Friday, August 24, 2012

Unnatural Goings On

Major Bill Shaw (author of "Kill Switch"), thrown into a Afghan jail for a trumped up bribery charge, was relieved to learn that homosexual activity at his prison was punishable by the guards. Until he discovered that the Taliban considers the "recipient" as the guilty party, not the "initiator." From that perspective, our 377A is more brutal. Any male person who, in public or private, commits, or abets the commission of, or procures or attempts to procure the commission by any male person of, any act of gross indecency with another male person, shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to 2 years.

Tan was initially charged under Section 377A. The extract from the Court of Appeal judgement says that one unwanted effect of Section 377A is that it may also make criminals of victims. It cites three examples:
1) A man subjected to domestic abuse by his male partner;
2) A man sexually assaulted by another man;
3) A man who was robbed after having sex with another man.

Justice Rajah said it is no comfort for the Attorney General to assure that persons issued with stern warnings under Section 377A are "for all intents and purposes, left alone". After all, the good judge added, no minister "has gone so far as to state that there will be no enforcement of Section 377A."

Come to think of it, no minister has gone so far as to state that there will be no detention of political enemies under the Singapore Internal Security Act (ISA). All Teo Chee Hean cited in his justification of the ISA in his Parliament Speech of October 2011 was "civil disorder and disturbances and defiance of the law to threaten stability, order and security." That must be the ultimate catch all phrase for every infringement of the law imaginable under the sun.

The curious part of the Court of Appeal judgement has this bit about how the provision "affects the lives of a not insignificant portion of our community in a very real and intimate way." Does that mean there are more poofters (read "unapprehended felons in the privacy of their bedrooms") around than before? Is that the real reason total fertility rate is down? My neighbour has a simplistic argument why homosexuality is unnatural: the natural order of sexual union is procreation.


  1. As long as it is 2 willingly mature adults doing their stuff behind 4 walls, why should we care whether they're man doing with man or woman doing with woman.

    There is nothing natural or unnatural about this,it's all in their mind!

  2. It was Goh Chok Tong who first revealed that the civil service was employing gays. Maybe the numbers are bigger than we ever imagined.

  3. "..the natural order of sexual union is procreation. "

    Is that written anywhere in the constitution?

    Your neighbor should submit a petition to the Ministers and Law-makers to delegitimize the business of prostitution. The suffering residents in Jalan Suka or near Geylang would be pleased.

  4. It is indeed curious that since both men had already pleaded guilty to the AGC amended lesser charge of commission of an obscene act in a public place, why this 377A is brought up again. Is our court so free, since it has yet to deal with the rest of the underaged sex cases, SCDF, CNB, CHC, NUS prof, etc? Is there a political agenda behind this?

  5. 'My neighbour has a simplistic argument why homosexuality is unnatural: the natural order of sexual union is procreation'.

    Hmmm. Ok. I can accept the argument that where procreation is not existent in sexual union, it's labelled as 'unnatural'. But is it a crime to be 'unnatural'? If the answer is yes, than does that make prostitution a crime? Does that make sex with contraceptive a crime?

    1. Your thought about contraceptive is not new:
      In 1873, US Congress passed a law, the Comstock Act, which defined contraceptives as obscene and illicit, making it a federal offense to disseminate birth control through the mail or across state lines.
      In Massachusetts, anyone disseminating contraceptives -- or information about contraceptives -- faced stiff fines and imprisonment. But by far the most restrictive state of all was Connecticut, where the act of using birth control was even prohibited by law. Married couples could be arrested for using birth control in the privacy of their own bedrooms, and subjected to a one-year prison sentence.
      These laws remained unchallenged until birth-control advocate Margaret Sanger made it her mission to challenge the Comstock Act.

  6. Someone joked that there would be no 377A if Harry had been gay. Or even his son or his grandson, I think.

    So if there are 100,000 gays in Singapore, what 377A essentially means is that we may possibly have up to 100,000 'practising' criminals mingering among us. The only comforting assurance from our PAP govt is that they have the least intention to catch these 'criminals' among us. What a joke !

    Unless of course if they have been politically offended by gays like Vincent, it's a different story altogether, I suppose. Maybe they want to reserve their rights to jail them, that's how I would interprete their intentions to have an absurd law without any intention to pro-actively enforce it ?

    No, PM ?