LGBT Community: We Won’t Rest Until Section 377A Is Struck Down Completely!

The Court of Appeal’s declaration that Section 377A is “unenforceable” is a major achievement in our struggle for equal rights for the LGBT community. But the fact that it remains is a sign that the legal system still regards gay men as criminals.

The Criminal Procedure Code and Penal Code says that people are obliged to report a gay couple if they know that they are going to commit “any gross act of indecency”. Not doing so will result in a penalty. Because it signals to society that our relations are criminal, it encourages discrimination in media representation, bullying, violence, hate speech, marital rights, and impairs mental and physical health.

If 377A is “unenforceable” like what the Court of Appeal said, why is it still a law?

An unenforceable law cannot remain on the statute books. Laws are made to be followed and enforced. A piece of legislation that does not require anyone to follow it or which cannot be used to charge people is not a law at all.

It is contradicting that Section 377A exists but is “unenforceable”. The much more sensible approach would be to strike down 377A completely so all these inconsistencies would instantly vanish.

The statute has become a dead letter. This is precisely why I am pushing through with the repeal of 377A. The Court of Appeal’s judgment that it is “unenforceable” is a partial but significant victory for the LGBT community. It has provided me with the ammunition to see my goal through and we will not rest until Section 377A is struck down completely.

Based on contribution by Roy Tan

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