The Singapore Parliament is scheduled to debate the proposed amendments to the Penal Code later this month. Among the amendments expected to be tabled is the repeal of Section 377 which currently states:
Whosoever voluntarily has carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any man, woman or animal, shall be punished with imprisonment for life, or with imprisonment for a term which may extend to 10 years, and shall also be liable to a fine.
However, the government has previously indicated that they will retain Section 377A, which states:
Any male person who, in public or private, commits or abets the commission of or procures the commission by any male person of, any act of gross indecency with another male person, shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to 2 years.
The effect of repealing one but not the other will make oral and anal sex between heterosexual and lesbian couples legal, but not between two men. This is highly illlogical and discriminatory, and People Like Us calls on the government once again to do the right thing and repeal both sections at once.
The government has said that Section 377A will not be “actively enforced”. This assurance is meaningless without being effected by statute. In any case, if, as indicated by their eagerness to give such an assurance, they too think that criminalising gay men is archaic and unjust, then all the more, reason dictates that Section 377A should be repealed. Keeping it on the books to pander to the religious rightwing is to take a step down the slippery slope of letting religious zealots dictate policy in our secular state.
A separate group of LGBT and friends have initiated an online petition to repeal Section 377A. People Like Us urges all right-minded Singaporeans to put their names to this online petition which can be found here. [Link deleted]
Separately, a Parliamentary Petition to repeal Section 377A is being organised. This will require pen-and-paper signatures, and will be presented to Parliament for its consideration by Nominated Member of Parliament Siew Kum Hong. Again, People Like Us urges all concerned Singaporeans to add their names and voices to this petition when approached by any of the organisers/