The head of Singapore’s powerful Catholic Church said the city-state should not repeal Section 377A, which criminalizes sex between men.
He appealed to all Catholics to reject repeal efforts ‘for the future of our families, humanity and society’. About six percent of Singapore’s population, or 300,000 people, are Roman Catholics.
In a long online statement, Archbishop William Goh said he ‘felt trapped’ by the ‘delicate dilemma’. But, he said, the church teaches that homosexual acts are ‘contrary to the natural law’.
Debate has been raging over Section 377A of Singapore’s Penal Code since India decriminalized similar legislation earlier this month. There’s been online petitions both for and against, comments from ministers, and a High Court challenge.
‘I am of the view that S377A should not be repealed under the present circumstances’, the Archbishop said.
He said countries that normalized same-sex unions had seen ‘dire consequences’. ‘May we not repeat the mistake that others have made!’ the archbishop therefore urged. The Archbishop, however, did not give an example of these countries.
‘By accepting homosexual acts as a social norm, the dreadful consequences for the stability of our families, the well-being of our children, and the risks to the common good will be long-term and irreversible,’ he argued.
The Archbishop, however, said he would not object to a repeal ‘if it were merely aimed at removing all potential criminal penalties against homosexuals’.
Importantly, he argued, Parliament must first put in place laws that protect ‘rights of the majority who favor the traditional family’.
‘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.
‘Will the Church be forced to accept the promotion of homosexual values and lifestyles in our schools?’ he asked. And ‘let transgender persons use bathrooms for those of the opposite sex’.
The incendiary remarks come as debate over Section 377A continues to rage in the city-state.
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 disk jockey filed a legal challenge against Section 377A of the city-state’s Penal Code last week. Johnson Ong, aka DJ Big Kid, is arguing that the law is unconstitutional.
The challenge lists Singapore’s Attorney-General as the defendant and a pre-trial conference will take place on 25 September. Singapore’s highest court in 2014 dismissed a similar appeal.
‘It is imperative that the next generation of Singaporeans at the very least have the protection of the law that does not label them criminals,’ DJ Big Kid told Gay Star News