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Repeal 377A Singapore Video on YouTube October 13, 2007

Posted by Joanne KY Teoh in News, Web Video, YouTube.
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A video of Singapore celebrities rapping for repeal of a law that makes gay sex a criminal offense is up on YouTube in one of the most visible challenge to the city’s homosexual laws yet. More than a dozen prominent Singapore-based media personalities including TV and theatre actors came out in support of the “Repeal 337A” campaign by appearing in the video uploaded a few hours ago.

“Repeal it!” the celebrities urge in the video, which was shot in support of a Singaporean legislator’s push to repeal a law making gay sex a criminal offence. Nominated Member of Parliament Siew Kum Hong will present a petition on October 22 to coincide with debate on the most extensive amendments to the city-state’s penal code in 22 years. Read his speech here.

The petition urges abolishing part of the penal code that makes sexual acts between males a crime punishable by up to two years in jail. 377A is the section of the Penal Code which prohibits “gross indecency” between men. Activists for the campaign to repeal the law say the petition will raise the level of debate and make a statement about tolerance.

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It’s not clear how much weight the petition will carry, but dissent is rarely voiced publicly in Singapore, a society which largely considers gay lifestyle immoral. The video is a reflection of a minority, who has great power over the sphere of media and who contends that tolerance needs to replace discrimination.

The petition comes hot on the heels of the setting up of a one-stop online resource for the repeal of 377A. It contains legal background to the issue and an open letter to the Prime Minister. Also on the Web is a counter online petition, Keep 337A.com.

Post-debate note: After heated debate in and out of Parliament over changes to the Penal Code, the Singapore Government retained 377A, but removed Section 377, which outlaws oral and anal sex between men and women.

Related read: To Prevent What Harm?

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1. Repeal 377A Singapore Video on YouTube - October 13, 2007

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