APCCS’ Response to Minister K. Shanmugam’s parliamentary speech on the Court of Appeal Ruling on Repeal of Section 377A
- Alliance of local churches reaffirms traditional family unit grounded in heterosexual marriage as a building block of society
- Recognises that constructive dialogue among stakeholders paves a way for Singapore society to thrive amid differing views
Singapore, 4 March 2022 – The Alliance of Pentecostal & Charismatic Churches in Singapore, representing over 80 local churches, is supportive of comments made by Law and Home Affairs Minister K Shanmugam on Thursday, 3 March, in Parliament, regarding the “best way forward” on Section 377A.
In particular, the Alliance is heartened to hear of the government’s willingness to engage stakeholders, and respect different viewpoints. We affirm the need to carefully balance different views in society while avoiding the destabilisation of social norms.
“We’re glad to see the respectful way that different viewpoints in society are given space to exist,” said Rev Yang Tuck Yoong, Chairman of APCCS.
APCCS agrees that LGBT persons ought to be able to live their lives free from the fear of harassment and acknowledge their inclusion in the Maintenance of Religious Harmony Act (MRHA) as a protected class of persons.
We hope that this will go a good way toward addressing the concerns and pains around unjust discrimination. The church cares about these people and commits to rejecting discrimination in our own community as well.
We also note that the courts have said that 377A, while symbolically embodying society’s moral norms, poses no prosecutorial threat to gay men at present. The status quo of a live and let live compromise has enabled an equilibrium to be maintained for our society to function amidst differing views.
Singapore has, over the years, reaped the fruits of a stable and harmonious society through affirming the family unit. We believe that the traditional family unit should continue to be grounded in a heterosexual marriage where children are raised with the unique contributions of both a father and mother.
It is therefore important to strengthen values that underpin healthy marriages and the family.
In charting the best way forward for Singapore, society should evolve to focus on strengthening marriages, reducing divorce rates, and creating a culture conducive to the flourishing of families in which all members can find belonging, comfort, and security.
APCCS expects that any change in Section 377A would lead to adjustments in national policies relating to marriage, family, children, education, media, housing, and more.
As the family unit is undermined or rewritten, the gradual erosion of societal strength and resilience follows. Any moves away from the status quo would result in a suite of knock-on effects.
We appreciate that the way forward will consist of continued efforts to engender constructive dialogue among different groups and to lower social tensions towards peaceful coexistence.
We look forward to participating in conversations with different community stakeholders that will help Singapore avoid heading down the path where polarisation weakens the fabric of our society.