More deep thinking on Section 377A needed

Our Government's stance on Section 377A has consistently been an open-ended one - it only acts when social attitudes have changed in favour of repealing it.

The Government needs holistic views from the public. The National Council of Churches of Singapore, the Catholic Archbishop and the Islamic authorities were just doing their duty in reflecting their opinions, and should not be deemed to be "pressuring the Government to criminalise conduct which they consider sinful" (Section 377A: Science, religion and the law; Sept 25).

We have to study all possible implications of Section 377A being repealed, such as the legalisation of same-sex marriages that will follow.

The public should be allowed to digest these implications and find out whether they are willing to bear them. For example, would they mind if their immediate neighbours were a same-sex couple, or seeing same-sex lovers kissing in public?

At the macro level, would repealing Section 377A destabilise our social and political ecosystems, especially if the legislation is removed when society is not ready for it?

The process and timeline for social changes differ in various nations. We should deliberate what type of process and timeline suit us best.

Should we let the trend take its own course, or speed up the process by educating the public or pressuring the Government?

It is a very divisive issue. Let us do more deep thinking about it.

Albert Ng Ya Ken

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 27, 2018, with the headline 'More deep thinking on Section 377A needed'. Print Edition | Subscribe