I would differ from both the LGBTQ activists and the Christian proponents of the law to say that 377A is essentially more of a legal issue, than a social or moral one. (since the law is not even in practice and on paper only)
PAP painting the whole issue in societal values and moral issues light, is just trying to siphon public opinion away from other pertinent issues, and to divide civil society and social and moral unity in seeking more justice for citizens as a whole.
Yes, 377A is not a light issue, whether for the LGBTQ community, or the religious intelligentsia. But a real debate and a real solution and conclusion cannot take place anyway, in a totalitarian state like ours. Worse – we risk falling into the PAP’s trap of pulling us into their “self-made” issue and help it win some votes from both the liberal and conservative camps just by virtue of us fighting.
The PAP is already not neutral or – in Sham’s words, “in the middle” – when it introduced laws against the “promotion of the homosexual lifestyle”, banning all references of homosexuality “in positive light” in the mainstream media. LGBT activists and friends who wish LGBT well, should be targetting such laws instead that breed non-understanding and conflict and non-acceptance.
It is also not neutral once it removed the review of 377A from the recent Constitutional review of the Penal Code, where a committee was set up specifically to look into which laws to change to suit reality and practicality in the administration of justice better. By removing 377A from the review, the PAP govt has already taken a stance to retain the law. Pushing it to “let the people decide” is irresponsible at best, and hypocritical at worst.
As for the Christian and Muslim communities who are concerned with erosion of moral and societal values, I opine that they have far more pertinent issues to tend to in Singapore – like the running of casinos, the addictions of the youths of all religions, the protection of minors in schools (both from opposite-sex and same-sex parties), the erosion of “good” values in return for “materialistic” and “individualistic” ones as promoted by the PAP’s “meritocratic/elitist” system, the ever-widening rich-poor gap, the lack of social welfare and more equal and equitable distribution of resources in society, etc.
All in all, retaining 377A does not make sense because the law is not even put to practice. But keeping the law is just symbolic in nature and we know who benefits the most from such conservative positioning.
Don’t win the battle (377A) and lose the war (bigger-picture social justice). You won’t win the battle any way – the PAP will be the winner.