ST Dec 13, 2006
Feedback focuses on sex laws
Marital rape law reforms inadequate, say some; continued outlawing of gay sex also questioned
By Ben Nadarajan
THE private lives of Singaporeans appear to be the main concern among those who responded to the Government's call for feedback to last month's proposed changes to the Penal Code.
After a month-long feedback period which ended on Saturday, the Home Affairs Ministry received 252 responses from individuals, groups and some lawyers.
Most of the comments touched on the country's controversial sex laws, especially marital rape and gay sex.
Another hot topic was the continued outlawing of gay sex, with at least four groups raising the matter.
The Free Community Church, which supports homosexuality, said this was 'not reflective of the moral values of today's Singapore'.
Aware also weighed in with its support to scrap section 377 (A) - the part of the Penal Code which bans acts of 'gross indecency' between men.
Calling this law an 'unwarranted intrusion' into private lives, Aware said the police should be spending time on more pressing matters than enforcing anti-gay sex laws.
The Free Community Church - which has under 100 members - also argued that singling out a certain group in society was unconstitutional as everyone should be equal before the law.
The ministry explained last month that society, especially religious groups, was not ready to tolerate gay sex.
The government often likes to say that things must be just so in Singapore, because we are a multi-racial, multi-religious society, and we shouldn't offend each other's sensitivities. However, as I've pointed out on many occasions, Singapore is not any more multi-racial or multi-religious than your average big modern city - for example, London, New York, San Francisco, Sydney, Jakarta or Bangkok.
Yet in none of these cities (or their respective countries) is homosexual intercourse between two consenting adults punishable with life imprisonment.
Unlike in Singapore.
The Singapore government is making religious believers in Singapore look like obsessive extremist fanatics. This is not true. Therefore what the Singapore government is doing is just not right.
Technorati: Singapore; religion; gay rights.