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Singaporeans sign petitions on gay sex ban, with pro-377A currently ahead

Singaporeans sign petitions on gay sex ban, with pro-377A currently ahead

The lifting of the ban on same sex marriages in India has shed light on other countries who have laws that specifically prohibit marriage and relations between people of the same gender.

Recently, two petitions have gone up on social media platform Change.org, both pertaining to Sextion 377A of the Singapore Penal Code. This particular section deals with the specific prohibition of intimate relations between two men.

The piece of legislation has been around since British Colonial rule, and reflects the same law that had been in effect in Britain that criminalised gay sex between two men.

According to a report by Channel News Asia, foreign diplomat Tommy Koh, who is Ambassador-at-Large at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, had said that it may be time to take a look at 377A especially after the landmark ruling in India.

Minister for Law and Home Affairs, K Shanmugam has said that the matter is only for parliament to decide. According to the online publication, he said, ““In the Singapore context, the Section 377A was challenged as being unconstitutional some years ago, 2014. The Supreme Court decided that it was constitutional, it was not invalid. So whether you decide to keep it, whether you decide to repeal it, amend it, it’s a matter for parliament.”

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Online petitions clash

Singaporean netizens are never people to shy from giving their opinions, and opposing petitions have surfaced that may show the sentiments of the online Singaporean community at this time.

The pro-377A petition came out on Change.org, which has so far garnered more than 87,000 signatures as of posting, but has a goal of 150,000 signatures.

Started by a user named Paul P. the petition can be found at this website.

Titled “Please Keep Penal Code 377A in Singapore,” the petition was started two days ago on September 8, and had garnered 35,000 signatures on its first day.

The petition’s reasons and stand on the subject matter are as follows:

“As a conservative society which values traditional family values, we like to reiterate our desire to keep the penal code to convey to our future generations that marriage act should only be an acceptable norm between a man and a woman.

By repealing the section 377A penal code, it would begin to normalize homosexual behaviours as a societal norm and lead to greater push for other LGBT rights in our conservative society as we have seen played out in other western societies today. We do not think the vocal minority should impose their values and practice on the silent majority who are still largely conservative.”

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As for the anti-377A campaign, which can be found at this website, the numbers are considerably lower. With the goal of only 15,000 signatures, the petition is at about 11,000 signatures as of publishing.

This petition was filed by Gabriel Tang-Rafferty. According to the petition, they have already sent an email to Mr Lee Hsien Loong, Mr K Shanmugam, Mr Tan Chuan-Jin, the Prime Minister’s Office and Reach Gov.SG.

They have also included a copy of the email they sent here.

What do you think of Penal Code Section 377A? Where do you stand? Let us now in the comments!

Header image from Shutterstock, happy gay couple holding hands.

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