ST Online Forum: Why is it to hard to repeal an archaic law? (Jul 21)

Sunday, July 22, 2007

July 21, 2007

Why is it so hard to repeal an archaic law?

IN RESPONSE to Mr Kenneth Vaithilingam' s letter, 'MP should reflect people's

views on homosexuality (Online forum, July 20), not only his own' with
regard to Mr Baey Yam Keng's stand on homosexuality, let it be on the record
that I agree with my MP's view that Section S377A should be repealed.
British actor and gay man Ian McKellen was quoted in this newspaper on July
18 as saying: 'Well, I feel a little bit guilty because the law you have in
Singapore was one that was left behind by the British colonial forces and
it's taken us an awful long time to get rid of it in Britain. So I'm very
sympathetic to the situation here.'

What is it that keeps us from repealing an archaic law, one that Britain had
abolished 40 years ago in 1967 and Hong Kong in 1991?

As a woman, Section 377A will have no bearing on me. Nevertheless, I can't
see how not repealing the said law will make for a better society.

On the contrary, dragging this debate out as if we were in the dark ages is
in fact preventing us from spending our efforts and resources on more
worthwhile causes where there will be real beneficiaries.

Coming back to Mr Vaithilingam' s letter, I don't think it would be a sure
defeat for Mr Baey should he run for a single-constituency ward based on his
opposition to Section 377A despite the letter writer implying otherwise.

However, should that time come, I'm certain there would be other similarly
pertinent issues for voters to consider aside from Section 377A which I
believe should be dealt with without delay if indeed we are a First World

After all, which other First World country has laws against private
consensual sexual activity between adults of any gender or sexual

Tan Yen Ling