Section 377A of the Penal Code and Discrimination

It is a bit sad that neither the PAP or the WP want to state their stand and put forth their reasoning behind whether Section 377A of the Penal Code should be repealed. Indeed, I would argue that Sectional 377A needs to be repealed on the basis that we should avoid discrimination in Singapore as much as possible. Officers elected into the Parliament need to have the moral courage to remove discrimination of any kind in the society.

Section 377A of the Penal Code is inherited from British colonisation and is an accidental rule with religious inclinations. The British were pre-dominantly Christians and homosexuality is a religious sin in Christianity. If Singapore had been colonised by a country with Hindu culture, Section 377A of the Penal Code might have been established as no eating of beef. If Singapore had been colonised by a country with Muslim culture, Section 377A of the Penal Code might have been established as no eating of pork.

Nevertheless, Singapore is a secular country and our laws should not show favouritism to any particular religion.

In fact, we need to take a step back to re-examine the purpose of governance, the primary task of the government. The government is elected to develop the country for the welfare and benefits of its citizens and to ensure that each and every citizen enjoy equal rights and privileges. It should not be passing moral judgements on what two consenting adults want to do in the privacy of their bedroom. At the same time, the government should be neutral in that it should not be promoting or criminalising homosexuality since this is not under the jurisdiction of the government. Nevertheless, the government has the obligations to ensure that everybody enjoys the same benefits, rights and privileges within the country, regardless of races, languages, religions and sexualities.

Singapore is established to be a country of equality for all, then we should not allow discrimination of any kind in our society. As a secular society, Singapore should commit to repealing Section 377A of the Penal Code. Note that this has nothing to do whether homosexuality is or is not a moral sin – this should not play any part in how laws are to be established. Regardless if it is or it is not a moral sin, the government should not be passing judgement and the law should not discriminate on the basis of any particular religious belief. Otherwise, we can apply the same argument to establish laws that the consumption of beef is illegal (religious sin for Hindus) and the consumption of pork is illegal (religious sin for Muslims).

Nonetheless, this is the tip of the iceberg. The real issue is that the homosexual community faces discrimination in the society.

The current laws in Singapore do not recognise same-sex marriage because marriage (in the more traditional sense) is defined to be a union between a male person and a female person. Nevertheless, strictly speaking, same-sex marriages cannot be recognised without changing the definition of the term “marriage”.

Unfortunately, this has repercussion when same-sex couple. If Singapore is committed to be a fair society without discriminations to all regardless of races, languages, religions and sexualities, it needs to allow same-sex couple to register as “partners” and extend the same rights and privileges to same-sex couple that are usually extended to a family unit, including but not limited to the following.

Purchase of a housing unit
Application of dependents’ passes
Taxation considerations

Having said that, I would argue we may have to include an exception to the extension of privileges towards child adoption. The reason why I would argue for this exception is because adopting a child necessarily involves a third-party, namely, the young child being adopted. A young child growing up in a household where the parents are of the same sex is not growing up in a biologically natural environment. (Same-sex couples are not able to have children naturally, so no child has ever been conceived by a same-sex couple and grow up in an environment whereby both natural parents are of the same sex.) Hence, this matter is no longer a matter between two consenting adults. A young child is involved and the child is not likely to have the maturity to decide if he or she will consent to being raised in a home whereby both parents are of the same sex.

The main issue in this matter that warrants an exception is that there may or may not be psychological impacts on a child’s formative years that may or may not affect the growing up process. This exception will be removed if there are non-refuting scientific studies to conclude that there are no psychological impacts to a young child growing up in a household where the parents are of the same sex. Nevertheless, beyond this issue of child adoption, all other rights and privileges of a married couple should be extended to a same-sex couple.

PS: I declare that I am not a Lesbian and I have no vested interests in repealing Section 377A of the Penal Code. In fact, I am not affected by this law in any ways.

 

Linda Chopra

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13 Responses to “Section 377A of the Penal Code and Discrimination”

  • patriot of TUMASIK:

    Homos and Lesbians are free to live their LIVES within the confines of their personal preferences and they do have their own ENCLAVES if you are one and know where to find them in PUBLIC…

    I do NOT believe they are discriminated as long as they stay within the BOUNDARIES of LEEgallity???,… frown upon by certain groups and certain people BUT not ostracised publicly by the system…

    LEEgal Abortion is worse and MORE then evil and should be REMOVED!!!

    Singapore lost one maybe two Generation of its people through the EVIL of LEEgal Abortion …claiming more than a Million innocent unborn since 1974…

    Imagine the foetus of the INNOCENT given a smoke sent off @ Crematoriums after KK or mass burial at God alone KNOWS where or Kept in Glass Bottles with formalin for medical students to GAWK???

    How hypocritical for the MPs and Ministers who claim they are Christians to go to church to receive Christ and Praise and Worship His Name

    and…ACCEPT & SANCTION this mass LEEgal Murder

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  • Harder Truths:

    Firat – $G society has leaned to live with homosexual behaviour. gays are not physically or mentally abused in $G. In fact, as seen by the recent HIV fiasco – homosexuals are running to $G for work and the great lifestyles they are offered.

    Second – learned to live with is not acceptance. Many in $G will not accept homosexual behaviour. A lot of things are not accepted – but SG citizens are willing to live and let live.

    Third – the behaviour of homosexuals as a minority group in Asian countries should be understand as being just that – a minority, The way of life and behaviour will never be an ‘alternative’ as in western countries.

    Fourth – the use of 377A is redundant and the repeal will only be symbolic. We have bigger problems now that need our attention. The symbolic repeal of 377A can wait until other things are sorted out.

    Fifth – there are always two sides to a coin – you are glorifying and supporting homosexuality without understanding the negative issues that have destroyed western society by legalising LGBT into a third sex and also opening the doors to all kinds of social problems. Go to the UK / USA and see what pandering to the LGBT community has made the former family oriented British / American society into.

    Lastly – be very careful what you want – you might get it. $G is not the UK or USA. When you remove the mechanism of natural order set on the strong foundation of family values you destroy society as a functioning entity. It is apparent you have not seen what social problems can do.

    Do your homework and accept that not everything has a solution. Some things are better left as-is (for the present. Unless you know exactly what you are doing you will lose a lot more than you may expect to gain.

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  • CrapLah:

    In some places, you can’t broach on such subject matters(sexuality) because you are going to attract repressed adult(mostly senior) like flies to forbidden fruits and soon, all kinds of seedy innuendos will suffice.

    This is Singapore you know. A very repressed society on one side and then a pseudo liberal on the other side attempting to break out amidst a politically strangulated pseudo intellectual community mouthing mostly trendy garbage.

    Again bear in mind, this is Singapore – Jack of all trades(with much reliant on external imports) and master of none(of intrinsic value) except riding on the coatail of LKY’s eloquence and his LEGAL MIND and FRAMEWORK but again, ace at preachy crap.

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  • I like lyCHEE, hate LOOGan:

    What’s of utmost importance in the mind of the bunch of jiak liao bee MIW is VOTES to stay in power! Their decisions are always focused on VOTES in GEs.

    There’re so many religious voters and there’s also a community of very united LGBT voters.

    Support the repeal of section 377A, they’ll lose votes, plenty of votes from the devoted church, mosque and temple goers.

    Agree with the religious people, they’ll lose votes from the other group of united people.

    So? Shh….. best is not to anger any side so as not to lose their votes. After all the incumbent can always give the excuse that we inherited it from British colonisation. It’s no fault of theirs.

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  • LIONS:

    I can accept that some among us can be inclined towards gay sex for one reason or another.
    However,i cant agree that laws for gay sex were made plainly for RELIGIOUS reason ONLY,particarly *christians*?

    In fact,all good laws are firmly tied to SOCIETAL NORMS N VALUES mostly,some of which happened to be oso religious or MORAL.

    If the writer’s line of thought is correct,then,we shud oso REMOVE LAWS REGARDING PEDOPHILIA as it may oso be a reason of *inclinations*,etc?

    There is no end to these VARIANTS/DEVIATIONS from normal SEXUAL conduct n practices but we must make n uphold the LAWS we have made to protect the larger society whilst taking care n giving compassion to those who are deviant?

    Its the same for other kinds of laws like FAKE NEWS LAW etc that may be made to protect the interests of A FEW who called thenselves *GOOD*?
    Same for GRC N EP MINORITY LAWS?
    Ans,many other types of LAWS here?

    So,emphatise with the gay and give them our compassion but i seriously wont want to call another MAN,*FATHER*,if i were a child again,would you,honestly?

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  • LIONS:

    Sorry,typo error….
    …but seriously i wont want to call another MAN,*FATHER*,shud be changed to … i wont want to call another MAN,*MUMMY* instead.

    Thanx.

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  • Regime change is the solution:

    Straits Times: What’s the next chapter in Singapore’s political succession story?

    REGIME CHANGE just like in Malaysia. Singaporeans will prove this year that they have the courage to vote for regime change.

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  • Think Again:

    Linda, ok, shove Christianity aside. I dare you to come and propose your argument again. THINK CAREFULLY!

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  • Simplistic or Problematic?:

    Determining the direct effects of gay parenting is complicated because many children of gay parents are also affected by the separation of their original biological parents.

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  • Irene Vanessa Wan Si Hung:

    Is that why STOMP.com.sg always have regular reports of naked men walking around in public?

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  • Perspective:

    Some groups and individuals will politicize the LGBT “agenda” and 377A to frighten conservatives into voting for the Party. There is no reason to fear. 377A will not be repealed any time soon, even if the Opposition wins a few more seats. SG is still very much an Asian society built around religious and traditional views of marriage. The Opposition knows it just as well that if they try to repeal 377A or promote gay marriage, they will lose the traditional and religious voters the next time around. There are other important issues of policies and governance that conservative voters should be concerned with than to be distracted by 377A.

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  • 双叉舌眼镜蛇王:

    上帝给男人一枝枪,女人一只蜜蜂不是没有目的的!

    随便去更改上帝的安排必定要付出很大的代价。天道运行在特定的轨道上,为了极少数异常需求而去改变这轨道,风险和有可能要付出的代价肯定会比有可能得到的多得太多!

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  • Only One Important Rule:

    No to any PAP candidate.

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