ST Forum: Discrimination enshrined in law (Oct 27)

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Oct 27, 2007
Discrimination enshrined in law

PARLIAMENT'S decision not to repeal Section 377A of the Penal Code, a law criminalising gay sex, is a sad day for Singapore.

Prior to the Penal Code review, it was a criminal offence for anyone, including heterosexuals, to engage in anal and oral sex. But now we have seen it fit to modify that particular law that once applied to everyone equally to make it apply only to homosexual men.

This is not staying one step behind other countries on this issue. This is taking one step back. It is a black day for Singapore. It makes a mockery of the Pledge we learnt from young, pledging ourselves as 'one united people, regardless of race, language or religion, to build a democratic society based on justice and equality...'.

We have, instead, given in to pressure from vocal religious groups.

Singapore would have stronger moral grounds to stand on if it had simply left the section in question intact. At least, then, the so-called 'conservative values' would be protected for all of society.

Now, discrimination against a minority group is enshrined in law.

One thing good that has come out of this debate is that it exposed the hypocrisy of those who urged the retention of Section 377A.

If oral and anal sex between two men, which Nominated MP Thio Li-Ann so graphically painted in Parliament with much disgust and mockery, is immoral, an abomination and carries grave social costs, then the right thing to do is to leave the Penal Code alone. Why change it to make this 'disgusting' act perfectly fine for heterosexuals but still a crime for homosexuals?

Love the sinner, hate the sin, so they say. But down the road, one day, a kind and caring homosexual could become the victim of a hate crime because, in the eyes of his attacker, he is a criminal under the Penal Code and a threat to the moral fabric of our society.

Wong Suan Yin


Why change the law to make oral and anal sex perfectly fine for heterosexuals but still a crime for homosexuals?