Section 377A: Laughably Outdated Law

Fellow Singaporeans, 

Today I talk about something far more controversial than most I’ve done before.

Section 377A. This little bit of law leftover by the British in the 1930s within the 224th chapter of our Penal code was added in with the main intent to criminalize homosexual activity on threat of jail for up to 2 years. Interestingly, this bit only criminalized the act of men doing such things, which means that by the broadest definition it would be legal for lesbians to enact it without fear of jail time.

While frowned upon at the time it was established, things have certainly changed over the last 80 – 90 years with the issue of rights expanding to other groups like the transgendered or Queer. With lack of such laws giving legal recognition over such status, it is safe to assume that it would be mostly misaligned as a “phase” or “lie” by authority figures. However, such a mindset would be ultimately damaging to the harmony of this country.

This coming at a time with 3 men appealing their case to repeal the law within the High courts, reports of Secondary students unsatisfied with the way the Ministry of Education dismisses anything outside the “regular” heterosexual frame of society and some angry salaryman ripping off a rainbow flag decorating a frozen yogurt stand in Lau Pau Sat. With such egregious incidents reflecting the inequality of this situation, the question now lies on how such rights can be introduced into this otherwise conservative nation and why it took this long for any reasonable discussion in void decks or social media to occur.

In my opinion as a Private citizen, I believe that this has been long overdue. While Straight myself, I have a twin brother who finds attraction from both men and women gauged through emotional impact. It would be criminal for him to be unable to pursue such things within the island he calls home. Like many in his current situation, he is forced to hide it and has been festering inside him as this dark secret which only causes him nothing but stress and explicit anger against a society which would exclude him from pursuing higher ambitions if they found out.

The question of repealing Section 377A shouldn’t even be a debate. It should be immediately abolished to pave way for a larger debate on the rights of the LGBT. Keeping in mind that the courts are directly influenced by Parliament, the results within the upcoming weeks will be a clear answer on whether the PAP wants to sweep this under the rug or fix this ugly issue once and for all

Cause surely, for a nation tolerant with everyone of different background, religion or race we can also be tolerant to people who cannot be categorized simply as Male or Female or those pursuing unconventional relationships. Cause we are all human and hating each other on such petty issues should be beneath us.

Expect me to write again soon. Cause 3 students got arrested for protesting outside the MOE building in Buona Vista… and one of them WAS MY FRIEND. Among hundreds, but still it’s the matter of the principle damn it!

Until the next incident or injustice, I am your loyal reader Justin

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