- Straits Times
Over 84,000 people have signed an online petition to maintain a law that criminalises consensual sex between adult men since it was created on Saturday ( September 8).
At the time of writing, “Please Keep Penal Code 377A in Singapore”, a petition set up on the Change.org website by user “Paul P”, has exactly 84,199 signatures in support of it.
Section 377A of Singapore’s Penal Code is a piece of British colonial-era legislation that criminalises sex acts between men; and most recently, the Indian Supreme Court struck down a similar section of the Indian Penal Code last week.
A message on the petition site said: “There has been a renewed call by prominent figures recently to challenge and repeal the penal code section 377A in the light of the recent India’s Supreme Court’s decision on the same issue. As a conservative society which values traditional family values, we like to reiterate our desire to keep the penal code to convey to our future generations that marriage act should only be an acceptable norm between a man and a woman.
“By repealing the section 377A penal code, it would begin to normalise 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. We do not think the vocal minority should impose their values and practice on the silent majority who are still largely conservative.”
Some comments left on the petition site also cited wanting to “keep families and Singapore strong and harmonious” to preserving the nation’s societal and religious values as reasons to support the petition.
Another petition has also emerged, with over 9,000 people in favour of doing the opposite and repealing Section 377A of the Penal Code.
“Keeping things simple, it is time to repeal Section 377A of the Penal Code. Let’s make this a repeal based on justice and equality, core tenets of our Singaporean psyche”, wrote user Gabriel Tang-Rafferty, who started the petition.