Find out what most in S'pore think about LGBT culture

Professor Tommy Koh's article was disturbing not just for its conclusions but, most importantly, for his insinuation that the opposition to the repeal of Section 377A has come mainly from religious communities (Section 377A: Science, religion and the law; Sept 25).

Actually, I think there are many freethinkers in Singapore who have strong reservations about the issue too, and we should take time to find out more about that.

To restrict the discussion to "sin versus crime" is also a misleading approach because we can get entangled in discussions about the law being a colonial anachronism and irrelevant today as there has not been any prosecution precedence.

These arguments obscure the real issue - what do the majority of Singaporeans think about the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) culture? Should there not be an attempt to find this out before deciding on the issue of 377A?

If most Singaporeans are of the opinion that, while they are tolerant, they are against the further liberalisation of attitudes towards the LGBT culture, then Section 377A should remain to serve as a symbol of our society's consensus.

Setting a new direction for a crucial social policy is not simply about comparing the pros and cons of what we know today.

Human behaviour changes over time and its impact on society may turn out to be not as benign as what we originally expect.

The "facts, science and reason" we cling to today may not be reliable for predicting human behaviour in the longer term.

Thus, there may be value in sticking to tradition and taking more time to observe what happens in other countries before taking more liberalising steps with regard to the LGBT culture.

Leong Mun Wai

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 02, 2018, with the headline 'Find out what most in S'pore think about LGBT culture'. Print Edition | Subscribe