Homosexuality in Singapore

A Singapore student challenged homosexuality education on a live news discussion TV show in Singapore this week. During a panel show with teachers and a representative from the Ministry of Education, student Melissa Tsang questioned the kind of counselling a school would give to queer kids. In response to Mohana Eswaran, a teacher at a Secondary School in Singapore, who said she would refer students asking about homosexuality to school counsellors, Tsang said:

What kind of counselling are you going to give this child? Are you going to support this child or are you going to portray homosexuality or transgenderism in the light of deviancy?

Tsang also pointed out that as homosexual acts are criminalized in Singapore, so teachers cannot inform students of the legal situation without making the student think that homosexuality is criminal. Liew Wei Li from the Ministry of Education responded:

We understand this is quite sensitive, so we actually give you full information about the legal provisions about the homosexual acts. So we don’t criminalize homosexuality at all. No counsellor will want to make a child feel bad. You want them to have the full information.

Question about homosexuality during "Talking Point" episode on sexuality education in schools

Consensual sex between two adult men is illegal in Singapore under Section 377A of the Penal Code. An October 2007 review of the code repealed the parts of Section 377 which made anal and oral sex between heterosexual couples and lesbians illegal, but Section 377A remained. During a long parliamentary speech on the matter at the time of the repeal, the prime minister Lee Hsien Loong said the government would not proactively enforce Section 377, but they would not repeal it:

If we abolish it, we may be sending the wrong signal that our stance has changed, and the rules have shifted… Therefore, we have decided to keep the status quo on section 377A. It is better to accept the legal untidiness and the ambiguity. It works, do not disturb it.

  

Periodical Political Post *115

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Legalize Love

Google has started a global campaign in support of equal marriage rights for same-sex couples. The internet giant announced its Legalize Love campaign at the Global LGBT Workplace Summit 2012, which took place in London. The campaign was launched in Poland and Singapore. Organizers plan to expand the campaign to every country where Google has an office, focusing on countries where anti-gay sentiment runs high.

“Singapore wants to be a global financial centre and world leader and we can push them on the fact that being a global centre and a world leader means you have to treat all people the same, irrespective of their sexual orientation,” Google’s Palmer-Edgecumbe said of the decision to include Singapore in the campaign’s initial phase.

Not everyone is happy about [the need for] such a campaign though:

All this manpower, cash and effort could be going towards actual issues like cancer research, ending starvation etc etc etc… FUCK the religious for making gay marriage an issue at all and forcing all this debate and consumption of valuable resources towards something that’s none of their fucking business in the first place and should have never been an issue, there shouldn’t be anything to legalize and I’m sick of this.  –Redditor

It’s unclear if those homophobes who got their jimmies rustled over gay Oreos before will now switch to another search engine. Bing is out of question at least considering the donation of $200k for a marriage equality campaign by Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and CEO Steve Ballmer.

  

Periodical Political Post *114

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