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Section 377A Of Penal Code Of Singapore Add in library

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Describe about the Section 377A of Penal Code of Singapore?


Singapore's Section 377A of the Penal Code 

The main leftover piece of the legislation which criminalizes the sex between the mutually consenting adult men is  Section 377A of the Penal Code of the country Singapore. Section 377A which is Outrages on decency says that: Any male person who no matter in public or at  private are found to commit the commission or stimulate the commission of  or procures the commission or attempts to procure the commission through any male person in any act of physical relation with another male person will be punished with imprisonment for some years and now which may be extended to 2 years. (National Library Board, 2015) The enactment of its mother statute of Section 377 must first be first explained in order to understand the Section 377A. Section 377 criminalized the sex against the order of the nature . (The Economist, 2014) It means that if any person voluntarily make any carnal intercourse with any man, animals or woman against the order the nature will be punished with jail or can also be punished with imprisonment for a certain term which may also extend or increase to 10 years and that person shall also have to pay fine as a part of the punishment.

Issues surrounding Singapore's Section 377A of the Penal Code

The issue surrounding  section 377A focuses on the good of social marriage and but on the reverse side of the coin as we know there is the social ills of this  sexual conduct outside the marriage. This argument on marriage is often developed to a high level of internal consistency and sophistication and is also used by many religious groups and philosophers. There are variations in the issues but the basic  principles of all are generally the same. (Wee, 2015) The next issue is in utilitarian ethics based on Harm Principle. All reasonable people most probably agree that it is wrong to engage themselves self-destructive behavior or it mean the behavior that harms another person and this is not moral of humanity.


Arguments for upholding Singapore's  Section 377A of the Penal Code

The first argument,  which is in favor of section 377A of Singapore is based on the social good of a marriage. Marriage is a social good according to this argument. Marriage is considered as the faithful, lifelong and monogamous union between a man and a woman. Both of them together not only creates a framework in which male and female support and respect their differences, strengths and weaknesses. But together they are also capable of procreation. Moreover,  marriage also provides a safe and very stable environment to the persons within which children can be raised and this provides society a very amount of benefits and also this argument is verified by the Singapore government. The family is the basic and vital  building block of our society, this is one of the shared values identified by the Shared Values White Paper. In 2007 Prime Minister of Singapore Lee Hsien Loong explained it as: The basic building block of our society is the family. (lum, 2014) And by in Singapore the word family means one  woman one man who are married to each other and  having children and bringing up children with that a stable family unit framework. As incest, necrophilia and bestiality are the sexual conduct which are criminalized under the Penal Code. The second argument in favor of section 377A in Singapore is based on the Harm Principle of utilitarian ethics. (National Library Board, 2015)The second argument in favor of section 377A is based on the Harm Principle in utilitarian ethics. According to this the men who have sex with other men is a part of the majority of patients who are having acute HIV infections in Singapore and also many of them are becoming co infected with syphilis. (Wee, 2015) The third argument which is in  the favor of section 377A of Singapore is not difficult to handle as it simply says that the section 377A is justified because to a majority of Singaporeans homosexual conduct is offensive. This is based on utilitarian ethics  Offense Principle which has been developed by Joel Feinberg and it says that legal intervention is justified by certain forms of offense. According to Feinberg, the mere fact that one feels offended is sufficient.

Arguments against upholding Singapore's Section 377A of the Penal Code

The Court of Appeal of ruling against the appeals brought in front by, Gary Lim, Tan Eng Hong and Kenneth Chee upholded the Section 377a of the Penal Code  constitutionality in which criminalizing sex between men is very disappointing for every Singaporean . (lum, 2015)The existence of  this Section 377a have a bad effect not just on Gay men of Singapore but also its Bisexual, Lesbian and other Transgender communities. It encourages reinforces prejudice and discrimination which lead to censorship in the media and have great impact on the health and wellbeing on segment of society. The Singapore's opportunity to showcase itself as a truly openness, accepting and unique society with a great place for working, living and playing has been missed as with this section it discriminates a segment of society with other and don't provide them the same rights . (lum, 2015) A part of society is not considered equal in front of  law, don't have right to feel safe at home, have no physical and emotional protection and no protection against discrimination which is a right with which every Singaporean should be given and should not be denied on the basis of whom they love. An opportunity has been missed to demonstrate that Singapore country's important principle which is being united people, building of a democratic society.


Singapore's  Section 377A of the penal code of can get justified on the basis of three arguments, from Marriage, Harm and Offense But with this  the fact can't b neglect that with upholding this section Singapore have also missed a golden opportunity to demonstrate how well they all stand by their guiding principle of being one united people country and also losses the building of a democratic society which would be based on justice and equality.



• Chen, J. (2012). Singapore's Culture War over Section 377A: Through the Lens of Public Choice and Multilingual Research. Law & Social Inquiry, 38(1), 106-137. Chua, L. Legislation and Case Notes: The Power of Legal Processes and Section 377A of the Penal Code. SSRN Journal.

• lum, s. (2014). Court upholds law banning gay sex. AsiaOne. Retrieved 22 March 2015, from

• lum, S. (2015). Court of Appeal rules that Section 377A that criminalises sex between men is constitutional. Retrieved 22 March 2015, from

• National Library Board, S. (2015). Penal Code section 377A | Infopedia. Retrieved 22 March 2015, from

• Wee, D. (2015). Singapore blogger found guilty of contempt for post criticizing anti-gay law. Gay Star News. Retrieved 22 March 2015, from

• The Economist,. (2014). On permanent parole. Retrieved 22 March 2015, from

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