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Difference between a Sin and a Crime

It has taken a while, but the Prime Minister has finally stated that Singapore’s most pointless law, Section 377A, the section that criminalises anal sex between consenting adult men, will finally be removed. At the same time, the government moved to ensure that the constitution would say state that marriage is defined as the heterosexual variety. So, after years of lobbying by the likes of decent minded people like Siew Kum Hong, Remy Choo, Eugene Thuraisingam and M. Ravi, the Adam and Steve couples in Singapore can be rest easily knowing that the law no longer makes them criminals for doing what everyone else does (be with the ones they love). However, for the “Adam and Steve” couples, they will have to accept that the law will not recognise their union as anything more than that of two men choosing to live together. [LINK]

As with every government announcement, this was anticlimactic in as much as there was a very loud discussion about repealing the act long before the announcement was made. Events had moved to a level where there was no longer a rational and intelligent argument for keeping the law. India and Taiwan repealed their version of the law, thus eliminating the argument that Singapore was a conservative society where the majority disapproved of the law (there is no way Singapore can argue that it is more conservative than India or Taiwan). The public health argument was demolished by the fact that section 377 was repealed (Yes, anal sex in unhealthy but why do we allow heterosexuals to have it but not homosexuals). Those who wanted to retain the law could not provide a shred of scientific evidence that show that allowing two consenting adults to have sex in the privacy of their bedroom would somehow lead to the decay of the family. When people brought up the fact that just about every religious text disapproves of homosexuality, Professor Tommy Koh made the point that just because something is a sin it does not mean that it must be a crime (religious text condemn gambling, which is legal and even encouraged).

The most prominent argument for abolishing the law was the fact that in 2007, the government agreed to pacify the “religious” elements by keeping it but not promising the homosexual community (the law is very specific that it targets homosexuals rather than lesbians) that it would not be actively enforced. Why have a law that you do not intend to enforce?

If you ask the question of “who does this law protect” and “how does it protect” you would find that the only people who might be protected by this law would be repressed homosexuals who have been conditioned to look upon their own sexual urges as evil and needed the weight of the law to stop them from acting naturally.

Click to enlarge

Funnily enough, the biggest sign of how things were going to change was from a Linkedin post from Ms. Stephanie Yuen Thio, Joint Managing-Partner of TSMP Law. It was a rational and compassionate post, which hit on the key social issues regarding the homosexual community in Singapore. [LINK]

This is surprising because Ms. Thio not only belongs to one of the prominent families in our legal fraternity (both her Mother and Sister-in-Law are Professors of Law), she belongs to the family that has appointed itself the protector of Singapore’s sexuality (I avoid the term religious well being because the Thio family is deathly silent on topics that Jesus was interested in – namely the wealth gap, homeless, treatment of migrants and other “low-life” characters).

Ms. Stephanie Thio should be commended for her thoughtfulness and the next discussion on the rights of the homosexual community should be based on the points raised by Ms. Thio. The homosexual community will have to accept that change will not come overnight but they must press on. They need to understand that the religious community has sensibilities that need to be respected. Getting aggressive will only be met with an aggressive push back.

The religious community on the other hand needs to respect boundaries and focus its attention on social ills that their faiths worked to cure. Their energies need to be focused on things like alleviating poverty and increasing opportunity in a Singapore that is increasingly becoming a challenging place for those who get left behind.

Ms. Stephanie Thio’s post has shown that we can have rational debates and its time that we put our energies and ideas towards solving real social issues rather than trying to dictate who other consenting adults sleep with.

 

Tang Li

*Although I’ve been based mainly in Singapore for nearly two decades, I’ve had the privilege of being able meet people who have crossed borders and cultures. I’ve befriended ministers and ambassadors and worked on projects involving a former head of state. Yet, at the same time, I’ve had the privilege of befriending migrant labourers and former convicts. All of them have a story to tell. All of them add to the fabric of life. I hope to express the stories that inspire us to create life as it should be.

 

 

yyy
READER COMMENTS BELOW

44 Responses to “Difference between a Sin and a Crime”

  • Zhenzidan:

    Next, they demand that govt legalize same sex marriage by saying “you allow sex between two men but you don’t allow two men to get married. Where’s the logic?”

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  • Pervert showing up:

    Yes, yes, allow or even encourage consenting adults.

    Parent-child, can!
    Grandparent- grandchild, also can!
    Siblings – ok, ya!
    Professors and students – very good!
    Adulteries – free room at Parliament House!

    Talkcock lah.

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  • Dr Fire:

    Zhenzidan:
    Next, they demand that govt legalize same sex marriage by saying “you allow sex between two men but you don’t allow two men to get married. Where’s the logic?”

    As far as ‘parent number 1’ and ‘parent number 2’ goes, I’ve already spoken publicly about this and I’ll repeat it again: As long as I’m president this will not happen. There will be dad and mum,” Putin said.

    During his two decades in power, Putin has closely aligned himself with the Orthodox Church and sought to distance Russia from liberal Western values, including attitudes towards homosexuality and gender fluidity.

    You rarely find such logic leader too .

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  • theforgottongeneration:

    Pervert showing up:
    Yes, yes, allow or even encourage consenting adults.

    Parent-child, can!
    Grandparent- grandchild, also can!
    Siblings – ok, ya!
    Professors and students – very good!
    Adulteries – free room at Parliament House!

    Talkcock lah.

    Also to include:
    - Adult and animals;
    - Adult with young children;
    - Consenting underaged teens;
    - Ministers having sex in small spaces.

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  • Err… is it an offence to bonk an animal, be it female pig or female cow in Sinkieland?

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  • Sporeans Keep Govt Employed:

    All these scenarios you mentioned happed with heterosexual people.

    Pervert showing up:
    Yes, yes, allow or even encourage consenting adults.

    Parent-child, can!
    Grandparent- grandchild, also can!
    Siblings – ok, ya!
    Professors and students – very good!
    Adulteries – free room at Parliament House!

    Talkcock lah.

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  • Sporeans Keep Govt Employed:

    The only reason why some women feel so threatened by homosexuals is that they fear that they won’t have men to depend on financially.

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  • Sporeans Keep Govt Employed:

    Which brings to mind what one pastor said::”marrying a man is like marrying a monkey.”

    His wife must look at him and wonder :”oh dear, who is this ape I have married?”

    TRE Tech:
    Err… is it an offence to bonk an animal, be it female pig or female cow in Sinkieland?

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  • xoxo:

    Expect more n more demands of the unusual kinds from this self-centred groupies.
    In any case,this PINK DOT is worth at least 250K of VOTES come GE.
    Who cares if they get AIDS or something,WE get their votes leh.

    More cute young *boys* will be recruited into their RANKs by hook or by crook,that i am inclined to predict.
    And,whose fault?

    I am not against gay people but i observed they tend to *lure* or cajole young boys to partake in their *fun-seeking*.

    *Boys,we wanna have fun*?!

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  • xoxo:

    Difference between Sin n Crime?
    Let me try.
    Umm,GREED IS NOT A CRIME BUT A SERIOUS SIN.

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  • xoxo:

    And so,*Whats wrong with collecting more money*???

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  • He needs your votes:

    The reason why Chief Clown is softening this law is clear….but its like “give but no give way”.
    He needs more votes and to govern SG forever… seems he’ll grab at straws.
    PAPs never do anything if theyre not getting anything in return.
    He also needs some international news buzz about him …
    Everyone was already laughing behind his back for years… including us SGs.
    Get Real.

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  • xoxo:

    Just to share with folks here.
    When i was still a young teenager,i came across some gay school kids who tried to *get close* (hanky panky-ing) to me.
    Obviously,i avoided them.
    Then again when i was a young NSman,i was waiting for my girl-friend at Odeon Cinema.
    A group of gays approached me asking if i needed a ticket.
    I graciously turned them down.

    I am not against gays but parents need to be careful when their kids mix with gays as gays are always *seeking for more members*.Pardon me if i am wrong but that is what i experienced.
    You need to be aware n MATURED when mingling with gay guys or you will fall into the *cracks* yourselves most unwittingly.

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  • Zhenzidan:

    TRE Tech:
    Err… is it an offence to bonk an animal, be it female pig or female cow in Sinkieland?

    You go and try yourself and see what happens lor….

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  • Like give but no give:

    Big Deal!
    Im not pro or against..
    Talk so much but still …..

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  • Whatsupm:

    So many pressing issues in SG these days and the clown prince took so much time talking about that 377A topic.
    Haizzzz!

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  • Chan mali:

    @xoxo
    Agreed.
    Many normal kids turned gay when they become adults after they have been sexually abused at a tender age.
    I came across such cases as a counsellor.
    Parents must communicate with their kids.

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  • xoxo:

    Gay sex is not something new even if it is not something normal.
    But Gay Marriage is extraordinary.
    Not happy despite being gay,they want Gay Family with gay kids?

    We condone and say it is scientific(Ah Long said at NDP RALLY).
    So,compulsive rapists might want to demand *scientific* excuses too for their *preference*.
    What about pedophiles?

    Every kind wants to demand their *rights*.
    So,since Ah Long is so democratic ,what about REMOVING GRC as there is a sizeable proportion of 40 percent in our *society* who prefer SMC only???

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  • theforgottongeneration:

    TRE Tech:
    Err… is it an offence to bonk an animal, be it female pig or female cow in Sinkieland?

    Pls lah, Loong must save some topics to shoot next year mah – that’s how the pappies show that they are “working” – at snail pace for million$ pay.

    For those committing doing bestiality, does sex of animal matters to them? I admit I’m not animal-bonking expert.

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  • Sporeans Keep Govt Employed:

    Just because of a few cases, don’t brand all gay people as pedos.

    Just like a few cases of heterosexuals interfering with children, we can’t say all straight people are pedos.

    xoxo:
    Expect more n more demands of the unusual kinds from this self-centred groupies.
    In any case,this PINK DOT is worth at least 250K of VOTES come GE.
    Who cares if they get AIDS or something,WE get their votes leh.

    More cute young *boys* will be recruited into their RANKs by hook or by crook,that i am inclined to predict.
    And,whose fault?

    I am not against gay people but i observed they tend to *lure* or cajole young boys to partake in their *fun-seeking*.

    *Boys,we wanna have fun*?!

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  • Sporeans Keep Govt Employed:

    You seem to think this is pyramid selling.

    xoxo:
    Expect more n more demands of the unusual kinds from this self-centred groupies.
    In any case,this PINK DOT is worth at least 250K of VOTES come GE.
    Who cares if they get AIDS or something,WE get their votes leh.

    More cute young *boys* will be recruited into their RANKs by hook or by crook,that i am inclined to predict.
    And,whose fault?

    I am not against gay people but i observed they tend to *lure* or cajole young boys to partake in their *fun-seeking*.

    *Boys,we wanna have fun*?!

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  • Sporeans Keep Govt Employed:

    You are right about the votes. There are tens of thousands voters at Pink Dot to engage and win over.

    Gays don’t go around recruiting young boys. It’s only your own prejudice and ignorance that’s fuelling this fake news.

    xoxo:
    Expect more n more demands of the unusual kinds from this self-centred groupies.
    In any case,this PINK DOT is worth at least 250K of VOTES come GE.
    Who cares if they get AIDS or something,WE get their votes leh.

    More cute young *boys* will be recruited into their RANKs by hook or by crook,that i am inclined to predict.
    And,whose fault?

    I am not against gay people but i observed they tend to *lure* or cajole young boys to partake in their *fun-seeking*.

    *Boys,we wanna have fun*?!

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  • End time?:

    Are we entering into end time ?
    The world is in a mess…

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  • theforgottongeneration:

    The evening news already showed the FAILURE of the garmen on how to move this issue forward. ET and LW talked about “careful” and “safeguards” on any changes, yet the media showed shops starting to display the Pride flag in support.

    This seems like the LGBT camp is very eager to rub their choice into the public’s face. Again, nobody is against what they do in their private space, but why need to show it to everyone? Is this the “sensitivity” ET/LW talked about guaranteeing to the more conservative public? Should we allow also cults to start waving their flags in public, the S’pore equivalent of the Proud Boys (if any) to wave their flags, the neo-Nazis to wave their flags, the churches to wave the Vatican flag, the oppies to wave their party flags on national holidays, New citizens to wave their homeland’s waves, etc…?

    We already know ET talks lan-cheow only; it seems LW is proving to also speak lan-cheow.

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  • theforgottongeneration:

    Anyway, I suggest everyone to wait and see the outcome first. Pappies always do things for their own gains, even if it means playing one group with another. It has been proven that they have no qualms to kelong things just to suit their own agenda. (See GY’s explanation why taxpayers need to pay SPH 900m for the “good of the general public”. Total BS.)

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  • xoxo:

    No fake news,kawan.
    I say i dare hazard increasing numbers.
    Lets see…
    You can come back here to chakap if TRE still active 2 years later.

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  • quasi:

    pinkies…..jews…..etc…..the sympathy card is making you assholes…..especially if you vote pap over assf773…..supporters such tsmp etc are barking for pap……cheap trivialised distraction of the pap assf…ing media

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  • S Expert:

    We hear you.
    You are not an expert.

    theforgottongeneration:

    For those committing doing bestiality, does sex of animal matters to them? I admit I’m not animal-bonking expert.

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  • Monk Tang Li's depraved cave:

    Temasick will be distributing free anal lubes soon.
    With warning label:
    Not to be use on bald heads. Can be persecuted for sexual abuse of partner.

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  • tok-kok:

    As usual,another rally for blowing own tee-ta(trumpet) and tok more kok.
    Bird talk same as LJ talk.

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  • NotMyProblem:

    You wish to commit a crime or be a sinner, or be corrupted? During British time, these people joined the army to avoid the police. Now you join the PAP!

    PAP has legalised all these for their
    members. You will also be protected by the police!

    So, crime, sin and corruption are the same. Legal as long as you carry the PAP card!

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  • Sporeans Keep Govt Employed:

    xoxo:
    No fake news,kawan.
    I say i dare hazard increasing numbers.
    Lets see…
    You can come back here to chakap if TRE still active 2 years later.

    I fail to see why conservatives, sttaight folks and churches still feel threatened by the repeal of 377a.

    They are going to make marriage between men and women immune from court challenges. Another way of saying gay unions won’t be recognized by law.

    As PM said no group can have everything their way. Quite fair right?

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  • 2Daft2Live:

    Is higher morality an excuse for illogical actions? Or do logic ensure better moral standards instead?

    It is a slippery slope when people claim to have higher spirituality and begin to explain away illogical and inconsistent actions as justified because it came from the creator or via their association to the almighty. So the corrupt can give a donation to the church (e.g. the practice of selling indulgences) and have all their sins forgiven? Would it be ok to tell the traffic police issuing you a speeding ticket that you and the Home Minister goes to the same church?

    So do not for a moment think that it is cast in stone that those who claim higher spirituality have high morals. Power corrupts as long as you are a human. It is a comforting thought that modern laws are enforced in a secular manner rather than a spiritual one. I shudder to think what it will be like, otherwise.

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  • John Doe:

    Zhenzidan: You go and try yourself and see what happens lor….

    The outcome is heit, if it’s a dicky, a shit if it’s not.
    Is this what u thinking.

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  • Pappies Ball Carriers:

    Sporeans Keep Govt Employed: I fail to see why conservatives, sttaight folks and churches still feel threatened by the repeal of 377a.

    They are going to make marriage between men and women immune from court challenges. Another way of saying gay unions won’t be recognized by law.

    As PM said no group can have everything their way. Quite fair right?

    Is it really so simplistic just about recognition of same-sex marriage?

    The case in US about a gay couple suing a baker for declining to bake their wedding cake highlighted some would think their rights can encroach onto the religious beliefs of others. Why the pro-LGBT camp in SG never dare to comment on this case? Is the baker wrong? Is the couple insensitive to other’s religions/beliefs/values? Will the LGBT community here start such unnecessary provocations? It is understood the baker even recommended other bakers to the couple to do their cake, yet the couple’s response was to sue.

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  • Temusik Patriot:

    The bastard father tested and got away with MURDER LEEgaling Abortion…the son now repeal a law instilled by previos rulers through fear of God to openly declare freedom of gay for godless n gods worshippers worsh

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  • Temusik Patriot:

    Temusik Patriot:
    The bastard father tested and got away with MURDER LEEgaling Abortion…the son now repeal a law instilled by previos rulers through fear of God to openly declare freedom of gay for godless n gods worshippers worsh

    No need for Shim n him to remain in CLOSET

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  • Sporeans Keep Govt Employed:

    I’m glad you brought this u. Because they show how ridiculous the law can be overseas. In the baker’s case, if he refuses someone’s business based on race or sexual orientation can get sued for discrimination.

    A burglar tripped and fell in the home he was atealing from. He sues the home owners for undafe environment.

    People abroad trip and fall in public spaces casue their govts for unsafe environment.

    In Spore, since 337a won’t be enforced, why not get rid of it? The law itself is sexist. Men are criminals for having sex with other men, while women can eat one another’s pet pet without worry.

    Those Spore churches are trying to force their beliefs on other groups that clearly do not share their religious convictions.

    It is that simple. And PAP made it even simpler. We cancel 377a and enshrine marriage. Because the govt cannot just favour one group over others.

    So in future, marriage is only between men and women. Man and man cannot apply BTO. But can buy resale la!

    Even then if you read online, some are not happy with the changes.

    Pappies Ball Carriers: Is it really so simplistic just about recognition of same-sex marriage?

    The case in US about a gay couple suing a baker for declining to bake their wedding cake highlighted some would think their rights can encroach onto the religious beliefs of others. Why the pro-LGBT camp in SG never dare to comment on this case? Is the baker wrong? Is the couple insensitive to other’s religions/beliefs/values? Will the LGBT community here start such unnecessary provocations? It is understood the baker even recommended other bakers to the couple to do their cake, yet the couple’s response was to sue.

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  • Monk Tang Li's depraved cave:

    Sporeans Keep Govt Employed:
    I’m glad you brought this u. Because they show how ridiculous the law can be overseas. In the baker’s case, if he refuses someone’s business based on race or sexual orientation can get sued for discrimination.

    A burglar tripped and fell in the home he was atealing from. He sues the home owners for undafe environment.

    People abroad trip and fall in public spaces casue their govts for unsafe environment.

    In Spore, since 337a won’t be enforced, why not get rid of it? The law itself is sexist. Men are criminals for having sex with other men, while women can eat one another’s pet pet without worry.

    Those Spore churches are trying to force their beliefs on other groups that clearly do not share their religious convictions.

    It is that simple. And PAP made it even simpler. We cancel 377a and enshrine marriage. Because the govt cannot just favour one group over others.

    So in future, marriage is only between men and women. Man and man cannot apply BTO. But can buy resale la!

    Even then if you read online, some are not happy with the changes.

    You better thank God your parents are a male and female. AND allowing you to come to this world and TRE to talk your cock here.

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  • Zhenzidan:

    John Doe: The outcome is heit, if it’s a dicky, a shit if it’s not.
    Is this what u thinking.

    You know the outcome? You try before ah?

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  • Sporeans Keep Govt Employed:

    Same same. Thank your parents for giving you life and the opportunity to exercise prejudice by coming here tand talking penis.

    Hallmarks of the uneducated.

    Monk Tang Li's depraved cave: You better thank God your parents are a male and female. AND allowing you to come to this world and TRE to talk your cock here.

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  • Pappies Ball Carriers:

    Sporeans Keep Govt Employed:
    I’m glad you brought this u. Because they show how ridiculous the law can be overseas. In the baker’s case, if he refuses someone’s business based on race or sexual orientation can get sued for discrimination.

    A burglar tripped and fell in the home he was atealing from. He sues the home owners for undafe environment.

    People abroad trip and fall in public spaces casue their govts for unsafe environment.

    In Spore, since 337a won’t be enforced, why not get rid of it? The law itself is sexist. Men are criminals for having sex with other men, while women can eat one another’s pet pet without worry.

    Those Spore churches are trying to force their beliefs on other groups that clearly do not share their religious convictions.

    It is that simple. And PAP made it even simpler. We cancel 377a and enshrine marriage. Because the govt cannot just favour one group over others.

    So in future, marriage is only between men and women. Man and man cannot apply BTO. But can buy resale la!

    Even then if you read online, some are not happy with the changes.

    So, who did you voted for in the last few elections? You make it sounds like polarizing the society further is a good solution – obviously as long as your camp wins anything.

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  • Sporeans Keep Govt Employed:

    Thanks for your compliment. That I am powerful enough to polarize society.

    The two groups – mainly LGBT and the church are the ones. Churches seem to forget there are other types of people and always seek to impose their point of view on others. From my personal experience churches are pretty intrusive. They would tell you waht to wear if your taste isn’t to their liking. And I am not talking about indecent dressing.

    Look at City Harvest. I don’t attend this church but read online the front few rows are for people in designer gear. Yes put on your Sunday best but it does not have to be expensive.

    Everyone knows 377a is not going to be enforced, so it is irrational to act like society is going to be destroyed because the law is removed? LGBTs has always been around. It’s just that with Pink Dot, you get to see how many there are.

    Please don’t talk as though LGBTs are clear winners. There is some cost like the non-recognition of gay unions, in the law books.

    Pappies Ball Carriers: So, who did you voted for in the last few elections? You make it sounds like polarizing the society further is a good solution – obviously as long as your camp wins anything.

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  • Pappies Ball Carriers:

    Sporeans Keep Govt Employed:
    Thanks for your compliment. That I am powerful enough to polarize society.

    The two groups – mainly LGBT and the church are the ones. Churches seem to forget there are other types of people and always seek to impose their point of view on others. From my personal experience churches are pretty intrusive. They would tell you waht to wear if your taste isn’t to their liking. And I am not talking about indecent dressing.

    Look at City Harvest. I don’t attend this church but read online the front few rows are for people in designer gear. Yes put on your Sunday best but it does not have to be expensive.

    Everyone knows 377a is not going to be enforced, so it is irrational to act like society is going to be destroyed because the law is removed? LGBTs has always been around. It’s just that with Pink Dot, you get to see how many there are.

    Please don’t talk as though LGBTs are clear winners. There is some cost like the non-recognition of gay unions, in the law books.

    You understand I was talking about the gov policies polarizing us, not you or a person, right? You just advocate the change in policies.

    The last figure I got was that about 75-78% of Singaporeans identified themselves as “religious”. So religion is a big thing here, not just for churches (meaning Christians). The Muslims, Jews, some Buddhists, Orthodoxs etc. are weighing in on the issue too. Maybe not so where you are from.

    What personal experiences are you talking about? CHC is not even a mainstream church here, definitely not a worldwide church. It seems unfair to quote ONE minor church and then say “churches”.

    Glad you think LGBTs are not the clear winners or vice versa. But you also have not mention how the “religious” camp can be losers though you seems clear the LGBTs will still lose out somewhat. When a law get change, someone will be a loser. Non-recognition of same-sex marriage is not a change, so no point bringing that as a plus for one camp or a lost for the other camp.

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