Legalisation of Same-Sex Marriage in Singapore and Repeal of Section 377A
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"We, the citizens of Singapore, pledge ourselves as one united nation, regardless of race, language or religion, to build a democratic society, based on justice and equality, so as to achieve happiness, prosperity, and progress for our nation" — Singapore's pledge.
Currently, same-sex marriage is illegal in Singapore. Section 377A of the Penal Code, which dates back to when Singapore was a British colony, also states that "any male person who, in public or private, commits, or abets the commission of, or procures or attempts to procure the commission by any male person of, any act of gross indecency with another male person, shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to 2 years." The law infringes on our human right to love freely, to love without bounds.
In the past two decades, as awareness for the LGBT community has increased, more and more countries have legalised same-sex marriage, such as Netherlands, USA, Australia, France, Germany, UK, Brazil, South Africa, Taiwan, (and more recently, our close neighbour India repealed Section 377A - Sept 2018) to name a few.
As a progressive country where equality and harmony are the foundation of our society, I believe that it is time Singapore joined the above-mentioned countries in legalising same-sex marriage.
PM Lee has previously stated that he does not think Singapore is ready for same-sex marriage because the society is still conservative, although it is gradually changing. (Source: Straits Times, 5 June 2015)
However, before legalising same-sex marriage, we must consider the repeal of the above mentioned Section 377A of the Penal Code.
When asked whether the Singapore Government would remove Section 377A of the Penal Code as a symbol of change in the country, PM Lee said “this is a society which is not that liberal on these matters. Attitudes have changed, but I believe if you have a referendum on the issue today, 377A would stand." (Source: TODAYonline, 2 March 2017)
I believe that, while the opinion of the public may be key in the eyes of the government, the fate of the individuals affected by this law should not be left to the hands of the public, but rather be based on the morality of our nation, that we should exercise equality, democracy and justice. We should be treated equally, and not discriminated against by others who do not share the same sexual orientation as we do. While a fraction of our society may still be conservative, the repeal of 377A may help to change their mindset by removing the social stigma surrounding homosexuality.
Actions speak louder than words. We recite the national pledge with ease, but do we actually enforce it? Do the present laws show that we are a "democratic society, based on justice and equality", as in our pledge?
We need to repeal 377A.
I believe it is time we progress.
LOVE IS LOVE.
This petition will be officially sent to the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Ministry of Law as part of the ongoing public consultation exercise regarding the review of the Penal Code, due 30 September 2018.
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