Petition: Ready for Repeal (#Ready4Repeal)
We have prepared a petition regarding the 2018 review of the Singapore Penal Code. As part of the ongoing public consultation on the review of the Penal Code, this petition and its supporting signatures will be delivered to the Ministry of Home Affairs by 28 September 2018.
Section 377A is a colonial law that criminalises consensual sex between men. In the past, Singaporeans have been charged, convicted, and punished under this law. Even if it is not actively enforced, the law still punishes our gay friends and relatives by signalling that what they do, and who they are, is condemnable and wrong.
On 6 September 2018, the Indian Supreme Court struck down Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code for being unconstitutional. In his judgment, India’s Chief Justice opined that “Indian citizens belonging to sexual minorities have waited. They have waited and watched as their fellow citizens were freed from the British yoke while their fundamental freedoms remained restrained under an antiquated and anachronistic colonial-era law − forcing them to live in hiding, in fear, and as second class citizens”.
How much longer must gay Singaporeans live as second class citizens; branded criminals by laws meant to protect all Singaporeans?
We are ready for a Singapore that treats all her citizens equally. We are ready for a Singapore that respects its minorities and promotes individual choice and dignity. We are ready for a Singapore where people are not afraid to simply be who they are.
The Government is undertaking the first major review of the Penal Code in more than a decade and the three-week public consultation on the report of the Penal Code Review Committee ends on Sunday, September 30, 2018. The proposed changes to the Penal Code are expected to be tabled in Parliament in November this year. Unfortunately, an executive decision was taken by the Government to exclude Section 377A entirely from the scope of the review.
If you share our vision of a more inclusive, more equal Singapore, please sign this petition and speak out. The time for change is NOW.
Authors: Glen Goei and Johannes Hadi.
Lead Signatories: His Excellency Professor Tommy Koh, Professor Kishore Mahbubani, Professor Walter Woon, Ho Kwon Ping, Claire Chiang, Hsieh Fu Hua, Theresa Foo & Harold Foo, Kay Kuok, Christina Ong, Professor Tan Tai Yong, Professor Tan Sook Yee, Professor Roy Chan, Professor Cherian George, Associate Professor Teo You Yenn, Dr Finian And Fiona Tan, Yeoh Lam Keong, Janice Koh & Lionel Yeo, Dr Kanwaljit Soin, Constance Singam, Corinna Lim, Braema Mathi, Tan Siok Sun, Chew Kheng Chuan, Dr Mary Ann Tsao, Deborah Barker, Sc, Harpreet Singh Nehal, Sc, Siew Kum Hong, Caesar Sengupta, Darius Cheung, Loh Lik Peng, Wee Teng Wen, Eleanor Wong, Calvin Cheng, Kok Heng Leun, E-len Fu, Veera Sekaran and Nicholas Chan
This petition is also supported by Action for AIDS, AWARE, Break The Binary, Free Community Church, Indignation, Humanist Society Singapore, Inter-Uni LGBT Network, MARUAH, Oogachaga, Out in Singapore, Pink Dot SG, Pelangi Pride Centre, Project X, Prout, SAFE, Sayoni, SG Narratives, SG Rainbow, Singapore LGBT Law, The Bear Project, The Bi+ Collective SG, The Purple Alliance and The T Project.
We, the undersigned Singaporeans and Permanent Residents, call on Parliament to repeal section 377A of the Penal Code for the following reasons:-
It is a law the British imposed on Singapore when we were still a British colony, and is no longer relevant.
It perpetuates discrimination and harms LGBTQ+ Singaporeans by branding them as criminals.
It prevents Singapore from being a truly pluralistic society that protects the interests of its minorities.
Our laws should be secular and outside the influence of religious overreach.
The policy of non-enforcement is vague and arbitrary, and undermines our rule of law.
The rest of the world has made progress in correcting this unjust colonial imposition, and Singapore must not be left behind on the wrong side of history.