What is Ready4Repeal?
‘Ready 4 Repeal’ is an online movement for the repeal of Section 377A of the Singapore Penal Code. We started the movement because Section 377A was being excluded (yet again) from the Penal Code review, and we didn’t want the LGBTQ+ community to be left behind.
What’s so important about this Penal Code Review?
The Penal Code review is a long and comprehensive process which doesn’t happen often. The last review was more than a decade ago.
For this review, some of the key tasks given to the Penal Code Review Committee were to rationalise, recalibrate, and modernise the substantive offences in the Penal Code and update or remove any outmoded offences. There was also a special focus on the protection of women, minors, and other vulnerable people. However, the Government specifically excluded Section 377A from the scope of the review. This is a glaring and problematic omission given that Section 377A is an anachronistic colonial law, and that the LGBTQ+ community is marginalised and vulnerable.
The last review of the Penal Code took place more than 10 years ago. The last sustained national conversation about the criminalisation of homosexuality also took place then. Singapore and LGBTQ+ Singaporeans cannot afford to wait another 10 years to be liberated from this old and unjust colonial law.
What are the effects of 377A?
Even if it’s not enforced, Section 377A relegates our gay friends and relatives to second class citizenship by signalling that what they do, and who they are, is condemnable and wrong.
The broader implications of this law results in:
Poor physical and mental health outcomes for LGBTQ+ people;
Harassment and discrimination against LGBTQ+ employees in the workplace, often with impunity;
Denial of legal registration to LGBTQ+ organisations;
Censorship of any positive portrayals of LGBTQ+ individuals and relationships in the local media;
Absence of objective and comprehensive education in schools about gender identity and sexual orientation; and
Restrictions on the promotion of HIV prevention and treatment programmes by public health providers amongst the LGBTQ+ community.
The continued existence of this archaic law today prevents our fellow LGBTQ+ Singaporeans from freely exercising the right to individual choice, expression and dignity.
The Singapore Government is undertaking the first major review of the Penal Code in more than a decade. The public consultation exercise on the report of the Penal Code Review Committee will end on Sunday, 30 September 2018. Unfortunately, an executive decision has been taken to exclude Section 377A entirely from the scope of the review.
What can you do?
If you share our vision of a more inclusive Singapore that treats all her citizens equally, please sign this petition and speak out. The time for change is NOW.
The first batch of signatures has been submitted to the Ministry of Home Affairs as part of the public consultation to the Penal Code Review on Friday, 28 September 2018.
However we have kept the petition open indefinitely as our road to repeal continues.