Law Minister meets S’pore pastors over 377A issue

Law Minister K Shanmugam met with a group of pastors from a local Christian network last Friday to discuss issues surrounding a law banning intercourse between men.
According to a post on the minister’s Facebook page on Monday, the LoveSingapore church network, led and founded by Faith Community Baptist Church senior pastor Lawrence Khong, requested a meeting with him on the issue shortly after Shanmugam met with activist group Sayoni.
Summing up the meeting in a separate post on the LoveSingapore Facebook page, Khong wrote that the meeting the network leaders had with Shanmugam was “about defending the moral future of our nation”.
“Yes, we enjoyed our conversation with the Minister on a hot an emotional topic — the LGBT issue — looking at it through different lenses and from many angles,” he wrote. “He (Shanmugam) explained the multiple viewpoints on the topic, his engagement with many different groups, and how their viewpoints differed.”
Khong concluded the post, which he signed off with his name, stating that Shanmugam had reiterated the government’s position on Section 377A of the Penal Code — the now well-known law that bans sexual relations between men — remains the way Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong had said in parliament in 2007.
That year, PM Lee had said during the debate on a motion to repeal the law filed by former Nominated Member of Parliament Siew Kum Hong that Singapore is a conservative society, but the government would not proactively enforce the law even as it does not repeal it.
Earlier this year, the network reignited an ongoing debate on the law when Khong invited Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong to listen to a speech he made in favour of its preservation. In it, he called the repeal of the statute “a looming threat to the basic building block (of family) by homosexual activists”.
Cornerstone Commuity Church pastor Yang Tuck Yoong also followed up later with a strongly-worded post that urged his church members to be “battle-ready” against the “sharp polarising of our society over the gay and lesbian issue”.
Last Thursday, an application to repeal Section 377A by Kenneth Chee and Gary Lim was heard in closed chambers in the Supreme Court, with the couple’s lawyers calling it “absurd, arbitrary and unreasonable” and a violation of the country’s constitution. The judge presiding over the case reserved judgment till a later date.
In the meantime, 49-year-old Tan Eng Hong, who was caught engaging in fellatio with a man at a shopping centre, awaits a hearing on the constitutionality of the law after the Court of Appeal overturned a High Court decision against his lawyer M Ravi’s challenge.

Related stories:
S'pore gay sex law 'absurd': couple's lawyers in repeal case
Growing debate online over repeal of Section 377A
Couple files challenge to S'pore law criminalising gay sex
S'pore court okays challenge against anti-gay law

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