On 21 August 2022, while many Singaporean residents (including me) were enjoying the musical company of Billie Eilish at the National Stadium, the government dropped a piece of news that would change the lives of many LGBTQ+ people in Singapore.
The news was overshadowed by two things - the Billie Eilish concert and the repealing of the mask mandates that had lasted for over two years. Therefore, I am writing this article to spread awareness of this great news and explain how important and meaningful it is for members of the LGBTQ+ community in Singapore.
What does this mean?
The Repeal of Section 377A gives people of the LGBTQ+ community the right to basic rights regarding their romantic lives that straight people only possessed in Singapore until the change. This is such a huge step forward for people in the LGBTQ+ community in Singapore; it is such a freeing improvement for this community that had been discriminated against in Singapore. This government rule was received with mixed emotions: many were supportive and welcomed this change with open arms, while others didn’t receive it as well. Either way, we cannot deny that this is a big step forward for the community.
What are the next steps?
The obvious next step that is essential to continue progression is legalising gay marriage. In PM Lee’s speech, however, he mentioned that marriage rights won’t be coming any time soon. I think Singapore should legalise this immediately and become the second country in Asia to legalise gay marriage, after Taiwan. However, just because gay marriage isn’t in the foreseeable future, doesn’t mean there won’t be any benefits from this. Seeing the government repealing Section 377A might make some homophobic Singaporeans more open to an LGBTQ+ lifestyle. There is also nothing more to say, this just makes Singapore a much more accepting place for LGBTQ+ community.
Despite some setbacks, this is a hugely positive piece of news. It will make Singapore a much more accepting place for this community and potentially bring up the LGBTQ+ population in Singapore more inclusively, which would be great for our nation.