top of page

377A Again


Singapore is again abuzz with the issue of 377A. Some people may be asking you to sign the petition to retain 377A. In another circle, people may be asking others to repeal 377A. You can support 377a (Christians, etc.); you can oppose 377A (LGBTQ); or you can be the one asking, “What is going on?” “Does it concern me?”

What is Singapore’s Penal Code Chapter 224, Section 377A?

Under the heading “Outrages on decency,” the code states:

377A. 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.”

What’s going on?

I addressed the issue on 16 Sept 2018 during our Conversation @theWell. At that time, one of Singapore’s ministers sounded a warning to the church leaders at a gathering at Saint Andrew’s. He warned that the government does not take a strong view on this issue, and that public opinion will help determine where Singapore will be headed. He also warned us that while the older generation supports 377A, the younger generation supports repealing it, and the movement to repeal is getting stronger very quickly. It is clear that the LGBTQ have been very active in garnering support to repeal 377A. We are now at the point when we face a new challenge to 377A.

It's not all doom and gloom

Sometimes, I get the impression that it is all doom and gloom. It is not. Yes, this is another challenge to 377A, but it is also a clarion call to action. Is it likely that 377A will be repealed at some point in time? Sadly, I think so. But if we can delay that day and strengthen what is weak, there is a good fight ahead.

It is impossible to stop a rising tide. There are times in the development of human society when certain bad things cannot be easily stopped. The rise of communism could not be stopped, but that does not mean we should not challenge it—appropriately. We are like a complacent kingdom ignoring the threats to the kingdom until the enemy is at the gates. It is too late to think we can escape the fight unscathed. We will be brutalized. But we will not be defeated. Because Jesus says concerning his Church, “The gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”

There were many times when evil arose to darken the world. But the light of the Gospel cannot be extinguished, and that light will shine until dawn comes.

In Singapore, we can rejoice that the government is consulting us. We would rather that the government does what is right, but they set the rules, and the rule on this issue is one of expediency. If we win the society over, we get to keep 377A. If the LGBTQ win society over, they get to repeal 377A. The government will do what is politically expedient.

“I cannot follow all the arguments. Just tell me, ‘Should I sign the petition to retain 377A?’”

We will engage the arguments in another place. But let’s get to the question simply.

We need to ask, “Why is the LGBTQ community fighting so hard to get rid of it, even though the government does not prosecute practitioners of male homosexuality?” The answer is surprisingly simple.

Penal Code 377A is like a cheap and poorly made door wedge used in place of a proper door lock. Despite its shortcomings, this door stopper has done its job in keeping the intruders out. Now, the intruders are telling people in the household how lousy that door wedge is, and are asking you or your family members to remove it. Should you remove it? The petition to keep 377A is to say that we want to keep the door wedge there.

Singapore Government’s offer to replace the door wedge. In an attempt to mollify opposing segments of the population, the government has offered to decriminalize homosexuality by repealing 377A, and address the legitimate concern of those who want to keep 377A by passing legislation that marriage is between a man and a woman.

Will the replacement work? We have seen what is now happening in other parts of the world. Schools are now required to teach that it is ok to have two moms and two dads. We should no longer tell the child he is a boy or she is a girl, and if the child wants a sex change, the parents are not allowed to stop the child. Businesses or religious institutions that refuse to serve or marry same-sex couples will be sued with the law on the side of the LGBTQ. The interests of the LGBTQ are now protected by law above the rights of religious convictions and or the rights of children to grow up normally. The Singapore Government must appreciate the reality of the goals of the LGBTQ community. The government should not be naïve. If the Singapore Government is prepared to repeal 377A today, what will it be willing to concede tomorrow? If we surrender 377A, will that lead to another fight over another legislation in the future?


My suggestion is this. Fight this fight now. But know that if we lose, there are other options. The Christian options must never be dependent on a secular government. If a secular government gives us a hearing, that is a good thing. If the secular government holds on to kingdom values, it is even better. But we are not out of options even when a government totally capitulates to the dark side. We will cross that bridge when we come to it. In the meantime, we need to act to support the retaining of 377A and to rest in the assurance of Christ, “The Gates of Hell shall not prevail against” the Church. (Matthew 19:18).

60 views1 comment

Recent Posts

See All
bottom of page