19 October 2007

Of Penal Code - Section 377A And Gays

Much has been said about Section 377A of the Penal Code, with strong support and rebuttal, from those who are for or against, the repealing of S377A.

You can probably guess how I view this matter (and probably which side of the fence I'm leaning towards) by following the links in the right bar I have in this blog. And I'm sure SingapuraDailyMakan did not mention anything about S377A...let me check...ya, nothing mentioned about s377A.

I do not wish to repeat the argument and views that can be found in the news papers or internet. However, I would like to share with you my personal experience when discussing this issue with my friends.

Anecdotal evidence, i.e. coffeeshop / teabreak chats with my friends, revealed that Singaporeans are still conservative in general. Most took the stand of "I'm not gay, I don't know any gay so it doesn't bother me AND it is better to leave S377A the way it is" In other words, they echoed the explanation given by PM Lee (here). I consider these people "neutral" towards S377A and gays.

There is also a few of my friends (3 actually) who do not sit on the fence. It is very easy to understand the position they take. The two who think S377A should be repealed are gays... at least I know for certain one of them is. The one who insists that S377A should stay, sad to say, has a misguided view about gays. By misguided, I mean he claims that gays are pedophiles, gays want to befriend you for the sole reason of engaging "act of gross indecency" with you, gays are like vampires - they've got "bitten" so now they want to spread the "gay virus" to you etc.

So what's my personal views about gays and S377A? I intend to share my views on these issues separately - 1) my personal views about gays, and 2) my personal views about s377A.

Prior to all these buzz on s377A and gays, I do not know any gays and has very little knowledge about what a gay is. My impression was that being gay is a choice and a heterosexual can be influenced to become a gay if he always mix around with ku-niangs (feminine males) or narcissist body builders or some "bad childhood". In other words, I thought a homosexual can be corrected. In any case, my stand was (and still is) very clear - be a gay all you want, just don't influence me or my family or people dear to me, to be one. You have your sexual preference, I have mine. Let's agree to not impose our sexual preference onto each other.

Now, having read more from the internet, I realised gays are as such not by choice nor influence...they simply are like that (Yawning Bread has 20 Questions that could perhaps share some light for those of you who have not set your perceptions in stone about gays). Of course one could argue that gays claim themselves to be born like that and not by choice or influence, just to serve their own cause. I'll leave it to you to decide for yourselves.


What's my view about Section 377A? Let us have a look at it first:-
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"Any male person who, in public or private, commits, or abets the commission of, or procures or attempts to procure the commission by any male person of, any act of gross indecency with another male person, shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to 2 years."
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If the decision is rest solely for me to decide, I will not repeal it. Instead, I will amend it to be like this:-
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S377A - Any male person who, in public or private, abets the commission of, or procures or attempts to procure the commission by any male person of, any act of gross indecency with another male person, shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to 2 years. (Note that "commits, or" has been deleted)

AND

S377B - Any male person who, in public, commits any act of gross indecency with another male person, shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to 2 years. (Note that "or private" and ", or abets the commission of, or procures or attempts to procure the commission by any male person of," has been deleted)
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I'm not trained in legal matters and have absolutely no idea how the statements would sound legally. I assume that by amending S377A as such, a male should not encourage another male to engage in homosexual activities through persuasion or monetary rewards. And by adding S377B as such, I assume that it means-do what you want in private and out of the sight of public.

But of course I am in no position to amend the Penal Code and certainly no one can amend the Penal Code without considering the impact it has on the general public.

So, as of the current state of affairs, where do I stand with regards to the S377A? Did I sign the Online Petition? Did I sign the Parliament Petition? Well, I signed the online petition...after much thoughts. I was reluctant initially because it was to repeal S377A. The entire S377A will be removed if the petition is successful. I don't think that is a good idea. To be honest with you, like gays who choose to be honest with their sexual preference... on S377A, I stand on the same side with PM Lee, with particular consideration to the last statement he made...

"As of today, my judgement is: the society is comfortable with our position. Leave the clause (alone). What people do in private is their own business; in public, certain norms apply." (here again, bold inserted by me, that is the "bold" not the words in bold :p)

4 comments:

little gecko said...

Wah, how come da great ape signed da petition when he doesn't think it's a good idea, ah??

Guess wad? Little gecko didn't bother to take part because tis not something dat can benefit da masses. Furthermore, repealed or not, life just goes on, rite? As PM Lee has already compromised "what people do in private is their own business; in public, certain norms apply."

He really needed to add dat last statement because if ya go to da local gay forums, you'd see many gays are making use of public toilets, beaches, parks, swimming pools for their activities. These things, however one looks at it is rather disgraceful ;p

khirsah said...

yalor... da lizard is right, I a bit shoot myself on da leg...but you see har, like I said, I'm not quite agreeable to repeal S377A entirely but signed the online one nonetheless. But I did not signed the Parliament Petition...not bcos I no nuts, but bcos I cannot fully agree with repeal S377A entirely.

You are right about those gays - who are not helping at all by being too "public" about their gross activities and giving rise to all sorts of misunderstandings.

The Frog Prince said...

Mr Ape's post's last sentence is very true. Froggy signed the online ones but not the Parliament Petition.
Surprised me too that Mr. Ape also signed har? :P kekeke

Anonymous said...

Actually the question about whether gays 'choose' to be gays can be answered by ourselves. Just ask ourselves this simple question: did we 'choose' to be straight? To tell you the truth, i did. I woke up one morning on the 23 oct 2007 and said 'hey what a nice day. I decide to be straight.'