I refer to the ongoing debate on the non-repeal of Section 377A of Singapore’s Penal Code.
Though contentious and undoubtedly divisive, the debate was necessary and may prove to be cathartic.
By voicing our concerns about “gay” rights, Singaporeans from both sides of the divide are taking ownership of Singapore. Only when we truly care about this place, would we care to take a stand and either seek to change our laws or give justifications to keep the status quo.
Personally I feel that the jury is still out about the “nature versus nurture” origin of homosexuality and I am sure that the last word has not been said about it by far. But this has not prevented me from empathizing with gay Singaporeans’ plight.
I was especially disturbed that although heterosexual sodomy (ie anal sex) and oral sex have been decriminalized, these exact same acts between two men remain illegal. If this is not discrimination, I do not know what is.
Notwithstanding law professor, NMP Thio Li-Ann's attempt to explain away why such difference in treatment can justly be classified as “differentiation” rather than “discrimination”, I am not convinced that she is not just splitting hairs.
She also alluded to the “slippery slope” of the gay activists’ agenda and how gays would demand for ever more rights culminating in same sex marriages and child adoption rights.
Perhaps the exact fear was in the white bus driver who insisted that Rosa Parks gave up her seat to a white passenger on that fateful day of 1955 in Montgomery, Alabama. If Rosa and people like her were allowed to sit as they pleased, the blacks may actually demand for equality and other rights! What a frightening thought!
Although it is uncomfortable and troublesome when other fellow human beings demand for equality and an end to discrimination, I hope that our parliament will lead rather than follow, and show that Singapore is on the way to being a progressive and tolerant society.
Dr.Huang Shoou Chyuan