Re: "We did not know" is not a good excuse

Harish Pillay <> Thu, 07 April 2016 05:58 UTC

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Date: Thu, 7 Apr 2016 13:58:24 +0800
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Subject: Re: "We did not know" is not a good excuse
From: Harish Pillay <>
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>> No different from the many other anti-gay laws on books in many
>> countries including the US.
> Actually, it is.  Our Supreme Court has been striking down
> anti-gay legislation, not upholding it.  Right now it is the
> law in Singapore that sexual contact between consenting adult
> men is a criminal act.  The best way to clarify that Singapore
> doesn't really mean it is to get rid of the law, along with
> your other miscellaneous anti-gay laws.

There has not been, to the best of my knowledge, *anyone* who
has been charged in court under that rule (which I think is the
only rule there is) unless it was based on a report made by
one of the parties involved and it is usually under that offense
of rape or by parents (of minors involved). No one is going around
looking into bedrooms to see what is happening.

Again, no one who has participated in the event has,
to the best of my knowledge, been charged or penalised for
their orientation.

> I live in Alaska, so I'm certainly sympathetic to the problem
> of living in a place you love that does some things that are
> very wrong and that are difficult to explain to people not from
> there, and the embarrassment that sometimes goes with that.
> But my own feeling is that the best way to deal with those
> situations is to own them and to work for change.  I respect your
> feelings about your country but I will not be attending a
> meeting in Singapore unless the laws change.

It is a pity that you won't attend. I respect your stand and
principle. I feel that you are unfortunately making this more
of an issue than it really is in Singapore. Yes, we have prudes
(exclusively the religious sort[0]) who make it their problem
what consenting adults do based on their interpretation of
some fairy tale :-).

Singapore is far from perfect and we have our peculiarities. But
so does every society and country.

I would strongly encourage you to come to Singapore. I would
be more than happy to welcome you here. We need keep the
channels open and not closed. Then, and only then, will things
change for the better.