Last edited: February 01, 2004

Singapore Gay Group Sends Open Letter to Parliament: All Oral Sex Should Be Decriminalised

People Like Us, January 25, 2004

On 21 January 2004, People Like Us sent an open letter to all 94 Members of Parliament. The text of the open letter is as follows:

It is likely that a bill amending the Penal Code section pertaining to oral sex will be presented soon to Parliament for your approval. Based on what has been mentioned in the recent sitting of Parliament, it is likely that the bill will leave oral sex between two persons of the same sex as a criminal offence.

You will hear from other forums all the reasons why this would be bad law, chiefly because it would be discriminatory.

This is not just an academic question, since by the law of probability, some Members of Parliament will have gay sons or lesbian daughters.

With 94 MPs, assuming 2 offspring per MP on average, there may be around 190 sons and daughters. Even using the lowest incidence of homosexuality, about 2% of the population—a figure that the homophobic lobby prefers to use—there are likely to be 4 gay or lesbian sons or daughters among them. Using an incidence estimate that most researchers accept as a rea-sonable ballpark figure, 6%, there are likely to be 11 or 12 gay/lesbian offspring among the 190.

We don’t even need to use the 10% incidence rate that some researchers have found. We don’t need to include nephews, nieces or grandchildren whom you may dearly love.

Chances are that, as a parent, you don’t know whether your child is gay or not. Often, we hear that the parents are the last to know—which tells you a lot about the degree of discrimination gay people face and the extent of cover-up they must construct.

At some point, you will have to tell your gay children that they are criminals in Singapore through no fault of their own.

The only way they would not be criminals would be if they never ever became intimate with anyone they fell in love with, abandoning any prospect of a fulfilling personal life. Alternatively, they would have to emigrate from Singapore.

Or you could be a strict parent and insist that they keep up appearances at all cost. Your daughter must get married, even if her heart feels nothing for any man. Once married, she must allow herself to be repeatedly raped by someone she does not love—her husband. All in the name of the norms that heterosexist laws enshrine.

This doesn’t apply to me or my family—we are all apt to say. We know our children are not gay—parents are apt to say. But the law of probability tells us some of you are going to be proven wrong.

Supporting the continued criminalisation of homosexual sex between consenting adults is a violation of your love for your own children.

In November 2003, a police officer, Anis Abdullah, was convicted under Section 377 of Singapore’s Penal Code, for “carnal intercourse against the order of nature”. Anis was found guilty of having received fellatio from a 16-year-old girl whom he had dated.

Following his conviction, there was an outcry from the general public who were surprised that oral sex was still a criminal offence in Singapore. On 6 January 2004, the government said in Parliament that the law on oral sex was under review, with the likely prospect that consensual oral sex between adult males and females would be decriminalized.

People Like Us is a gay advocacy group in Singapore since 1993, which the government still refuses to recognise.

For More Information:
Contact: Eileena Lee, Kelvin Wong or Alex Au

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