21 August 2022
SAFE’s Statement on Repeal of Section 377A
As parents, family members and friends of gay and queer people, we have suffered and struggled with them while they stayed in the closet or feared being criminalised for who they are and who they love due to Section 377A of the penal code.
The repeal of 377A is thus truly joyful for us as the people we love are no longer treated as criminals under the law, and our collective burden has also been lifted.
Even for gay or queer women who are not criminalised under 377A, they may have inadvertently faced discrimination, prejudice and fear for living their lives authentically, repeal of 377A is also significant for them.
SAFE sees today’s announcement as the start of healing for many families with the rest of society. While Prime Minister has made it clear that marriage will be upheld as between a man and a woman in Singapore, we believe that we should be able to have mutual respect for all forms of human relationships.
We hope to see more parents willing to support and uplift their gay sons and daughters who come out to them, and for dialogue with other members of their (extended) families, neighbourhoods, communities, workplaces to foster greater understanding for gay men and women, and their families.
At the same time, SAFE is mindful that institutionalised discrimination against LGBTQ people exists in public housing, education, adoption rules, advertising standards and film classification.
To this end, SAFE calls for anti-discrimination legislation that will protect against discrimination, both direct and indirect, based on gender identity and sexual orientation. This is especially necessary in areas that affect safety or livelihood.
We are particularly concerned about schools. We urgently call for schools to
1. consider safety for all the students, but to take particular care around the safety and well-being of LGBTQ students and students who are marginalised in any other way
2. to be watchful of bullying of all students, and LGBTQ students in particular, bullying and have appropriate counselling for the bullies
3. to not portray LGBTQ people as being unconventional or not normal in speeches to students, or activities for students
4. and importantly, to teach sex education in a comprehensive and fact based manner that addresses the questions and concerns of all students.
In conclusion, our LGBTQ friends and family members have always been a part of us. We love and support them. We are extremely glad that our gay sons, brothers, family members and friends are no long considered criminals for loving who they do.
Henceforth, we hope that they will be treated as equally valued and respected members of our society, as they have always been for our families.
For more information, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org