Posted by: Yuki Choe | September 26, 2007

Singapore PM: Gay Sex Laws Retained Because ”That’s The Way Many Singaporeans Feel”.

The Singaporean message to the world in bold, commentary in brackets:

Source:  http://www.fridae.com/newsfeatures/article.php?articleid=2042&viewarticle=1

PM Lee Hsien Loong reiterates that although “gayness is mostly something in-born” and “a personal matter,” Section 377A will be retained because “that’s the way many Singaporeans feel” it should be so.

A law undergraduate queried Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, who was speaking to university students at a Ministerial Forum on Friday night, about the government’s decision to retain current laws that criminalise “gross indecency” between men despite its promise to not use it against consenting adults.

PM Lee explained that the government had to recognise that many people in Singapore were strongly against the decriminalisation of Section 377A which provides for a jail sentence for up to two years should a man is found to have committed “an act of gross indecency” with another man, either in public or private.

“If everybody felt like you in Singapore…we could change 377(A), and we would decriminalise gay sex.

(The results of a poll in 2000 on gay law issues in Singapore shows that almost everybody agreed they should decriminalize it:  http://www.sodomylaws.org/world/singapore/sinews001.htm

Finally, the survey asked about the current “crimes against nature” law, which most other former British colonies have long since repealed but which in Singapore prescribes punishments as harsh as life imprisonment. Recently a heterosexual male was convicted of sodomy against his former girlfriend, but acts between two women have never been prosecuted. Specifically, respondents were asked if they believed that oral sex between homosexual adults in private should be restricted. Restrictions were opposed by 39% of those interviewed on the street and supported by 29%. Among Internet respondents, fully 78% opposed restrictions and only 16% supported them.)

(So where is the ‘majority’?).

“It’s a very divisive issue, our view or my view is that gayness is mostly something in-born; some people are like that and some people are not. How they live their own lives is really for them to decide, it’s a personal matter.

“But the tone of the society, the public, and society as a whole, should be really set by the heterosexuals and that’s the way many Singaporeans feel.

(So it means heterosexuals in Singapore is now publically given a superior status in society of Singapore to tone the society, the public and society? Heterosexuals are now the sexual orientation police in Singapore. Asexuals beware.)

“Gay people exist. We respect them, and they have a place in our society. But (for) Section 377A, to change that, will be a very divisive argument. We will not reach consensus however much we discuss it.

(Just how divisive is it? Well, they just do not wish to divide the church and the state, especially when the fundies make noise about their bigotry. Therefore it is better to have Christianity as the superior religion than Buddhists in Singapore, even thought there are around 3 Buddhist for every one Christian: http://www.k12academics.com/singapore_demographics.htm

Singapore is also a multi-religious country, due mainly to its location on one of the world’s major transportation routes. More than 40% of Singaporeans profess adherence to Buddhism. The large percentage may be due to a lack of distinction between Taoism and Buddhism; Taoism, Confucianism, Buddhism, and ancestral worship are merged into one religion by most of the Chinese population. Most Muslims are Malay.

Christianity in Singapore consists of Roman Catholicism and various Protestant denominations, and comprises approximately 14% of the population. Other religions include Sikhism, Hinduism and the Baha’i Faith followed mainly by those of Indian descent.

The demographics may be a bit old but still strong: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religion_in_Singapore

The influence of the Christian religion on political issues is really immense: http://www.straitstimes.com/ST+Forum/Online+Story/STIStory_160086.html)

“The views are passionately held on both sides. The more you discuss it, the angrier they become. The subject will not go away.

“Our view, as a government is, we will go with society. We will not push forward as society’s views shift. We just follow along. As of today, my judgement is: the society is comfortable with our position. Leave the clause (alone). What people do in private is their own business; in public, certain norms apply.”

(The only people that would be angry our Christians churches. And looking at the other heterosexual law that had been ammended to allow sodomy among heterosexuals: http://www.out.co.nz/pages/outnews2.asp?ref=5702 . Where are your voices, oh mighty Singapore Christian Church? Do you Christian heterosexual men and women of “God” kept quiet because you wish to engage in anal sex and oral sex, and are joyous that your Christian homosexual brethren are unable to do so?

In a report last week, Member of Parliament Sin Boon Ann, supported the retention of the laws when asked to comment about a survey conducted by Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University. The survey, which was done in January 2005, found that seven in 10 people held negative attitudes about gay men and lesbians.

(Of course: http://mrwangsaysso.blogspot.com/2007/09/why-homosexuality-should-be.html

Anyway, the study is here: http://www.ntu.edu.sg/corpcomms2/news/ST_070920_H10_7%20in%2010%20frown%20on%20homosexuality.pdf

This seems rather strange, and already highly suspectful, considering Singapore’s position as a liberal nation fearful enough to cause an ex-gay in Singapore (now in Malaysia) to ask his parroting little chickens not to go to Singapore.

And where exactly are the test subjects from? There should be questions on this study because of all their efforts on asking the 1,000 persons for their opinion, while also getting their religions status, the percentage from the thousand of those from religions like Christianity is not revealed. Can someone fill us in on this, or it is supposed to remain shrouded in doubt.)

The findings showed that 68.6 per cent of the respondents ‘generally held negative attitudes,’ 22.9 per cent had positive attitudes and 8.5 per cent were neutral.

(But at least in the link above, they admitted this: On average, Christians and Muslims were seen to hold ‘significantly more negative attitudes’ than Buddhists or freethinkers.)

Sin, who is head of the Government Parliamentary Committee for Community Development, Youth and Sports said: “We are a conservative society and will not be trailblazers in this regard.”

He added that the decision to keep the laws was a “statement of values” rather than a “statement of rights and obligations.”

(The statement of values should consider on a broader thought about homosexuality. Since it is announced vividly in Singapore that homosexuals exist, why put the foot in the mouth by obviously saying ‘Homosexuals are not allowed to have sex, even anal and oral. Heterosexuals can have any sex they want’. Is such blatant discrimination, and imposing a superiority over a minority, a value?)

This is despite the fact that Singapore is the only developed country to have laws criminalising sexual activity between men. Like Singapore, Malaysia and India inherited similar laws from its British colonial past while former colony Hong Kong had scrapped its laws criminalising gay sex in 1991.

———————

(There were two strong worded letters sents to the press in separate times: The anti-gay letter by Yvonne Lee was apparently rebutted by her boss and vice dean Victor Ramraj of the same university they belong to.

http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Southeast_Asia/IE17Ae01.html

Her letter, and presumably another rebuttal by a Mr. Ravi, here:

http://www.singaporedemocrat.org/Vantage_MRavi.html)


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