Section 377A

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Ambivalent attitude towards it
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2.5
I must confess that I am always oddly interested in the whole concept of the 377A penal code. This mind-boggling issue of gay rights and the freedom to love has been increasingly debated in Singapore, especially with greater support for the annual Pink Dot movement.

Living in a liberalized society today where mindsets are increasingly more accepting of aberrations, the penal code would understandable seem to most as unrelenting and discriminatory. While I agree that everyone has the right to love who they want, regardless of gender, race or age, I believe that the penal code has a larger significance than that of itself.

By and large, Singapore remain a conservative society even as mindsets are slowly but surely shifting. We have many religious groups here, and some of the religions preaches against homosexuality. To approve of gay marriage is a huge step to take for the government and we need to be prepared mentally, culturally, and demographically.

As much as we aspire to become as liberated as the other western countries, we need to understand the context of the Asian society we're in and the degree of acceptance currently. In addition, we must also understand the implications on our declining birth rates. Perhaps it would help if Singaporeans railing for this change would stop to think further.

My stance towards the penal code remains ambivalent. I am in favour of both sides, for different reasons. I can only hope that eventually everyone can find their rightful freedom to love without significant compromises on the nation.
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Unnecessary Quarrel
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While many people stand for a certain side in this controversial issue, I try to stand impartially in light of the situation at hand.

The Penal Code 377A stipulates that any intercourse between two men is banned - however, while the original intent was that all gay sex is prohibited, this law has been passed down for generations from the British rule in the past. Despite that, the government has actually clarified that this law is only applicable for the prosecution of public gay sex. While it is true that the Singapore government tries to continue to uphold the oft thought of moral standards of the country, it is true that gays can still continue to do as they wish in the vicinity of their homes, behind closed doors. In this instance then, I feel that the law is fair - any straight public sex would also be condoned and would also be prosecuted under another law. The law doesn't govern how one can choose to live - it just discourages the lack of shame that some might have in engaging in sexual activities publicly.

And that, is a culture that I don't want to live in. Not that gays should not be allowed to marry, but watching people have public sex whenever and where ever they wish. That would truly, indeed, be disturbing.

That being said, everyone has a choice to live, just like how there are always two sides to a coin. Regarding this issue, I personally find that there is room for more understanding instead of blatant condemnation, incessant quarrelling, and pointless name calling. When will the fight ever end if this goes on?

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(Updated: October 20, 2016)
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