Singapore will repeal 377A but does that call for a celebration?
In line with the repeal, the government will amend the Constitution to safeguard heterosexual marriages. This protects the definition of marriage from being legally challenged, which makes it harder for same-sex marriages in Singapore. As a result, some people are more disappointed than happy about the repeal.
What is the difference? LGBTs still face discrimination
For one, they see no difference as LGBT citizens are still not going to have equal rights. They will not be legally recognised as a family. AWARE’s Jolene Tan said the government basically replaced 377A with a new “constitutionally enshrined version” that perpetuates the same stigma.
In addition, the MCI stated that there will be no change to age ratings for LGBT content. Similarly, MOE will keep its curriculum centered around traditional family values. With no significant change, it is understandable why some continue to think they are discriminated against.
Not the happy occasion they expected it to be
Someone even speculated that the government only repealed 377A “because future constitutional challenges would succeed”. For members of the LGBT community, this is not what they envisioned the repeal to be.
“This isn’t a step forward. It’s a step back.”
The long road ahead
Discrimination does not end overnight. According to Andee Chua, the repeal is just the beginning. He hopes Singapore can be rid of anti-LGBT policies in education, housing and other areas so that he can one day start a family with his partner.
“I am engaged to my fiancé and we look forward to getting married, starting a family here in Singapore, and enjoying the same rights as heterosexual couples. But question is, do we have to wait another 15 years for that to happen legally?
The fight toward true equal rights… is still on.
Majulah Singapura Onward Singapore.”