Oct 10, 2007

Singapore And Its Laws Against Gay People

If you believe that Singapore should get rid of its laws against gay people, do take a moment to sign the online petition here - Repeal Section 377A.

For more information and views on gay issues and the law in Singapore, you can revisit my old posts
here (yes,they're all nicely presented on one page, just click the link and scroll down).

I still like this old cartoon, which sums up a lot with very few words:

43 comments:

The 4th Wall said...

First off, I'm gay. I'm mostly out to everyone from my family, friends, NS buddies, former church friends to some of my colleagues.

Yet I find all these call-to-actions by gay rights activists to be rather shallow and frankly, hypocritical. Why? Mainly because alot of said homosexuals aren't even out to their immediate friends and family, living their lives as normally as one can except that well, one's gay.

This little step, coming out of the closet, is something a huge majority of gay people are unwilling to do.

Now before one gets all "yeah but it's because there's a law banning gays!" let's clear things up. By law, it's not a crime to BE gay, merely a crime to well, commit said acts that make you gay. I've told a police inspector in his face before "Hey I'm gay" and he gave me a look that said "So?"

Being gay is not grounds for arrest. Screwing another's arse or receiving a blowjob by a non female lands you in jail etc. Ok fine. But unless you choose to commit those acts in public I don't really see how one gets arrested for it. And throughout my 12 years of being gay in this country with a rather prolific sex life has never landed me in jail before. So what's the fuss all about?

Seriously, there are bigger issues out there. "Championing" this cause is but pandering to the very skewed agendas of a very few minority, all blown up and out of context.

I can't say I trust THIS government to do the right thing and change the laws to be more non discriminatory, but I find the self righteous whingings of a group of activists who themselves, run gay bath houses that provide facilities for gay sex, to be a tad "conflict of self interest" to even want to be caught up with it.

Anonymous said...

I believe this cartoon is not reflective of the gay situation now and has unintentionally (i hope) been drawn and used a means of supporting gay rights. Scripture(Protestant Christian and Catholic Scripture, as the drawing shows a catholic friar in the middle ages) in no way talks about being left-handed as wrong/evil, depicted in this cartoon. Any events in the past have been out of political/personal motivations. However, scripture does very clearly and explicitly condemn homosexuality and to make a comparison as such is a gross mistake. To imply (not very subtly) that the church is archaic, misguided and unreasonable is not a valid and responsible conclusion.

yuq said...

oh well, i seriously think that no amount of petitions can help, if the family members/friends of the homosexual are unable to accept them.

we live in a society where we gain acceptance from our loved ones. so i guess homosexuals will have a tough time if their family thinks that homosexuality is "not natural", whether the state thinks it is or not. =X

Mr Wang Says So said...

Mr Wang Says So. Mr Brown Also Says So.

rezipping said...

Dear yuq,

My mom knows that I am gay and she wants 377a done away with.

The Penal Code Nightmare

I have signed the petition. I hope everyone who disagrees with this law will sign the petition.

Thanks.

lau min-tsek said...

Well, to anon 3:35, maybe the scriptures did not condemn left handedness......

....... but old Chinese customs did.

Those old enough may remember a time when left handedness is seen as unnatural and left handed children is often punished by their parents and forced to use their right hand instead. One issue is that eating in a round table with chopsticks in your left hand is a bit of a problem when the table is crowded (try it and you will see). The leftie will tend to knock the right arm of the person to the left of him when both is lifting their arms to use their chopsticks when scoping rice out of their bowls.

It may also interest you that I also know a 30+ yo friend who is left handed, and who was forced by family to become right handed. He is now ambidextrous with a leftie inclination. He has interesting stories to tell.

BTW..... in some cultures in the past (and present), TWINS and those born physically or mentally HANDICAPPED are regarded as unnatural, the product of evil or the devil, yada yada yada yada yada.

Guess what happened to them?

Lau min-tsek said...

To add on........

since most Singaporeans are not Christians, perhaps we should ignore the Christian Scriptures?

Why should majority non-believers accept that the scriptures that so "very clearly and explicitly condemn homosexuality", should be accepted as the ultimate truth?

Oh, BTW, perhaps we should all become vegetarians since Buddist scriptures consider killing of life to be a sin, and that all women should wear the Burka since there are muslims who quote the Koran that women who expose their skin are committing/inviting sin.

Never mind if we believe in the scriptures (whatever source they are from) to begin with. Afterall, scriptures are The Ultimate Truth, right?

your loyal reader said...

How would repealing the law change the way gay lead their lifes?

So what if they know that they no longer are considered "criminals"? Would that change their life?

To some extend, I agree with "the 4th Wall".

2 un-related singles are able to buy apartments together now. They can live together under the same roof. And many gay couples are already doing so. are they worried about 377? I don't think so.

If they are not even worried, or at least bother, all this "fight" with the government is nothing but an ego issue, or just a marketing campaign for the webmaster.

striaght supporter said...

I'm striaght. Nevertheless I have signed my support from a humanity perspective, for my gay/lesbian friends, and for the long-term prospects of the nation.

To "the 4th wall": Congrads on coming out. IMHO, whether repealing 377a actually helps each individual gay/lesbian to come out depends on the individual circumstances. Who is to say that repealing the law might not help even one gay/lesbian to come out? What about gay/lesbian who cannot, under the current criminal laws, come out? E.g. What if he/she is in the police force? It's ironical but it happens, you know.

ponder said...

"My mom knows that I am gay and she wants 377a done away with."

Every mother will find it in her heart to accept her son, whatever the circumstance. Your statement doesn't say very much. If I may make a guess, her initial reaction was utter disappointment that her son is gay ?

Mr Wang Says So said...

Community Cat on left-handedness.

The 4th Wall said...

Hey just to reply to some who mentioned what I wrote (sorry Mr Wang).

Currently there's no law against coming out as gay. If you are in the civil service you can even declare you're gay and all's well, and I think you're supposed to. Even SM Goh Chok Tong said so. :P No discrimination on your sexual orientation. Even 302s have to serve NS these days.

To some skeptics, I have a couple of gay friends in PMO office and they're open about it, just not in the campy flaunt in your face kind way. And they're rising.

Again, I don't see what this fuss is all about. I'm an out gay person in Singapore and I don't feel persecuted at all. Not unless I'm damn dumb enough to go around asking/giving blowjobs in public and that I believe is a crime regardless of your sexuality, not only in Singapore but anywhere.

So seriously, what's the big deal? Is it that necessary to constantly politicise this issue? Must a simple picnic in the park have a marketing campaign? Or a synchronised dress-coded jog in East Coast Park be accompanied by a press release?

Again, as a gay person I'm sick of the way certain individuals exploit this for their own agendas. Even if the law is repealed many would choose to remain anonymous and in the closet. Our society's mindset created this, not the law (which FYI has rarely been implemented).

So as a gay person, I'd say give it a rest already.

Anonymous said...

Storm in a teacup; much ado about nothing?

Anonymous said...

I signed it too. But if I ever get approached by any gay on the street again they'll find themselves in a lot of trouble.

rezipping said...

Dear ponder,

I am only trying to tell everyone here that parents accepting their gay children isn't that far-fetched an idea as everyone believes it to be.

As with most real people, I think my mom's first reaction knowing that I am gay was a lot more complex than disappointment. Perhaps I will blog about it someday when I'm inspired.

Nevertheless, her being disappointed at that point in time really has little significance to her life now. She's glad that I am much closer to her than any straight son could ever be.

My dad was utterly disappointed when I refused to take up an engineering course at NUS, until engineers found themselves unable to find employment.

Anonymous said...

the implicit message is: avoid politics of the opposing kind or you may end up like the former ex-dpm up north. other than that, your 5th, 6th walls etc are save from being wrecked.

Anonymous said...

The 4th Wall, you must in major denial to think that it's ok to have s377A hanging over your head.

The law doesn't apply to me but I cannot imagine that what I do in the privacy of my bedroom could be considered a criminal offence.

It's plain discriminatory and if you can't see it, then it's just you. Thank god we have Mr Wang and other straight folks who have made themselves heard.

Gardener said...

Hi all,

I experienced some difficulty posting a comment in one of earlier blog entries, and might as well do so here.

A story to share.

A while back some psychologists and sociologists did a bit of research together and came up with a finding, rarely spoken of these days, they called 'crucifixion complex'.

In gist, those afflicted make a selection of persons or a person for persecution, and when this is complete they begin to worship the very thing they took the life of.

The researchers weren't just speaking of themselves (nor about te more well-known 'persecution complex') and that finding wasn't actually new but part of something innate to human societies: Sacrifice.

So you needn't worry too much, if and since you're gay. After they lynch you, they'll begin to pay you homage in some way, out of a sense of guilt or the polar opposite, blamelessness-- but that is another complex already.

As heterosexual I try not to meddle too much in the affairs of homosexuals, like how one in that mob of religionists might, in case I begin to be a bit gay myself.

Good luck.

Anonymous said...

We need to look beyond ourselves. Burma is good for a start.

Kudos to the 4th wall, the only gay I have encountered on the Internet so far who can see beyond his personal world.

Anonymous said...

I've told a police inspector in his face before "Hey I'm gay" and he gave me a look that said "So?"

What were you expecting? a breath analyzer test?

Anonymous said...

To those who claimed that what transpires between two consenting adults(homosexual or not) in the confine of a room being a private affair, is anyone suggesting that taking money without permission from within the family(members) and in the confines of ones' abode is a private and personal matter immune from all legal and social mediations?

Mr Wang Says So said...

??? I would have thought that the difference between:

(1) two consenting adults having sex; and

(2) one family member taking money without permission from another family member

is rather obvious.

If one family member freely and voluntarily gives his money to another family member, then yes, I do think it is a private and personal matter between them.

Anonymous said...

MrWang wrote: If one family member freely and voluntarily gives his money to another family member, then yes, I do think it is a private and personal matter between them.

Good point. If a man can't "rape" his wife (as the proposed Penal Code amendment suggests), then can he rob (or steal from) her with similar impunity? Does a wife have less autonomy over her body than her purse?

Man opines: Why marital rape is not a crime
http://www.straitstimes.com/ST%2BForum/Online%2BStory/STIStory_166104.html

Mr Wang Says So said...

You may be somewhat mistaken about the history of the marital rape exception.

All along, the Penal Code has stated that no man can be prosecuted for raping his wife.

The recent proposed amendment makes some inroad into eroding that exception.

Andy Ho's argument is that those inroads are insufficient, and that we should completely abolish the exception.

I happen to agree with him.

The marital rape exception came into existence at the same time that section 377 (on unnatural intercourse) came into existence -

in other words, sometime in the 19th century. The joker who proposed that it is perfectly okay for men to rape their wives is the same joker who said that men who have consensual gay sex should be imprisoned for life.

The joker's name was Stephen Macaulay, and his thinking was very much shaped by Christian views prevalent at that time. Specifically on the marital rape exception, the Christian idea was that marriage joined man and wife and made them one, a holy union, and surely one cannot be guilty of raping oneself.

xtrocious said...

Specifically on the marital rape exception, the Christian idea was that marriage joined man and wife and made them one, a holy union, and surely one cannot be guilty of raping oneself.

Ah, but the bible did say it's wrong for one to be playing with oneself...hahah

Anonymous said...

Law or no law, gays will be gays.

If gays are no criminals, why have a law to say gays are criminals.

So if Christianity (practised by mainstream churches) is against gays, then it implies that gays should't be Christians (of the mainstream churches).

So just tell them that they are not welcomed or ban them outright and these mainstream churches will be free of criminals.

Simple logic isn't it. So the question is are they prepared to do it? If no, why such hypocrisy ?

Anonymous said...

If Islam does not allow muslims to consume pork, it follows that people who consume pork should not become muslims.

So if Christianity does not condone homosexuals and regards them as criminals, then the same logic should then apply ie. they should not become Christians in the first place.

If the Churches continues to accept the offerings or tithes contributed by Christians who happen to be gays or criminals, isn't it high time that they should also amend their prejudices against them.

Anonymous said...

Hypocrisy is part and parcel of livings, be it in the market, den, organization, GOVERNMENT AND GOVERNANCE and anything, anywhere, anytime humans are involved.

Likewise places of worships and the worshippers are no different from the above-mentioned.

What on earth am I here for? said...

"So if Christianity does not condone homosexuals and regards them as criminals, then the same logic should then apply ie. they should not become Christians in the first place."

I believe lots of people have this misconception about Christians and their dealing with homosexuals and adulterers.

As a Christian, the bible condemns the act of homosexuals and condemns the act of an adulterer. It does not condemn the person. Some have misquoted the Moses Law to say that adulterer are punish by stoning. But when Chritst was faced with adulterous woman, Christ ask if anyone who has not sin pick up a stone and cast a stone at her, Nobody did because all had sin. When everyone left Christ told the woman to leave and not sin any more.

Christians see both the act of the Homosexual and a adulterer as a sin. It does not mean that as a Christian they hate that person, they should not they should welcome him/her in open arms and show them compassion and pray that they will repent.

Whether commiting and act of adultery or homosexual act, should it be a crime or not? No Christian is in any position to comment on this whether it is a crime or not it is up to the legal autohirities to decide. Why because we are concern of the person and not the act.

We go on arguing and arguing who is right and who is wrong. And never reach a solution as I am binded by the Bible. By telling me that I am wrong, I have to say that the Bible is wrong and therefore I will suffer the consequencies.

I think we have to end up to agree that there will always be a disagreement bt Christians and non-Christians.

Anonymous said...

christians couldn't even interpret the bible and yet, they want to tell others how to live their lives? goodness, i think jesus is more liberal than you give him credit for. in fact, his disciples admonish followers to MIND THEIR OWN BUSINESS.

in life, there are already natural check and balances. no need to throw stones because, a seed implanted will need to time to mature.

throwing stones or the laws( laws are carved on stones) only terminate the seed before it is allowed to mature!

and btw, on issues of adultery and whores...it is usually refer to the CHURCH so you need to have a spiritual mind to understand its implications.

if the churches couldn't even get genesis right, how can you trust them to interpret the rest of the bible? geez!

Anonymous said...

"christians couldn't even interpret the bible and yet, they want to tell others how to live their lives? "

from your comments, I have to assume that you are not a Christian.

May you search deep inside yourself why you have this hatred for Christians.

If your are a Christian, then repent for your doubt in the Church

Anonymous said...

Perhaps the question should be why do "some" christians habour such hatred and fear for "others" such as gays.
To doubt sometimes is healthy.
To follow blindly without questioning validity in one's faith can be dangerous.
A christian who doubts intelligently needs not be condemned and made to repent.

Anonymous said...

We have non-Christians lecturing Christians on Christianity and obviously think they are more authoritative than thousands of Bible scholars.

Biggest joke of the century.

Anonymous said...

I think a large part of the reason why Christians are being bashed (not that I agree with such behaviour)on forums and such is their hyprocrispy about things like whether gay sex should be punishable by law esp when they are not arguing for adulterers to be treated the same way. Why direct so much of their attention on something that has no benefit to them or the world at large when there are plenty of kids to be educated/feed/vacinated, etc.

These anti-gay Christians who are citing the bible to justify their hatred and intolerance are really "stumbling blocks" bound for the "lake of fire" (Matt. 13:41-42). I know of so many both gay and straight friends who have stopped being christian or going to church just to avoid some of so-called God's followers beacuse of what they have witnessed...

Anonymous said...

The doctrine of the Nicolaitans was mentioned in the Apocalypse of John to the churches of Pergamos and Ephesus of the seven churches of Asia in Revelation 2. It is a symbolic name of a party that represents the hierarchy of a ruling class over the rest of the people, developing a pecking order of fleshly leadership. Jesus hates this and warns the people to repent or else "I will come upon you quickly and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth." The same warning illustration is applied to those that abused grace, which led to licentiousness from the example of Balaam, seducing Christians to fornication and tampering with idolatry( with the world). The individual overcomer is allowed to eat of the hidden manna and given a white stone with a new name written in it.

The Early church father Iranaeus, identified the Nicolaitans in his treatise "Against Heresies" in the second century as they who are an "offshoot of the knowledge which is falsely so-called," mentioning that they "lead lives of unrestrained indulgence." There is no absolute proof that the heretic Nicolas was the Deacon of the same name from Antioch of the seven deacons in the book of Acts, but Iranaeus supposed him to be so. Ignatius mentions the Nicolaitans also, so there was in fact a heretical group existing at that time. Nicolas the deacon was perhaps confused with another Nicolas, the bishop Nicolas of Samaria who was a heretic in the company of Simon Magus.

The root of the word Nicolaitans comes from Greek nikao, to conquer or overcome, and laos, which means people and which the word laity comes from. The two words together especially means the destruction of the people and refers to the earliest form of what we call a priestly order or clergy which later on in church history divided people and allowed for leadership other than those led by the spirit of the risen Lord. A good translation of Nicolaitan would be "those who prevail over the people." This clerical system later developed into the papal hierarchy of priests and clergy lording over the flock(protestants included). The Council of Trent stated, "If anyone shall say that there is not in the Catholic Church a hierarchy established by the divine ordination, consisting of bishops, presbyters and ministers, let him be anathema." It is not the question of the ministries but rather in the separation of them into a hierarchy over the people. This very idea was taken over by the Protestants with their own corruption of leadership roles and coverings. The Church of Ephesus was commended for hating the deeds of the Nicolaitans. The wrong separation of the clergy from the laity is a great evil in God's sight and He hates the lust for religious power over others. There is an ungodly spiritual authority in the Church today, which is nothing more than the prideful spirit of control, manipulation, domination and intimidation and a rebellion of the rightful authority of God.

Faithful believers who have put on Christ Jesus, are all God's laity. Peter exhorted us to

Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not for filthy lucre(money money money or success success sucess) but of a ready mind. Neither as being lords over God's heritage but being examples to the flock. And when the chief shepherd shall appear, you shall receive a crown of glory that fades not away.

Shepherds serve the sheep but the wolves that clothe themselves with so-called leadership and spiritual authority serve themselves, thinking that they serve God, in essence, this makes them false christs. Early church leaders were established as overseers, not a RULING HIERARCHY.


Rev 2:15 So you also have those who hold the teaching of the Nicolaitans, which thing I HATE.


Such strong use of language. tsk tsk tsk. This God must be a terrorizer. We ought to use the laws of man to banish him! :)

Anonymous said...

Oh, by the way, that is light years away from scholarly Bible exposition.

Anonymous said...

do you know why the bible has been shrouded in mystery? full of symbolism and not being...direct?

if you can read into the symbolism(especially in the books of the major prophets), you will either be glad to embrace its messages or be too incensed by it to want to burn it. but at a mature time, the trumpet will sound( has already sounded by very respectable people in the political community). your kind of scholars are your typical scribes, intelletuals( mostly)...they are not 'low tech trumpeters'.

now if the bible had been written in PLAIN LANGUAGE, i am certain, it would not have survived all these years and the bible would not be available to today's masses.

why?

VERY VERY OFFENSIVE!go figure it out yourself.

warning: if you ever come to an understanding, you maybe shocked to find out that the people you have been admiring are actually rather dangerous, wicked and even evil. and these are not your local prostitutes, pimps,curry murderer etc! lol.

and so i've heard....

no? sample this OFFENSIVE section of the bible.

1Co 1:19 For it is written, "I will DESTROY(?) the wisdom of the wise, and I will set aside the understanding of the perceiving ones."
1Co 1:20 Where is the wise? Where is the scribe(the scholars)? Where is the LAWYER of this world? Has not God made FOOLISH the wisdom of this world?
1Co 1:21 For since, in the wisdom of God, the world by wisdom did not know God, it pleased God by the FOOLISHNESS of preaching to save those who believe.
1Co 1:22 For the Jews ask for a sign, and the Greeks(intellectuals/philosophers)seek after wisdom;
1Co 1:23 but we preach Christ crucified(???), to the Jews a stumbling block, and to the Greeks FOOLISHNESS.
1Co 1:24 But to them, the called-out ones, both Jews and Greeks, Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God.
1Co 1:25 Because the foolish thing of God is WISER than men, and the weak thing of God is STRONGER than men.
1Co 1:26 For you see your calling, brothers, that not many wise men according to the flesh are called, not many MIGHTY, not many NOBLE.
1Co 1:27 But God has chosen the FOOLISH THINGS of the world to confound the wise; and God has chosen the WEAK THINGS of the world to confound the things which are mighty;
1Co 1:28 and God has chosen the BASE THINGS of the world, and things which are despised, and things which are not, in order to bring to nothing things that are;
1Co 1:29 so that no flesh should glory in His presence.

erm..shaking hands with the powers of the world for multi million dollar deals don't exactly fit into the above scripture leh. or does it?lol

but seriously, you think your taxi drivers talk shop may have more substance than your harvard professor???..hahaha

Robert L said...

I think fundamentalist Christians are afraid that gays would say, "God made me what I am".

Imagine, we are all made by God, how can that be not true?

Be afraid, be very afraid.

gaylegoh said...

It's interesting how no one associates anti-homosexuality with Islam, but only with Christianity.

Cheers to the 4th wall - I like your perspective.

Anonymous said...

"I think fundamentalist Christians are afraid that gays would say, "God made me what I am"."

That's between the gays and God. They should be afraid, be very afraid.

Hehe.

Anonymous said...

They are also afraid of Islam's followers. Very afraid.

Haha.

Anonymous said...

Two thousand years ago when the earth was still sparsely populated and manual labour was needed to toil the land, it would be in line with any kind of "spiritual" affiliation to indicate procreation as a purpose of being "created".

Two thousand years to present days, un-reigned procreation has led to a rapid destruction of our eco-system.

Imagine if every human is fertile and procreate!

Perhaps those who think there is a need to feel "complete" with children, should be grateful to people who are single and those who choose not to procreate.

However happiness ultimately will only be fleeing and and eventually unsatisfactory if we seek "happiness" out there, either in material possession and in having lots of kids and lots of grandkids.
If heteros are the "norms" to achieve happiness, why is there still so much unhappiness abound?

Perhaps instead of searching out there for true happiness, perhaps one should "Seek first the kingdom within".

If one truly adhere to the teachings in the bible, the purpose of sex is to procreate.

How many people truly have that "lofty" motivation in sex?

Ultimately it is not the sex that is "wrong" but an addiction to sex resulting in irresponsible behaviour and hurting one's partner that is the "moral" consideration.

tim said...

to the 4th wall,

Maybe you conveniently ignore the fact that not every gay person can be as comfortably 'out to everyone' as you.

Lack of public education and positive role models in the media fosters ignorance - which means some can't come out and live a freewheeling gay life without risking being disowned or worse. Not counting those who grow up being told gays will burn in hell etc.

In my opinion, most are pressing for the repeal in RESPONSE to the rather vocal, hysterical outcry from the self styled "conservative majority".

Sure, there may be some opportunistic campaigning by some activist groups, but trust me, it can never compare to the anti-gay pressure groups who are far more organised and aggressive. After all, they have the force of moral authority behind them to mobilise scores of followers, while most sensible gay people would prefer to stay out of the spotlight.

Think, why did leaders like Martin Luther King Jr. and Mandela push so hard for civil and legal rights or their people? Couldn't they have just persuaded society to treat them more nicely and not offend anyone? Those who wrote the S. African constitution must have had a reason to list sexual orientation next to race and gender as areas of non-discrimination.

The politically religious will continue to spread misinformation in schools (gay conversion sound familiar?) and write nasty letters to the forum unless we state explicitly that they cannot. It is not simply a matter of an abstract law in the books.