GE2020: PSP says they won't object repeal of Section 377A, but there's more to the 'proxy combat zone'

PHOTO: Facebook/ Progress Singapore Party

The Progress Singapore Party (PSP) has issued their official stance on Section 377A of the Penal Code.

A spokesperson for the party said: "We would not object to a repeal of S377A if it is only to remove the criminal punishment against homosexuals. But currently the debate over 377A is not just about criminal punishment.

"377A has become a proxy combat zone for other issues like the sanctity of traditional family structures, marriages, parenthood and gender identities.

"These are long-standing human and moral institutions. So before 377A is removed, there must be guarantees that these institutions remain undisturbed."

Section 377A criminalises sex between men, stating: "Any male person who, in public or private, commits, or abets the commission of, or procures or attempts to procure the commission by any male person of, any act of gross indecency with another male person, shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to 2 years."

Since the election campaign began on June 30, some Singaporeans have said online that they hope to hear political parties and candidates talk about Section 377A.

Terence Soon, PSP's candidate for Tanjong Pagar GRC, had allegedly talked about his stand on LGBT issues and Section 377A during an Instagram Ask Me Anything (AMA) session on July 5.

According to a screengrab of his reply posted on Facebook by a user, Soon had said: "This is a rather complicated subject, and I'd like to discuss in further detail. But in short, the party stance is that we would like to repeal the criminal aspect of 377A, and we respect the rights of all LGBTQ people in the country."

However, the netizen pointed out that this particular reply was curiously missing from the highlights of his AMA session on Instagram.

The current Parliament's stance is that Section 377A will not be proactively enforced.

Last year, the Workers' Party's chief Pritam Singh said the party will not call for a repeal of the law as there is no consensus within its leadership committee on the matter.

kwokkarpeng@asiaone.com