15 & 16 Sept 2018

The Diocese of Singapore

Pastoral Advisory on Penal Code Section 377A

Recent media comments by prominent figures have reignited the call to repeal Penal Code Section 377A. As you consider the matter, do note the following:

a.   It has been established by the Supreme Court in October 2014 that Section 377A is constitutional.

b.   Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in the Parliamentary Debate in Oct 2007 on Section 377A explained why the Government would retain Section 377A in the Penal Code but not enforce it. The Diocese, together with the National Council of Churches of Singapore, supports the Government’s carefully calibrated position on this.

c.   The evaluation of Section 377A goes beyond legal technicalities and pure logic. It is a boundary-stone marker for what Singapore society wants to hold as normative in its moral framework and in how people conduct themselves in the public square. 377A is a moral marker consonant with fostering strong families for the long-term well-being of our nation.

d.   The Government has stated that it will not repeal the law as long as mainstream society wants it to remain: “It is up to society to decide.”

It is heartening that the Government’s recent Penal Code Review did not recommend any change to Section 377A. As the Review is now open for public consultation until 30 September, before going to Parliament in November, it is timely for us to reaffirm that we want Section 377A to remain.

In the context of all the above factors, we would strongly encourage you to:

1.   Provide feedback to the Government by:

a.   Sending this simple message “I want 377A to remain” to REACH reach@reach.gov.sg, and

b.   Signing the petition at https://www.change.org/p/singaporegovernment-please-keep-penal-code-377a-in-singapore

2.   Remain respectful of persons with different views. Do not make disparaging remarks about anyone. Let your conduct be governed by love and “let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt” (Col 4:6).

3.   Pray fervently. Pray that the Church will learn and grow in its ministry to same-sex attracted persons. Pray for the ‘shalom’ (total well-being) of Singapore: “…seek the welfare of the city”
(Jer 29:7).

May the Lord bless and watch over Singapore from generation to generation!


12 September 2018

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