LGBT GROUPS: WE DISAGREE WITH THE COURT'S INSISTENCE ON MAKING GAY SEX A CRIME

Community groups representing the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community on Thursday (Oct 30) called the ruling by the Court of Appeal on Section 377A of the Penal Code "a narrow interpretation" and "unacceptable".

This comes a day after the nation's highest court ruled that a law which criminalises sex between men is constitutional, and did not infringe on the rights of the people who filed two separate appeal - Kenneth Chee Mun-Leon, Gary Lim Meng Suang, and Tan Eng Hong.

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Responding to the decision, 14 community groups, including Pink Dot SG, PINC, The Purple Alliance and SG Rainbow, issued a joint statement that said they are "greatly shocked" and disappointed with the court's decision. They said the ruling "gives carte blanche for discrimination" and "reinforces prejudice".

"It is not an imposition for a segment to seek the same rights as the rest of society. To be viewed as equal in the eyes of the law, to feel safe at home and to be protected against discrimination, mistreatment, even physical and emotional harm, is a right to which every Singaporean should be entitled, and not denied on the basis of whom they love," their statement read.

They added that the opportunity to showcase Singapore as an "accepting, open and inclusive society has been missed". The groups called on Parliament to remove Section 377A from the legislation.

Judges Andrew Phang, Belinda Ang and Woo Bih Li of the Court of Appeal had said in their ruling on Wednesday: "It is also important to emphasise that it follows that nothing in this judgment impacts the freedom of a person or group of persons to freely espouse as well as practise his/its values within the boundaries of the law.

"This is not mere political rhetoric, but a real and practical framework that furnishes real and practical freedom for each group and each individual ... provided this is done within the parameters and boundaries laid down by the existing law of the land.

"This freedom cannot, however, extend to an insistence by a particular group or individual that its/his values be imposed on other groups or individuals."

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