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Singapore: Couple take country’s gay sex ban to Court of Appeal

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  1. Why is gay sex between adult men more of a ‘crime’ than gay sex between women?

    Is it down to a ‘pecking order’ of sexual acts-and if so- who in Singapore makes these crazy decisions?

    It just makes the Singapore judicial body a worldwide laughing stock!!

    This is crazy stuff!!!!

    1. The question you should be asking is why consenting adult sex even considered a crime in the first place?? What ever happened to privacy and human rights? Lol humans are crazy, not even a an animal would think of such a thing :P

    2. This law (that only criminalizes sex between two men) was ‘kindly’ sponsored by your country, the UK and the former (Victorian) British Empire! Apparently, this archaic British law didn’t believe sex between two women was possible.

      As a gay Singaporean, like gay Ugandans, Kenyans, Malaysians, Sri Lankans etc, we have to live with this stupid law (377A) and its legacy that has roots in a Judeo-Christian heritage that is largely foreign to most South and South-East Asians.

      So John-UK, the Brits are responsible for it! The French, Germany and Dutch colonies had none of these stupid laws.

      1. And in Britain, we repealed these laws 40+ years ago. So what’s Singapore’s excuse?

        1. I absolutely don’t believe there is an excuse and I’m not defending the Singapore judicial courts regarding this. I was just answering the question that John-UK asked – ‘Why is gay sex between adult men more of a ‘crime’ than gay sex between women?’

          Great that the UK and some former colonies (mostly Western ones) have repealed these laws. The truth however is that the gay rights movement is a recent thing in most (if not all of Asia). By and large, most people in South-East Asia, South Asia and the Far East, especially those over 40 are ignorant of gay rights as human rights. Things are moving in the right direction, but it’ll be a slow process. Singapore’s excuse – the current government (in power since 1965) believes in not rocking the boat.

          As I said, there’s no excuse. But you have to put the LGBT struggle and rights movement of Singapore (like Uganda or Kenya or Malaysia) in the context of the geographical, cultural and religious make up of each nation.

      2. Robert in S. Kensington 23 Apr 2013, 12:16pm

        The problem is vee, other former colonies moved on such as the more civilised nations of Canada, Australia, New Zealand and even India. Blaming the UK for what happened in the past doesn’t help matters. We abolished criminalisation of homosexuality in 1967 so if we can do it, so can others. Obviously, some can’t evolve such as your country. That’s not the fault of the UK in 2013.

        1. Most of the former colonies that have repealed the anti-sodomy laws are Western nations. The only current exception is India, which only repealed it a couple of years ago.

          Singapore, I hope, will evolve (soon) on this issue. For you to say it ‘ can’t evolve’ as you have suggested is ignorance of the fact that ALL countries evolve, but at a different pace. Holland passed same-sex marriage in 2000, the UK’s had to evolve on this issue and wait 13 years to come around to it.

          My point is, it’s arrogant to believe that nations like Uganda or Singapore need to move as fast, if not faster (than the West) on these ridiculous laws. Some nations seem to be stagnating (eg Singapore), others seem to be regressing (eg Uganda). In fact we are all simply evolving. To dismiss Singapore as a ‘can’t evolve’ nation is to slap the faces of Singapore’s LGBT activists who have slowly but surely made some progress in achieving the rights we deserve! This is the 5th year LGBT Singaporeans and their

        2. supporters will be celebrating our right to love who we choose to.
          We will continue to fight the bigotry and ignorance and demand our rights – ALL rights, even the right to same-sex marriage. But we will do it in our own unique way. If it takes 10 years to repeal the anti-sodomy laws and 20 years to get same-sex marriage, we will do it! I know you will celebrate with us when we get there. Just like I’ve cheered for my Kiwi and Uruguayans friends.

        3. Btw, when I mentioned the 5th year LGBT Singaporeans will be celebrating our right to love whom ever we choose to; I was referring to the annual Pink Dot event. it’s called the Pink Dot because tiny Singapore is just a dot on the world map.

          I apologize if I’ve been rambling on too much.

      3. Robert in S. Kensington 23 Apr 2013, 12:59pm

        So what about the dominant faith in your country, vee, buddhism? Why aren’t buddhists pushing for decriminalisation of homosexuality, supposedly a peace-loving, non-judgmental faith, and having no actual animus towards homosexuality?

        1. Robert in S. Kensington, you have asked this question in a rather simplistic way. Firstly, Singapore’s religious landscape is quite diverse, Buddhist (35%), Christians (18%) Muslims (18%), Taoists (10%), Hindus (5%), free-thinkers (15%). There is a misconception (sometimes in the West) that Buddhism is peace-loving, etc and should be at the forefront of LGBT and human rights. The simple answer to your question is yes and no. Buddhism in Singapore and most of Buddhist Asia is actually quite socially conservative. The social conservatism is more a cultural thing. But because the religion is so entwined with the culture, it is often hard to separate and thus the (Buddhist teachings) are interpreted as such.

          Interestingly, but not surprisingly, it is the very vocal Christian and to a lesser extent (Muslim) communities that are the ones that are strongly opposed to repealing the anti-sodomy laws. The highly educated Christian minority is largely over represented in Singapore’s

        2. parliament, the broad sheet (print) and TV media and in education. The Singapore Council of Churches (an umbrella of Protestant Churches, including the homophobic Anglican Church of Singapore) has in the press declared ‘war on the homosexual agenda’.

          I guess Singapore, like all other nations, has it’s own set of local issues to deal with, with regards to pursuing it’s LGBT activism.

  2. Just my thoughts too John when I read it….I hope they succeed

  3. These are a lovely pair of guys who need international support to keep their case going. Please watch their video and help them out with a few quid if you can.

    http://bit.ly/Z6m3pD

    To respond to John and Marc’s comments, the Singaporean government was perfectly frank that they weren’t decriminalising male homosexuality because of “public opinion” i.e. the ick factor.

    But the reason male homosexuality is criminalised separately in Singapore, as in much of the Commonwealth, is because of the Victorians.

    It’s often said that Queen Victoria prevented the criminalisation of lesbianism because she couldn’t conceive of such a thing, but that’s a myth of course.

    In fact the Labouchere Amendment was never intended to refer to lesbians. Victorians worried that criminalising such unspeakableness would give us ladies the idea!

    So by all means blame the Singaporean government for this silliness – but keep a good chunk of the blame for our own ancestors.

  4. Singapore is the last non-Muslim developed country to have such a ban. Is this select club really where the country wants to be?

    1. Yes, you are right about that! The Singapore government has become increasingly aware that it is ‘isolated’ on this issue. The Singapore government would like to take a very pragmatic approach to repealing this law. but as we (LGBT Singaporeans) suspect, they are terribly afraid of upsetting the Christian/ Catholic & Muslim minorities. The latter group has very strong ties to Muslim Malaysia and Indonesia (singapore’s closest neighbours).

      The secular Singapore government takes race and religious issues very seriously and it’s very sensitive to upsetting any ethnic and religious group. This is because, during Singapore’s early years of Independence, there were major race and religious riots. Officially, no religion or ethnic group is given a privileged place in government or the ‘public space’.

      sadly, it is precisely this sensitivity to race and religion that has prevented the spineless Singapore government from moving fore forward with repealing Section 377A (anti-sodomy law)

  5. keith, moral instructor to immorals 23 Apr 2013, 3:03pm

    Sometimes government has to make laws that enforce moral ocdes such as homosexuality laws also incest and polygamy laws.
    To explain. Homosexuality and adult male incest hurt nobody directly when carried out in private. However, both are morally wrong which is why governments legislate. YOU SHOULDN’T ALLOW ONE WITHOUT THE OTHER.

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