Why can’t those damn gays just be happy with what little rights they have?

August 27, 2007

Married To The Sea

Singapore is currently in the midst of a debate on whether we should repeal an antiquated law titled Section 377a of the Penal Code. The law which was passed by down the British colonial masters (we declared independence in 1963, for a sense of a timeline) makes criminals out of gays for merely having sex.

Yes, two consensual men who fuck each other in private are considered criminals in the eyes of the law. Can we be any more progressive?

In April early this year, Minister Mentor Lee assured the gay community that S337a would not be enforced by the police, but the law would not be repealed so that the government would not “upset their [the religious conservatives] sense of propriety and right and wrong.”

Since then, we’ve been barraged with the cries of homophobes, bigots and fundamentalists who fear that their world would stop spinning in its axis if we let gays have the rights of a full human being.

Some of their poorly formed arguments against the repeal of 377a were:
1) It is against the good of society. Soon, we’d be like those damn Europeans, and gays will be having sex with boys as young as 14.
2) Those damn gays will start flocking to our island! And we’d have to see them kiss in public!
3) Schools will soon teach my children how to be gay! And churches will have gay ministers!
4) Those gays throw kinky sex orgies which leads to AIDs! AIDs is baddd!

But these aren’t the people whose heads I want to smack – for now. At least these people are honest and upfront about wanting to deny gays their rights.

It’s those pseudo gay-sympathizers whom I have no patience for.

You know those people. The “I have gay friends and I totally respect them. But why do you need to keep fighting for your rights? Can’t you just chill the fuck out?”crowd.

Like this guy here, who said (in comment #2):

I’d appreciate if both the fundamentalist anti-gay Christians and the outspoken gay rights groups sit back and reflect on what the other side feel. Do unto others what you would want others do unto you. The more the gay rights group fight for more rights, the more the conservatives want to restrict their rights for fear of what they see is an unholy lifestyle. While I admire your fervour to fight for gay rights, I somehow think you do better if you fight for the ordinary S’pore folk who now have to worry about their CPF , high cost of living , compulsory annuities etc.

In short: Your cause is unimportant! You should fight for things which I’m affected by!

In a later comment, the asshole goes on to say:

But are gays/lesbians not allowed to vote in S’pore?(lol straight S’poreans don’t get to vote too!) Are they not allowed seats in buses/MRTs? The powers that be (read Lee Kwan Yew) have said in effect that they are not going to pounce onto homosexuals’ private lives and arrest anyone under S377a).

So by the government’s assurance of non-prosecution, this asshole thinks that gays should stop championing for their rights and shut the fuck up. After all, aren’t they given the same right to vote and to ride the bus and trains?

What more do these gays really want? Can’t they just shut the fuck up already?

Frankly, these pseudo-sympathizers are everywhere. They’re the people who whine, “Aren’t women allowed to work already? Why are they still complaining about a glass ceiling and the lack of child support?”

But it sets a dangerous precedent when society and the law sees gays as criminals for merely being who they are. Sure, the government has promised that it won’t barge into rooms to arrest gays for having sex, but it doesn’t stop them from harassing gays in public.

In the month of August alone, the government banned gays from organising a picnic, running in public and from organising a talk.

The minute society makes criminals out of people having sex in private, we immediately see this group of people as second-class citizens who have no right to be in public.

It’s dangerous to the enforcement of the law and downright unjust – and this is something psuedo-sympathizers just simply cannot understand.

And just for fun, here’s a video of Sir Ian McKellen talking about repealing s377a in Singapore.



  1. (um. we declared independence in 1965.)

  2. “It’s those pseudo gay-sympathizers whom I have no patience for.

    You know those people. The “I have gay friends and I totally respect them. But why do you need to keep fighting for your rights? Can’t you just chill the fuck out?”crowd.”

    YES!! I ALSO SAY!!! Especially when they combine complaining that people spend too much time and effort trying to actually get something done for gay people, with spending lots of time creating and defending elaborate theories as to why gay people don’t actually need to, you know, not be told they are deviant criminals who will never amount to anything and everything central to their emotional-sexual lives is just so much perversion. People who have no real interest in issues except making themselves look clever. Super irksome.

  3. “It’s those pseudo gay-sympathizers whom I have no
    patience for.”

    firstly, to disclaim that contrary to popular belief (i.e. jol’s), i’m not stalking or trying to pull a “Talented Mr Ripley” or “Single White Female” on her…

    secondly, i had the concern when i was going around asking friends and their friends to sign the online petition. from time to time, i would hear people tell me their reasons for supporting the cause, but altogether put in a strangely patronising/ false reasoning way. it came to a point where i realised that if i don’t stop discussing the issue with them, i might actually prefer that they not sign the petition at all. eventually, i just demanded that they put their names down or (in a primary school fashion) “i’m not going to friend you anymore!!!!”

  4. “put in a strangely patronising/ false reasoning way”

    Yes — fortunately I was spared it this time, because I’ve shouted at everyone who used to do it to me and they don’t friend me anymore (Im only half-joking), but I totally know what you mean. The patient explanation of everything you obviously have heard before because it’s the accepted wisdom, as if you must actually be an idiot not to understand it. We understand it! We just think it is bullshit! Comprenez?? Grar.


  5. Now now, play nice people. 😉

    But I was just thinking about this again today because I was reading The Kway Teow Man’s post on his views regarding S377A.


    While he states that he “considers homosexuals “normal people”‘, he then goes on to say that he would “certainly vote against the repeal of Section 377A if we have a referendum” because the whole thing is a “circus”. But then he goes on to say that he doesn’t want gay parades (because heterosexuals don’t get them!), gay marriages and that the “aggressiveness” of the gay lobbyists put him and other people off.

    Worse, he says: “The KTM thinks that the gays should have their space, but that they should also know their place as a minority in this society and not try to be too ostentatious.”

    Because if a people who belong to the minority group should sit down and shut up!

    Just another patronising, poorly-thought of argument that doesn’t fit into his idea that homosexuals are “normal” people.

  6. If a people? What the hell.

  7. […] between being relaxed about things (”why don’t you just chill the fuck out”, as Procrastinationation characterised it) and being “oversensitive” don’t realise that it’s […]

  8. Quote “But are gays/lesbians not allowed to vote in S’pore?(lol straight S’poreans don’t get to vote too!)”

    strange that you should say gays/lesbians. Lesbian sexual activities at present don’t seem to be considered criminal in this republic (though, one would suppose, the interpretation of s377 could be expanded to allow “carnal intercourse against the order of nature” to encompass tribadism, woman-on-woman cunnilingus, etc.).

    gay/lesbian solidarity: a marriage (lolz) of convenience?

    anyway gays/lesbians (and the rest of us) in S’pore are all guaranteed the right to vote: if we move to either Potong Pasir or Hougang.

    -Lesbian: an inhabitant of the island of Lesbos, Greece
    -Gay: a town in Georgia

  9. Yeah, lesbian activities aren’t criminal in Singapore only because Queen Victoria couldn’t comprehend the idea of women having sex.

    But I think the guy in the comment who used the term “gay/lesbian” was going beyond 377a alone. When he invoked lesbians into his argument, I took it that he was thinking of more than just decriminalising gay sex. He was thinking of the other gay rights such as marriage and adoption.

    Afterall, one of the scare tactics that people used against repeal of 377a was the idea that the gay community would use use this as a lever to further their rights.

  10. andddd to clarify somemore, when i mean “other gay rights”, i mean the GLBT movement in general.

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