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Petition to keep Singapore’s anti-gay law wraps up with 109,000 signatures

Petition to keep Singapore’s anti-gay law wraps up with 109,000 signatures

iLights Marina Bay, Singapore

A petition in support of Singapore’s anti-gay law has concluded with 109,000 signatures.

Organizers handed the petition to ‘government officials’ earlier this week, according to the page.

Section 377A of Singapore’s Penal Code criminalizes consensual sex between men. LGBTI rights activists and allies renewed calls to repeal the law after India’s Supreme Court struck down a similar colonial-era law earlier this month.

LGBTI advocates launched a petition asking the government to repeal the law. Veteran diplomat Tommy Koh backed the petition. It has so far garnered roughly 50,000 signatures. 

The petition states: As a conservative society which values traditional family values, we like to reiterate our desire to keep the penal code to convey to our future generations that marriage act should only be an acceptable norm between a man and a woman’

‘We do not think the vocal minority should impose their values and practice on the silent majority who are still largely conservative’ it said.

Anonymous organizer of the petition, Paul P, describes himself as ‘just a family man who cares for our children and society’ on the petition page.

Some Singapore residents urged the government to reject the petition. An Online Citizen reader said the petition page was open to fraud. It did not validate citizenship status or have adequate protection against bots or people signing multiple times, they said.

The same reader noted that the petition’s comment section had been disabled due to hate speech. The reader reportedly brought his concerns to Singapore’s Penal Code Review Committee.

Keep or Repeal

Singapore is a socially conservative city-island state in south-east Asia with a population of about 5.6 million people. In the last two weeks, both Christian and Islamic organizations have expressed support for the anti-gay law.

The Singapore Islamic Scholars and Religious Teachers Association (PERGAS) said it supported Section 377A on religious grounds. It warned repealing the law threatened ‘the traditional family unit as the foundation of society’.

Archbishop of the Roman Catholic Church, William Goh, appealed to all Catholics to reject repeal efforts ‘for the future of our families, humanity, and society’.

LGBTI advocates in the city responded by calling for religious organizations to remain outside of politics.

Significantly, local DJ, Johnson Ong, has launched a legal appeal to the High Court. He is arguing the law is unconstitutional.

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