highest degree. It's time the Singapore Government wakes up and smells the coffee and realises the gay community has more power than it realises. Their scare tactics have to stop.
However, in the same vein, it's also high time the Singapore gay community stops falling for these scare tactics, and realises the power it actually has! Wake up, Singapore Gay Community! You don't have to stand for this.....You can write letters until you're blue in the face, it won't make one iota of difference. When you have a government like you do, it's all talk and hot air, and simply nothing will ever change. Money is power over there, and since it's involving a bank, this is a golden opportunity to exert your power. THEE golden opportunity has presented itself and it's high time to DO something!!
78. 2008-11-30 15:27  
Weiji: oooh Okay, thanks, I'm glad I'm using OCBC and UOB then. :P
79. 2008-11-30 16:38  
I'm not sure if this has been mentioned elsewhere, but it's also particularly inappropriate to use Christmas as a reason for such a gesture. Why?

Well, what's Christmas about, except celebrating the birth (and, therefore, the legacy) of Jesus Christ? And was Jesus known for promoting intolerance? No! One of the core, if not THE core fundamentals of Christianity is: Turn The Other Cheek. If something offends or hurts you, turn the other cheek, and be struck again...

Forgiveness and Tolerance are the fundamentals of Christianity. Even if one follows the line of Hate The Sin, Love The Sinner, as so many religious fundamentalists do, it still means that you just Don't act in the kind of manner like that bank has done.

Using Christmas as a backdrop for such a gesture is particularly wrong, Wrong, WRONG!
80. 2008-11-30 17:11  
Not wise DBS. not wise
81. 2008-11-30 18:12  
vercoda says that Christmas is about...Jesus Christ...and wasn't Jesus known for promoting tolerance?

Yep, I suppose you could say that. But Jesus was also known for harrassing all the money lenders from the temple!

82. 2008-11-30 20:14  
I don't want to get charged in court but if you think xtianity is about love, forgiveness and tolerance, you should read your bible again.

For all your know, the upper echelons of DBS might be xtains afterall. Not surprising if you know the demographics of xtians in singapore.
Comment #83 was deleted by its author
84. 2008-11-30 20:58  
I came across this quite good letter sent to DBS:

To: Senior VP Corporate Communications, DBS
CC: CEO, DBS Group

Dear Madam,

I refer to the promotion organised by DBS Cards in conjunction with Focus on the Family (FOTF).

I write to express my disappointment with this ill-considered decision by your bank to sponsor this controversial organisation. As the local branch of the radical right-wing organisation, FotF is a Christian organisation dedicated to exerting political pressure, in the objectives stated in their Stewardship Report 2007, "to impact on policy makers to protect the institution of family". Their questionable faith based activities organised by the group such as sexual health sessions and abstinence groups advocates values that has no place in our diverse multi-cultural Singaporean society.

As a long standing DBS customer who is also an atheist, I cannot accept the bigotted values espoused by this Christian evangelical organization. As such, could you advise if it is possible to opt out of this promotion or allow the money credited from my spending in participating outlets to other more deserving charities such as the Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund or the National Kidney Foundation.

Yours faithfully,

85. 2008-11-30 22:12  
"Post #48 artemov says (Posted : 29 November 2008 19:18) :

Hi funnyboy,

Care to tell us which charity or organisation has anti-gay links? "

Quite simply, in the run up to the vote on the repeal of section 377A, we noticed certain groups and organisations that were particular vocal against this repeal. Don't think I need to be specific than that.

You can always make your charitable contributions direct to groups like Action for Aids etc, which we are sure have no anti-gay agenda.

86. 2008-11-30 22:12  
I think use CASH la, let the world know we are CASH RICH pple. wohaahha
87. 2008-11-30 22:25  
Singapore is always a righ-wing country under Lee's ruling~ rite!? So, why so surprise!?
Comment #88 was deleted by its author
89. 2008-12-01 00:10  
Will there be a chance, EVER? A gay banking service & syste?

Maybe, well learned members here can advise or even consider reaching out to the rich and powerful comrades for this proposal
90. 2008-12-01 00:16  
In reading all these, I am reminded of the phrase 'sins of the Father'. Does anyone have any any recent hate-activity by FOTF SIngapore, beyond the Christian Mental Health website which seems to be dated from 2003? If not, could it be that the local group is now genuinely focussing on more pressing and more locally-relevant 'family' matters instead of the hate-mongering political activities of James Dobson in the US? If so, are they condemned forever that they can do no good in the world?
91. 2008-12-01 00:37  
DBS, don't play with fire!!!! May I remind you that we are facing Global Crisis and this is a very bad move.

May I suggest that everyone should switch to a more friendlier bank.
Comment #92 was deleted by its author
93. 2008-12-01 02:03  
Steveuk: I agree - i think it is a good move to write directly to the CEO and Head, Corporate Communications to voice our displeasure (in addition to lodging our complaints via their general feedback form). And I think it is a valid point to question why a commercial bank with a multi-religious customer base is helping to fund an organisation with strong Christian-evangelical links.
94. 2008-12-01 02:04  
By the way, does anyone know what are the email addresses of the CEO and Head, Corporate Communications of DBS?
95. 2008-12-01 02:50  
Well, to the poster who queried this, Jesus threw out the moneylenders from the Temple, due to their wanton desecration of a holy site, and this was the only time that he lost his temper.

And what did he do afterwards? He prayed for forgiveness for HIS actions, for HIS reacting with anger and loss of self-control.

Then again, I'm an unshakeable atheist, and haven't been to mass Or read a Bible for 20 years or so, so maybe I'm not the best person to advise on what The Bible says! Still, there's one thing that you/we should be able to agree on - when Jesus h Christ got mad with the moneylenders, he took action!

I don't think you'd get very far with trying to haul even a lowly cashier away from their post before the bank's security/the police showed up, but I'd certainly close my account with a banking chain that I thought promoted intolerance, AND let them know why! And who, if anyone, has contacted The Media about this? There must be at least one single, credible source in Singapore to get annoyed about this topic - or is Everyone silenced and cowardly, there? I genuinely don't know... but, it's something that I'd certainly go chasing after, rather than settling for only an angry letter that'll swiftly go into the bank's executive filing system - the bin...
96. 2008-12-01 08:22  
Yawn on this attack on Focus on the Family, build a bridge to this group, they are not that bad . . .DBS is a great bank, I feel really safe keeping a lot of my money there and will put more there due to my insecurity about Citibank Gold. The real story is the lack of pink dollars in our GBLT community being saved and the lack of my gay colleagues who are in the private banking inner sanctum of DBS and Citibank Gold. Its is really pretty sad and I suggest everyone again watch Suze Orman on MSNBC at night. Financial strength and sound saving will help secure our community's role and if we really want to influence DBS, they will ony listen to their richest clients. Plus my private banker there is a complete hottie and fills out his suit very nicely. It can be done by the well heeled in a nice and tactful way. The protest thing is broken and doesn't work in these tough economic times. Its a great and solid financial institution and a very family friend bank. I already started a savings program for my twins there.

Save more and put more money in your bank account, that's the way to have more influence with DBS. Its a great bank and I love the tellers there, the service is fantastic and I feel really safe with my money there . . . plus we can prove to Focus on the Family that Gays are good savers and we can get married, pay our taxes and manage our check books too. We also are good parents . . . where do I sign up for my Focus on the Family card cause 90% of what they do I believe in and hope they will be advocates for all families including gays and lesbians and bisexual daddys too. Hey where do I sign up for my Focus on the Family membership?

By the way, what ever happened to those two Chinese girls and their quest for a sperm donor? Any success? Actually, get the sperm is the easy part. Try getting your kids a spot at the Shanghai Songqing Ling kindergarten! Its so competitive and the parents are so ruthless in trying to get their tykes into the very best school! It ranks for Manhatten's Upper East side in the lengths that parents will go through to get through brats into the best school. Good luck to them and give us an update! In the meantime, this Daddy will apply for a Focus on the Family membership cause I am gay and a good daddy and don't do drugs or sleep around and much to busy to ever think at all about suicide or even a dark thought.

97. 2008-12-01 08:25  
Ok, consciousness raising time.

Would you still do your banking with a bank that donates to Holocaust deniers and anti-Semites?
98. 2008-12-01 09:26  
hey I am Jewish too, don't be rude, DBS is a great bank for Jews too and everyone! do't get political about this, just go ask them to donate to one of our favorite causes too . . .

lots of my gay friends work at DBS and they are a world class outfit!

99. 2008-12-01 10:07  
Snorts. Lagunabro, do you work for DBS or FOTF?

I think the point here has been proven, the dice are cast and I've already started on my mass-emailing.
100. 2008-12-01 11:50  
It's amazing that someone in DBS even thought of this, wrote it down in a proposal, had the courage to present it in a meeting, and actually get agreed upon by the officials. Of all things. And how does the money function to prevent occurance of a gay member in a family?
101. 2008-12-01 13:43  
Hey Lagunabro

I feel sorry for you for having so many such friends in that bank. You mean they are quiet about the whole thing ???? Come on , either they are so shallow , indifferent or have made a mistake and now there is no turning back ? Which is which ???

Any how , you think we are stupid or what ???? Come on , give us more credit than that !!!
Comment #102 was deleted by its author
103. 2008-12-01 14:25  
Lagunabro says: "Yawn on this attack on Focus on the Family, build a bridge to this group, they are not that bad "

Lagunabro, don't be naive! You obviously have no idea who we're dealing with. You'd better believe this is political -- and cultural, moral, social and ethical. This is about power, my naive friend.

And you'd better believe that given the opportunity, these so-called Christians will do everything they can to silence you and take away your right to be who you are.
104. 2008-12-01 15:19  
Agreed wif U guys...

Lagunabro, dun make-up stories, we are not fool n we knows exactly wats a DRAMA QUEEN ...

I am cutting my DBS cards n closing my POSB/DBS accounts, they dun deserve my Pink Money...

Will switch to a more friendlier bank, have to be more careful about my card company.

105. 2008-12-01 17:32  
As for page 2 of this article:
"VIOLENT CLAIM ONE: Homosexuality is a mental disorder caused by family problems and bad parenting."

Please, anyone who studies psychology will know that Homosexuality has long been removed from the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistic Manual) since 1974 and it's NOT classified as a mental disorder. Failed to get the facts right and still argue about what's right and what's wrong?
Comment #106 was deleted by its author
107. 2008-12-02 00:13  

This asshole named lagunabro claimed he is straight. Enough said. He is not one of us!!!

To lagunabro :

Hey asshole, can u do me a favor?

Shut the f*** up and get lost!!!
108. 2008-12-02 10:37  
wow, such anger, guess people there really have a chip on their shoulder, the Rosie O Donnell anger thing doesnt really work

anyway, guess you should cut up all your credit cards and use debit cards

by anyway, I stand by my DBS bank and my very hot and very gay private banker who works there and who has provided invaluable advice

if I was one to make a suggestion, why not ask DBS to set up a similar program like the Focus on the Family donation for similar gay cause-- kinda of like the American Express Red Card? if it was me instead of protesting, I would be there in my best Zegna suit asking DBS to make a special card of the GBLT community-- I think the fairness arguement is better than trying to destroy other people

anyway, by the way, the Mini Cooper sunvisors and seats that Fridae is promoting were made by a even bigger donor to Focus on the Family Mr. Edgar Prince who practically funded the whole thing, he gave more than a petty 15,000 Sing, maybe you should boycott that time and Amway and Kellogg's cereal and GE Aircraft engines

by the way, what's wrong with being Straight?
109. 2008-12-02 10:37  
wow, such anger, guess people there really have a chip on their shoulder, the Rosie O Donnell anger thing doesnt really work

anyway, guess you should cut up all your credit cards and use debit cards

by anyway, I stand by my DBS bank and my very hot and very gay private banker who works there and who has provided invaluable advice

if I was one to make a suggestion, why not ask DBS to set up a similar program like the Focus on the Family donation for similar gay cause-- kinda of like the American Express Red Card? if it was me instead of protesting, I would be there in my best Zegna suit asking DBS to make a special card of the GBLT community-- I think the fairness arguement is better than trying to destroy other people

anyway, by the way, the Mini Cooper sunvisors and seats that Fridae is promoting were made by a even bigger donor to Focus on the Family Mr. Edgar Prince who practically funded the whole thing, he gave more than a petty 15,000 Sing, maybe you should boycott that time and Amway and Kellogg's cereal and GE Aircraft engines

by the way, what's wrong with being Straight?
Comment #110 was deleted by its author
Comment #111 was deleted by its author
112. 2008-12-02 12:53  
Please send this to DBS Bank if you are (still!) a customer:



****** Focus on the Family Expands Ex-Gay Campaign to Asia

As the ex-gay movement expands into Asia, one of its keynote therapists is caught lying about his credentials.

Focus on the Family extended its ex-gay political campaign to Singapore late last week with seminars marketing "recovery therapy." And already the lead speaker faces professional criticism for misstating his training and credentials.

The Focus on the Family campaign consisted of several seminars.

A three-hour seminar for "Christian professionals" titled "Preventing Homosexuality" is described as follows:

Homosexuality - Is it learned, biological or both? Many would have us believe that nothing can be done to foster the development of healthy heterosexual orientation in children. But clinical evidence and experience indicate otherwise. This seminar aims to help concerned educators and youth workers uncover the most significant factors that contribute to children's healthy sense of themselves as male or female, and provides clear insight and practical knowledge for identifying potential developmental roadblocks and detecting early warning signs of homosexuality.

The workshop description begins with false assertions about the mainstream health community's findings on development of orientation, then proceeds to sell the workshop to educators and youth workers without specifying what "clinical evidence," "factors" and "warning signs" will be promoted. To find out whether the workshop consists of sound peer-reviewed information or quackery, educators and youth workers are expected to subsidize Focus on the Family to the tune of S$50 per person.

Another, all-day workshop titled "Caring for Homosexuals" exhibits a clear intent to manipulate health science to serve a political and religious goal of "change," not to treat a person according to the individual's unique circumstances and health needs:

This full-day training aims to equip psychologists, social workers, professional counselors, and others in the helping profession with the necessary framework and skills to guide homosexuals towards an understanding and recognition of their condition so to encourage and facilitate change.

Focus on the Family offers the following profile of its main speaker, Melvin W. Wong:

[click on the link below for more...]
(note: this report was posted on Dec. 01, 2003)
113. 2008-12-03 00:46  
According to the other gay website/forum, DBS seems to have terminated the xmas campaign with FotF (unverifed).

If its true, well done everyone!
Comment #114 was deleted by its author
115. 2008-12-03 02:25  
At last, DBS (Damn Bloody Stupid, or Damn Bloody Slow) recanted its campaign ...

Now they realized the power of Pink Money
116. 2008-12-03 07:10  
Do please verify those information and ask Fridae to publish it! Anyway, I am still go ahead to transfer all my bank activites to UOB.

I have not been happy with DBS ever since they took over cash rich POSB in the 90's! How can bank hitted by financial crisis and big losses in Indonesia after the collapsed of Suharto, take over a rich bank? Of course, they needed the cash to POSB to bill them out and who would question them?

The account I cancel now is my POSB account, which I have since my primary school. Had cancelled my DBS account once before as I found their service were poor and their staffs were rude - like all typical civil servants!

Plus the Lehman MiniNote fiasco and the sudden retrenchment of staffs, enough is enough. I'm not even sure the bank is secure or not! It's not their style to have such drastic pay cut for their management staff! These Elitists in Singapore always the last one to do that! So something is wrong somewhere!
117. 2008-12-03 07:31  

We thank you for your feedback and appreciate your concerns.

In line with DBS' corporate social responsibility (CSR) efforts that are
geared towards supporting children and learning, several welfare
organisations that support similar causes were short-listed.

It was never the intention of the Bank to discriminate against any group
through this initiative. Nevertheless given feedback received, to
demonstrate that DBS believes in diversity and inclusion, with immediate
effect we will be removing the Christmas charity campaign.

DBS will continue to play its part to support the community at large,
and we hope to have your kind understanding and support.

Yours sincerely

Rena Leong
Assistant Vice President
Customer Care & Feedback Management
Consumer Banking Group Singapore
118. 2008-12-03 11:25  
Just got the same response from DBS after my complaint e-mail, but this time by Daisy Ong.

Feedback for Customer Service - Complaint

Dear Mr Foo

We thank you for your feedback of 3 December 2008 and appreciate your concerns.

In line with DBS' corporate social responsibility (CSR) efforts that are geared towards supporting children and learning, several welfare organisations that support similar causes were shortlisted.

It was never the intention of the Bank to discriminate against any group through this initiative. Nevertheless given feedback received, to demonstrate that DBS believes in diversity and inclusion, with immediate effect, we will be removing the Christmas charity campaign.

DBS will continue to play its part to support the community at large, and we hope to have your kind understanding and support.

Yours sincerely
Daisy Ong
Customer Care & Feedback Management
Consumer Banking Group
DBS Bank Ltd

Glad our effort pay off! Fridae did you read this? Anyway, still going to shift much of my fund out of DBS as I just don't trust them anymore!
119. 2008-12-03 14:27  
Anyway, I'm proud of the gay community and our friends for standing united (mostly). :) Good job boys and girls! We showed em!
120. 2008-12-03 16:43  
This was definitely a victory for the gay community and their supporters, seeing as how DBS was willing to cancel the charity drive due to their CSR stance.

So congratulations to the Singaporean public for overcoming bigotry.
121. 2008-12-03 22:39  
Words Words Words Words Words ....... But it's actions that speak louder than words. We have saying in German, which basically translates to "Paper is patient", meaning that anything can be said in print, all of which doesn't make it true give any assurance that change will come about. Unfortunately the old adage is still the truth, Politicians are extraneously verbal, and most of their words turn out to be nothing but hot air and postulation.
122. 2008-12-03 23:30  
Check your facts guys. Their reply doesn't mean they are gonna stop contributing to FOTF. If you read carefully and don't infer, DBS says it is dropping FOTF campaign publicity only, but is probably still contributing to the anti-gay group.
123. 2008-12-04 11:55  
Can u pls furnish the names of DBS-related companies in Malaysia and also in other countries, so that those not in Singapore can also join in the boycott or show DBS our pleasure? Me, I don't have any accounts with DBS Bank. Let's teach these folks the effects of discrimination. Thanks.
124. 2008-12-04 20:23  
It's good to hear that DBS has dropped it's publicity for FOTF.

I just remembered that FOTF featured in the Otto Fong article on Fridae some time ago; they apparently are allowed into schools in Singapore to spread their damaging misinformation and propaganda, making life even more difficult for young gay people often already contending with homophobic bullying. I think a Head Teacher in a state school who allowed that in the UK would be fired.

On what possible grounds are FOTF allowed into schools to talk about homosexuality in Singapore?

125. 2008-12-05 11:26  
To Post #107 boxer2ii

I think most people know that, and it was stated on 05/12/2008 Straits Times that they are go ahead with the donation.

We have to remember that DBS AND FOTF IS BACK BY OUR GOVERNMENT, or at least certain members of our government. Just like our government, none of them can be trusted!

That is why I am still going ahead with my transfer of account, with eventually terminate my POSB account.
126. 2008-12-05 13:12  
Looks like I will have to close my account too.

Any decent banks to recommend? I already have Citibank and Maybank.
127. 2008-12-08 09:54  
There is no reason at all to let anti-gay companies to make profits out of us when they discriminate.

Gay dollars should go to gay friendly businesses. This is a choice that we can make.

Jointheimpact group in the U.S. will start a campaign called 'Day With a Gay' on December 10th to show the power of the gay community.

We must fight for our rights and take actions. Being passive get us to no where and more rights could be taken away.
Comment #128 was deleted by its author
129. 2008-12-31 11:22  
I find Focus on the Family's obsession with anything homosexual kind of....creepy,
to say the very least. They are like the stalker with serious mental problems...some of them might even be lurking right here in fridae as trolls.
So, to ALL fridae mmembers, the genuine ones at least, be on EXTRA careful. Hopefully in 2009, things will be better for us all. Happy New Year!
130. 2009-01-01 14:51  
Interesting how one of their advertisements in their banks kept featuring a gay man. Dumbasses.
131. 2020-09-14 20:42  
great forum , my bf this called and he want us to get back together ,thanks to Dr Obodo .for recommendation
Comment edited on 2021-03-31 20:59:43

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