Hey, welcome back to my occasional guest post series!
Now some of you might remember my good friend and fellow dad Stephen from a moving post he contributed to my blog last December.
Today I’m pleased to have him back! This time though, the topic is extremely controversial. So if you’re not in the frame of mind for controversy, best to stop reading now.
Or bookmark this post for another day’s read.
Still here? Okay then, let’s go!
Today I’m sharing with his permission an edited transcript of a mini-speech Stephen gave at a public dialogue session on Sep 1.
It was organised and attended by our constituency’s parliamentarians, various grassroots and community leaders, as well as concerned residents.
But before I share his speech, a quick background to this for readers outside my country.
In his annual National Day Rally speech on the 21st of last month, my country’s leader finally succumbed to the decades-old (and more) push by LGBT activists here to repeal a controversial law in our country’s Penal Code. Called Section 377A (or S377A for short), the law essentially criminalizes sex between men.
A brief on the history of this law can be found here.
Like Stephen, I believe this decision unwise and had written a letter last month to the parliamentarian representing my constituency to state my reasons. A version of my letter was posted on my blog too.
Stephen wrote a letter too I’m sure. But unlike me, he went a step further to attend the above-mentioned event and publicly speak his mind on this controversial issue that’s threatening to tear at the social fabric of our nation.
Before government officials as well as a splintered crowd comprising people on all three sides of the debate — those for, against, and sitting on the fence — here’s what Stephen had to say:
Introduction – Issue of gays and S377A
Dear ministers and members of parliament,
Thank you for taking your precious time to host this dialogue.
My name is Stephen, a 62-year-old father of three. I have lived in this constituency now for more than three decades.
I would like to share my heart with you regarding the repeal of Section 377A. And I also have a few questions for you.
Hundreds of fathers like myself in our chat group (a few of them are here tonight) are deeply disappointed with the government’s decision to repeal. Not just disappointed but also hurt and angered by it.
Now I was one of 160 or so Singaporeans who were at an invite-only closed-door meeting on August 18 with other key government ministers three days before the National Day Rally speech.
At that time, we had no idea the decision was already made, but we suspected it that night. The ministers did not deny it after our worried and persistent questioning, resulting in the meeting running way past midnight!
What we didn’t understand was why bother with that meeting three days before the rally when the decision was already made, the plan already finalized, and PM’s speech already written?!
Those who were there on August 18 believed we could still make a difference.
But now all of us felt betrayed.
So here’s my first question.
Why would those ministers (one of whom is here now too) tell us they will bring back to parliament our concerns, pleas, and the cries of our hearts when the decision had already been made?
All of us who spoke up during that closed-door meeting were passionately fighting for the retention of S377A. The witnessing minister can testify to how deeply concerned and troubled we were that night about the impending repeal.
Fathers, mothers, grandparents, students in their early 20s, homemakers, lawyers, doctors, and former homosexuals who have voluntarily left that lifestyle, were there to share their hearts, some with tears in their eyes.
All of us had hoped that the repeal would not happen. That the government would continue to do the right thing. That our parliamentary representatives — that’s all of you — would fight for us after hearing us.
But it was not so.
So here’s my second question.
When was this decision to repeal 377A made? After consulting the citizenry, or by a secret committee tasked to repeal 377A long before the government gathered any feedback?
I believe it is my duty as a citizen to say that, by repealing 377A, you are not only encouraging harmful anal sex. You are also giving license to LGBT activists to propagate their dangerous ideologies further and deeper into our society.
As a Christian, I love the gay person as an individual made in God’s image. But I disagree with their destructive lifestyle. My disagreement is not to be construed as discrimination against them per se.
I strongly believe, and the facts bear this out, that retaining 377A still offers the best safeguard. One that will push back against the inroads local gay activists are making into sectors of society such as education, media, health, employment, etc. – issues that we already face today. Even with S377A still in place.
Question #3 – Prosecuting gays
This brings me to my third point and question.
The Court of Appeal ruled in February this year that NOBODY can challenge S377A in court in the future. EXCEPT if the government intentionally creates a risk by first prosecuting gays. But to do that is to BREACH the Government’s promise NOT to prosecute gays.
No such breach has taken place.
The Court of Appeal’s decision on 28 February 2022 (“Tan Seng Kee”) to throw out the case made by LGBT activist Dr. Tan Seng Kee to repeal 377A was monumental as it ruled S377A “unenforceable in its entirety”. This means the Court of Appeal has taken the active step to stem any new legal challenges against the constitutionality of 377A.
So that means no legal urgency to disrupt the status quo.
Yet the PM himself appears to disagree. In his rally speech, he said that “there is a SIGNIFICANT risk of S377A being struck down in future cases on grounds that it breaches the Equal Protection provision in the Constitution.”
So is there genuine fear that future government officials may prosecute gays thus necessitating this decision to repeal? Is that why you’re now suddenly ‘rushing’ into a repeal decision without publicly seeking feedback from citizens?
Some people have told me to give up the fight and move on.
After all, this decision to repeal and thus show support for gays and LGBT rights has already been made and there don’t appear to be any U-turns.
But if I give up now, I am not a good citizen nor a good father.
If I don’t speak up now, I am not thinking of our children and their children, who will live in that future long after you and I are gone.
If I stay silent, this will become a legacy I’ve been an accomplice to creating. Simply by virtue of saying nothing.
With the repeal of 377A, which the gay agenda claims is the first wall to fall before many others, do you think we will still have a safe, healthy, and wholesome society for our kids and grandkids 30, 20, or even 10 years down the road?!
I appreciate your time and your answers.
Thank you very much.