On Wednesday a group of 78 civil society members protested against the European Union (EU) for inviting Thio to speak at the closed-door seminar on "The Role of the Judiciary in the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights" to mark Human Rights Day. Thio Li-Ann showed up as planned. After all this is her home ground, and her mummy is Thio Su Mien, self proclaimed "Feminist Mentor" listed on page 73 of a women's movement publication as former Dean of the Faculty of Law of the National University of Singapore (NUS).
Thio's own provocative pronouncements include the memorable line, "Anal-penetrative sex is inherently damaging to the body and a misuse of organs, like shoving a straw up your nose to drink." That was her speaking in 2007, arguing in favour of the continued criminalization of adult consensual same sex relations in Singapore. For males, that is. That's nothing in 377A about females shoving stuff up their body cavities. What Cyndi Lauper probably meant when she sang "girls just wanna have fun".
The miracle about what happened at the event at Conrad Hotel on Thursday is that the gay rights activists were holding placards and a rainbow flag smack in front of the stage where Thio was speaking, and nobody was arrested for heckling. Somebody must be trying hard to figure out whether special needs children were involved in the rare demonstration in a Singapore where a single person standing is defined by law as an illegal assembly. The spokeswoman for the EU delegation was definitely not complaining, "The EU delegation has made it clear to participants that it will continue its established dialogue with civil society, including with members of the LGBTI community."
The "I" in LGBTI refers to "Intersex", a general term used for a variety of conditions in which a person is born with a sexual anatomy that doesn’t seem to fit the typical definitions of female or male. Interesting, like a boy with girl parts, or a girl with boy parts. 377A is so in need of a rewrite. The other interesting observation is how combative conservative religious folks can turn out to be. So much for peace on earth and goodwill to all men.