The sovereign city-state and island nation of Singapore in Southeast Asia still has a law on the books — Section 377A of the penal code — that criminalizes homosexuality. And while there have been efforts made to repeal the outdated, homophobic law, now two dueling petitions are urging the government to both keep that law on the books and, conversely, to repeal it. We are taking the opportunity to encourage all Hornet users to sign the Singapore petition in favor of repealing the law.
Thanks to Section 377A, homosexuality is officially illegal in Singapore. Gay sex is punishable by up to two years in prison, though thankfully prosecutions are rare. But despite the law being used rarely, the Singaporean government has stayed reluctant to repeal it. Current Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has said repealing Section 377A “will not remove the problem” of homophobia.
Lee is the son of Lee Kuan Yew, the founder of Singapore, who also argued against the criminalization of homosexuality before he died in 2015. He said in 2007, “If in fact it is true, and I have asked doctors this, that you are genetically born a homosexual — because that’s the nature of the genetic random transmission of genes — you can’t help it. So why should we criminalize it?”
(Hornet also recently reported that Li Huanwu, grandson of Lee Kuan Yew, came out as gay last month.)
The fight to decriminalize homosexuality in Singapore has now moved online with the two dueling petitions.
The Singapore petition to retain the homophobic Section 377A has over 87,000 signatures at the time this article was published. The petition was started by a man known only as “Paul P.,” who says repealing the law would “begin to normalize homosexual behaviours as a societal norm and lead to greater push for other LGBT rights in our conservative society as we have seen played out in other western societies today.” (Quelle horreur!)
While the petition in favor of Section 377A has already received a number of signatures, a competing Singapore petition is gaining momentum as well.
The other petition, by Glen Goei and Johannes Hadi, currently has over 29,000 signatures and argues that “We are ready for a Singapore that treats all her citizens equally. We are ready for a Singapore that respects its minorities and promotes individual choice and dignity. We are ready for a Singapore where people are not afraid to simply be who they are.”
RELATED | The Hornet Guide to Gay Singapore
We wish Goei and Hadi all the best, despite people like Paul P. trying to hold fast to an outdated morality. We also urge all Hornet users to go and sign Goei and Hadi’s petition.