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Islamic association in Singapore joins calls to keep Section 377A

Islamic association in Singapore joins calls to keep Section 377A

The Singapore Islamic Scholars and Religious Teachers Association (PERGAS) spoke out against attempts to repeal the city-state’s anti-gay law.

PERGAS said it supported Section 377A on religious grounds and ‘concern towards moral and social values, that can affect the family institution as well as the fabric of society’.

Section 377A of the Penal Code criminalizes gay sex with a punishment of up to two years in prison. Debate over Section 377A has intensified in Singapore since India’s Supreme Court scrapped a similar law and decriminalized gay sex.

‘The repeal of this Act can cause several worrying implications. Among them, it will threaten the importance of the traditional family unit as the foundation of society,’ PERGAS said.

Repealing Section 377A would ‘affirm and normalize the LGBTQ lifestyle’, the Islamic organization argued.

PERGAS said repealing Section 377A could also negatively affect population growth.

Debate rages

The PERGAS statement came in the same week that the head of the Catholic Church urged followers to support Section 377A.

Last week, the National Council of Churches of Singapore (NCCS) also voiced support for Section 377A. It said ‘homosexual lifestyle is not only harmful for individuals, but also for families and society as a whole’.

More than 40,000 LGBTI rights supporters have signed an online petition to repeal the law. Meanwhile, about 100,000 people have signed a petition maintain the rights-abusing law.

A Singapore DJ has filed a legal challenge against Section 377A of the city-state’s Penal Code. Johnson Ong, aka DJ Big Kid, is arguing that the law is unconstitutional.

‘Dire Consequences’

Roman Catholic Archbishop William Goh said this week countries that normalized same-sex unions had seen ‘dire consequences’.

‘May we not repeat the mistake that others have made!’ the archbishop urged.

‘Repealing the law will not be the end of the saga’, he said. Moreover, He suggested it would lead to further demands for equal marriage or same-sex adoption. ‘I pray that we will not walk the slippery path of no return’, the Archbishop wrote.

Leow Yangfa of Singapore LGBTI organization, Oogachaga, said the Archbishop did not speak for all religious people in Singapore, or all Singaporeans.

He also warned that the Archbishop’s request that Parliament put in a place legislation to protect ‘the rights of the majority who favour the traditional family’ was a dangerous mix of politics and religion.

‘Why is the Archbishop so interested in the realities of LGBT persons, including LGBT non-Catholics?’ Yangfa asked. ‘Does he feel threatened in some way?’