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I am a counselor who had counseled and journeyed with LGBT persons for two decades. I am a frequent commenter on issues of justice including that of loving LGBT persons (e.g. Two perspectives on helping gay youth; Distinguish between helping gays and supporting an agenda; Letter to Shanmugam). My views on LGBT have been sought by Institute of Policy Studies, Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy.
Minister Shanmugam recently said he had spoken to many who do not want “gay sex” criminalised. I believe I represent many others who believe 377A is irreplaceable for 2 reasons: 1. It legally distinguishes between natural sex and sex between men; 2. It’s the best moral signpost Singaporeans currently have.
- 377A serves a Necessary Legal Distinction based on Scientific Distinctions between Natural Sex and Sex between Men
One of these primary distinctions is procreatability i.e. natural sex brings about offspring, sex between men do not. Procreatability is the REAL, NATURAL reason behind marriage: Nature – not governments – instituted the marriage institution. If marriage is defined by “romance” instead of “procreatability”, it would have no meaningful legal definition. For example, what principles can prevent a three-person marriage – “if all three claim to be in love” – if marriage is justified upon “romance”? Marriage and family would mean anything and everything once they get defined out of their natural boundaries. (See: http://vow.sg/love-fatherlessness-same-sex-marriage-how-family-got-deconstructed-in-america/)
When something means anything and everything, they really mean nothing. Family – meaningless now – would have got deconstructed and this harms children directly. The deconstruction of family follows the redefinition of marriage. Marriage cannot be redefined unless the legal distinction between natural sex and sodomy is first removed.
377A upholds marriage by maintaining a legal distinction between natural sex and sex between men. If we make natural sex and sodomy sex between men to be legally equal, then it can be pushed that “the marriage between man-woman and men-men ought to be equal” as well (or it will be argued that we are still discriminating gay men). It’s not Minister Shanmugam’s or the government’s prerogative to dictate for same-sex marriage activists that they should not protest for change in the definition of marriage if 377A is repealed. From history books, without this legal distinction, same sex marriage will be pushed – and legalised eventually.
1.2 Sodomy is physically harmful
Another important distinction is in the area of physical harm. Sex between men is well known to be physically harmful. HIV and STD infection 1, irritable bowel syndrome 2 and intestinal infection 3 etc, disproportionately affects men who have sex with men. This gives insight to why Monkeypox has been found to be “driven overwhelmingly by sex between men” – 95% of 528 cases; NEJM 4.
1.3 Technical differences between sodomy and coital sex
Many would also agree that sex between men i.e. sodomy, is technically unnatural, as compared to coital (man-woman) sex. While some may challenge this as a more personal and archaic view, it does not make void these observable – hence, logical – technical differences.
These scientific distinctions, demand a legal distinction between natural sex and sex between men.
- 377A is the Best Moral Signpost Singaporeans currently have
377A protects Singaporeans in ways a typical person does not realise by restraining the following:
- A woke parent insists on cross-dressing his child in pre-school
- An educator normalises homosexuality in MOE schools
- Mainstream media or government agencies promotes homosexuality to public
- A religious leader, parent or teacher gets doxed or investigated for harassment for stating the detriments of homosexual acts
- Conservative students get bullied by students supporting Pink Dot
- Malicious accusations were made on conservative organisations
- Death threats were made on vocal conservative individuals
- Confused, insecure, male minors get solicited for sex from men
Despite of Singapore being a conservative society – with 377A as conservatives’ basis in maintaining hope in Singapore’s legal and judicial system – the above events had actually occurred and are still occuring. Without 377A, there will be way lesser safeguard to the fierce lobbying of same-sex marriage activists. 377A affirmatively is an upstream barricade to such lobbying downstream.
While no one seeks to enforce arrests on practicing gays – and most agree to the non-enforcement of 377A – 377A’s constitutionality as a symbolic moral signpost is well established by our courts. The government cannot simply remove it and expect there to be no consequences to Singapore’s public morality.
- 377A is not discriminatory
Is 377A discriminatory to sexual minorities? 377A is discriminatory if and only if gay men are born that way – the way we are born into our race – and they cannot help but pursue sex between men.
I explained using history, science and philosophy on why homosexuality is not innate as many believe here: http://vow.sg/born-gay-way-sexual-rights-arent-quite-the-same-as-racial-rights/.
Furthermore, an extensive genetic study looked at the entire genome of 470,000 people and found 5 locations to be associated with same-sex behavior; the combined effects of these 5 genetic markers on same-sex behavior is less than 1%. 5
Science concludes gays are not born that way that they must pursue sex between men.
Hence, it will be errorneous to associate sexual orientation to be like race and accord sexual minorities rights the way we accord racial minorities rights. Sexual orientation has implications on behaviours – e.g. a homosexual orientation implies that same-sex relationships, and homosexual sex acts, are preferred – which are a proper subject matter for moral evaluation. Race implies nothing about one’s actions.
- Conclusion: Retain 377A – keep the floodgates of endless libertine activism closed
377A targets acts – regardless of the sexual orientation of the persons found engaging in them. Every act – including sex between men – ought to be examined according to its merit. If an act is proven harmful or questionable, it should not be promoted or normalised. Even if private parties are given legal freedom to act upon what is harmful to themselves, it should not mean that act could be promoted or normalised publicly. 377A is a uniquely Singapore compromise. It prevents LGBT values from becoming mainstream. But non-enforcement means those who identify as LGBT are free to live out their private lives in peace. If 377A can be removed flippantly without respecting the strenuous objections of a large proportion of Singapore’s population, what hope is there for natural marriage to survive under intensified lobbying for same-sex marriages – once 377A is removed?
While it is true that the Judiciary has called upon the Parliament to clarify the legislation regarding the enforcement of 377A, it should not be presumed that hence, 377A, should be repealed. 377A can remain with ample justification. Repealing it would create a grossly messier society.
Members of Parliament, removing 377A will be akin to throwing the concerns of hundreds of thousands of conservatives and their children under the bus. Such a move will weaken our society founded on the bedrock of strong natural families. Especially when most Singaporeans feel that “Homosexuality is never or seldom justifiable.” 6 (IPS survey 2021), elected MPs should not to take matters of public interest into their own hands. Else, the government would lose their moral standing.
If we do not stand internally, we cannot stand externally. To be a poisonous shrimp 7, we first have to make sure we do not rot within. Without righteous governance but a betrayal of our people and our nation’s soul, how can we even think there be SG100?
Leo Hee Khian
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