This is Roy Tan again and the following is my media statement following Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s announcement that Section 377A will be repealed:
“I am elated and relieved for Singapore’s LGBT community that PM Lee Hsien Loong announced yesterday that Section 377A will be repealed. The 28 February 2022 landmark judgment by the Court of Appeal in the constitutional challenge launched by human rights lawyer M Ravi and myself that Section 377A is “unenforceable” and the historical legal precedent it established that our courts now recognise the doctrine of substantive legal expectation (SLE) in constitutional law were instrumental in making the Government arrive at its decision to repeal the discriminatory statute. It has been an arduous twelve-year struggle to arrive at this juncture. We are greatly indebted to Tan Eng Hong for having the courage to initiate the first constitutional challenge in 2010 which clinced a seminal ruling and made all subsequent challenges possible. He undertook this despite a complete lack of support and despite facing the spectre of bankruptcy from hefty court fees.
The retention of Section 377A causes a trickle-down effect which influences many of the rules and guidelines governing the lives of LGBT individuals in Singapore. With the law repealed, we can progressively dismantle the impediments to the visibility and progress of queer citizens because there no longer exists a reason for prejudicial treatment, for example in the areas of media representation, censorship, employment, sexuality and safer-sex education in schools and in public advertisements, in the armed forces and access to inclusive healthcare. I look forward to a future where we can hold our heads up high as equals in the eyes of the law instead of living as marginalised, second-class citizens in our own country.”
Roy Tan Seng Kee.