More than 4,000 sign online petition to repeal 377A

An aerial view of participants of Pink Dot at Hong Lim Park, on July 21, 2018.
An aerial view of participants of Pink Dot at Hong Lim Park, on July 21, 2018. ST PHOTO: SONG TAO

A petition to repeal a law that criminalises consensual sex between adult men - Section 377A - has attracted at least 4,000 signatories after it was created yesterday.

This comes after the Indian Supreme Court struck down a similar section of the Indian Penal Code last Thursday.

The petition, titled "Ready for Repeal" and hosted on website GoPetition, was created by Singapore film-maker Glen Goei and another person named Johannes Hadi.

Other named signatories of the petition include Mr Ho Kwon Ping and Ms Claire Chiang. It was not clear if they are indeed the Banyan Tree Holdings founder and his wife.

The petition will be sent to the Penal Code Review Committee and local Members of Parliament by Sept 24.

It is also supported by Pink Dot SG. The organisation wrote a statement on its website that it was dismayed that the latest report on criminal law reform did not include the consideration and repeal of 377A.

"Section 377A would have been the perfect candidate for such a review and repeal. It is a colonial relic of Victorian values that was left behind by the British from before Singapore's independence. The law treats an already unprotected segment of citizens as unequal by characterising them as unconvicted criminals," said the statement.

Meanwhile, there is another petition, called "Please Keep Penal Code 377A in Singapore", on website change.org. It has garnered at least 71,000 signatures and was created over the weekend.

Sue-Ann Tan

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 10, 2018, with the headline 'More than 4,000 sign online petition to repeal 377A'. Print Edition | Subscribe