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Encyclopedia > Sections 377 and 377A of the Penal Code (Singapore)

Section 377A of the Penal Code of Singapore criminalize certain forms of sexual acts. Section 377A of the Penal Code states: Image File history File links Merge-arrow. ... Homosexual sex is illegal in Singapore. ... The Penal Code of Singapore[1] sets out general principles of the criminal law of Singapore, as well as the elements and penalties of common criminal offences such as homicide, theft and cheating. ...


Section 377A ("Outrages on decency") states that:

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.

Contents

Origin

The rationale behind this law was originally based on English criminal law which sought to prohibit sodomy. It was incorporated by the British colonial administration in the late 1850s, in particular by Lord Thomas Macaulay who drafted the Indian Penal Code to replace Hindu criminal law which had hitherto held sway in the greater part of India. Under Hindu law, consensual intercourse between members of the same sex was never an offence. In Macaulay's draft however, section 377 criminalised "carnal intercourse against the order of nature" which became punishable by harsh penalties. François Elluin, Sodomites provoking the wrath of God, from Le pot pourri de Loth (1781). ... Quotes His imagination resembled the wings of an ostrich. ... Indian Penal Code (IPC, Hindi: भारतीय दण्ड संहिता, Urdu-in-devanagari: ताज़ीरात-ए-हिन्द ) provides a penal code for all of India including Jammu and Kashmir, where it was renamed the Ranbir Penal Code (RPC). ... Hindu law is a general term for the legal system—including philosophy of law and legal procedure—which existed in traditional India and was therefore coterminous with the institutions of the Hindu religion as they related to law in society. ...


Section 377 became effective as part of the new British-imposed Indian Penal Code from January 1, 1862, and was adopted by the colonial masters, also as Section 377 into the Straits Settlements Penal Code in 1871. The cloned and transplanted law came into operation in the Straits Settlements of Singapore, Penang and Malacca on September 16, 1872. Repealed in October 2007 for Singapore only. Indian Penal Code (IPC, Hindi: भारतीय दण्ड संहिता, Urdu-in-devanagari: ताज़ीरात-ए-हिन्द ) provides a penal code for all of India including Jammu and Kashmir, where it was renamed the Ranbir Penal Code (RPC). ... The Straits Settlements were a collection of territories of the British East India Company in Southeast Asia, which were given collective administration in 1826. ... State motto: Bersatu dan Setia (United and Loyal) (formerly Let Penang Lead) State anthem: Untuk Negeri Kita (For Our State) Capital George Town Ruling party Barisan Nasional  - Yang Di-Pertua Negeri Tuan Yang Terutama Abdul Rahman bin Haji Abbas  - Ketua Menteri Tan Sri Dr. Koh Tsu Koon History    - Ceded by... This article is about the state in Malaysia. ... For other uses, see October (disambiguation). ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era in the 21st century. ...


Section 377A (Outrages on decency) was added to the sub-title "Unnatural offences" in the Straits Settlements in 1938. Both sections were absorbed unchanged into the Singapore Penal Code when the latter was passed by Singapore's Legislative Council on January 28, 1955. The Straits Settlements were a collection of territories of the British East India Company in Southeast Asia, which were given collective administration in 1826. ... The Penal Code of Singapore[1] sets out general principles of the criminal law of Singapore, as well as the elements and penalties of common criminal offences such as homicide, theft and cheating. ... A Legislative Council in British constitutional thought is the second-to-top tier of a government led by a Governor-General, Governor or a Lieutenant-Governor, inferior to an Executive Council and equal to or superior to a Legislative Assembly. ...


Similarly-worded legislation was also introduced by the British into their other Asian colonies such as Hong Kong (repealed since 1991), Malaya (now Malaysia) and Burma in the late 19th century. For other uses, see Asia (disambiguation). ... Map of Peninsular Malaysia Peninsular Malaysia (Malay: Semenanjung Malaysia) is the part of Malaysia which lies on the Malay Peninsula, and shares a land border with Thailand in the north. ... Alternative meaning: Nineteenth Century (periodical) (18th century — 19th century — 20th century — more centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 19th century was that century which lasted from 1801-1900 in the sense of the Gregorian calendar. ...


Scope

Section 377 (now repealed from October 2007 in Singapore)

Sodomy was not defined in Indian statutory law, so Indian legislators in the 19th and early 20th centuries extended its meaning to cover fellatio, buggery and bestiality as well, although early cases tried in India mainly involved forced fellatio with unwilling male children and one unusual case of sexual intercourse with the nostril of a buffalo[citation needed]. François Elluin, Sodomites provoking the wrath of God, from Le pot pourri de Loth (1781). ... Fellatio is oral sex performed upon the male human penis. ... Anal sex or anal intercourse is a form of human sexual behavior. ... Look up Bestiality in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... It has been suggested that Duration of sexual intercourse be merged into this article or section. ...


From legal precedent in India, "carnal intercourse against the order of nature" between individuals (of all sexes - the law being non-gender specific with its use of the word "whoever") has been interpreted to include anal sex and, often after much courtroom deliberation, oral sex as well; namely any form of sexual intercourse which does not have the potential for procreation. Roman men having anal sex. ... Oral sex consists of all sexual activities that involve the use of the mouth, which may include use of the tongue, teeth, and throat, to stimulate genitalia. ...


However, recent Singaporean cases have established that heterosexual fellatio is exempted if indulged in as foreplay which eventually leads to coitus. The Singaporean margin note further explains that mere penetration of the penis into the anus or mouth even without orgasm would constitute the offence. The law applies regardless of the act being consensual between both parties and done in private. However section 377 was repealed in October 2007. Heterosexuality is a sexual orientation characterized by esthetic attraction, romantic love or sexual desire exclusively for members of the opposite sex or gender, contrasted with homosexuality and distinguished from bisexuality and asexuality. ... Fellatio is oral sex performed upon the male human penis. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... A pair of lions copulating in the Maasai Mara, Kenya. ... The penis (plural penises, penes) is an external male sexual organ. ... This article is about the bodily orifice. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era in the 21st century. ...


Section 377A

Section 377A was introduced in 1938 to criminalise all other non-penetrative sexual acts between men. 'Gross indecency' is a broad term which, from a review of past cases in Singapore, has been applied to mutual masturbation, genital contact, or even lewd behaviour without direct physical contact. As with the former section 377 (remember section 377 has been repealed since October 2007), performing such acts in private does not constitute a defence. There is no law in Singapore equally specific to non-penetrative lesbian sex, nor has there ever been. Remember section 377A is still in the statutes, but rearly inforced. A dictionary definition of Indecent not conforming with accepted standards of behaviour or morality. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... A repeal is the removal or reversal of a law. ... A statute is a formal, written law of a country or state, written and enacted by its legislative authority, perhaps to then be ratified by the highest executive in the government, and finally published. ...


Repeal or retention

The 2007 review of the Penal Code resulted in the proposed repeal of section 377 but not section 377A. Image File history File links Gnome_globe_current_event. ... Image File history File links This is a lossless scalable vector image. ...


The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) was quoted in The Straits Times of 18 September 2007 saying that public feedback on the issue had been "emotional, divided and strongly expressed", with a majority of people calling for section 377A to be retained.[1] The MHA also said that it recognised that "we are generally a conservative society and that we should let the situation evolve".[2] MHA Logo with other Home Team Departments The Ministry of Home Affairs (Abbreviation: MHA; Simplified Chinese: ; Malay: Kementerian Dalam Negeri) is a ministry of the Singapore Government. ... The Straits Times is an English-language broadsheet newspaper based in Singapore, currently owned by the Singapore Press Holdings (SPH). ... is the 261st day of the year (262nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era in the 21st century. ...


Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong explained the Government's decision not to propose that section 377A be repealed as follows: "The decision on whether or not to decriminalise gay sex is a very divisive one and until there is a broader consensus on the matter, Singapore will stick to the status quo."[3] The Priminster of Singa pyohbsdg vjhd|Lee Kuan Yew||3 June 1959 || 28 November 1990 || 1968 GE 94. ... This is a Chinese name; the family name is 李 (Lee) Lee Hsien Loong (Simplified Chinese: ; Traditional Chinese: ; pinyin: ; born February 10, 1952) is the third and current Prime Minister of Singapore. ...


Ms. Indranee Rajah, a Member of Parliament and former chairman of the Government Parliamentary Committee for Law and Home Affairs, reiterated the MHA's "assurance" that it would not actively prosecute people under that section. "But in recognition of the fact that there is still quite a strong majority uncomfortable with homosexuality, the section must stay," she said.[4] Indranee Rajah, a director of Drew & Napier LLC entered the Singapore Parliament in 2001 and became Tanjong Pagar Group Representation Constituencys first woman MP. She was educated in Marymount Convent and Raffles Institution. ... Homosexuality refers to sexual interaction and / or romantic attraction between individuals of the same sex. ...


Britain, the former British colony of Hong Kong, and Australia have since repealed laws prohibiting sex between men in 1967, 1991 and 1997 (in the state of Tasmania, the last Australian state to do so) respectively. In Asia, apart from Singapore, only Malaysia and India, both of which are former British colonies, continue to criminalise sex between men. Location of the British Overseas Territories The British Overseas Territories are fourteen[1] territories which the United Kingdom considers to be under its sovereignty, but not as part of the United Kingdom itself. ... Slogan or Nickname: Island of Inspiration; The Apple Isle; Holiday Isle Motto(s): Ubertas et Fidelitas (Fertility and Faithfulness) Other Australian states and territories Capital Hobart Government Constitutional monarchy Governor William Cox Premier Paul Lennon (ALP) Federal representation  - House seats 5  - Senate seats 12 Gross State Product (2004-05)  - Product... For other uses, see Asia (disambiguation). ...


On 3 October 2007, an online appeal was launched via the website Repeal377a.com to gather signatories to an open letter to the Prime Minister advocating the repeal of section 377A. In response, a counter-petition on the website Keep377a.com was set up to give citizens a channel to voice support for the Government's retention of the law.[5] By 1:30 pm on 20 October, Keep377a had overtaken Repeal377a by 7,068 to 7,058 signatories in just two days of its launch.[6] is the 276th day of the year (277th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era in the 21st century. ... An open letter is a letter that is intended to be read by a wide audience, or a letter intended for an individual, but that is nonetheless widely distributed intentionally. ... is the 293rd day of the year (294th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...


On 12 October 2007, leading members of Singapore's arts fraternity, both gay and straight, took part on a promotional video titled Repeal 377A Singapore!. Concerned with the video's narrow presentation of issues, a "Families Petition"[7] was launched by an independent focus group Familyoverfreedom to run until 9 August 2015 as an awareness campaign aimed at educating the middle-ground of undecided voters on the potential long-term impact of a repeal on the institution of the family. is the 285th day of the year (286th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era in the 21st century. ... is the 221st day of the year (222nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... For the video game developer, see 2015, Inc. ...


On 22 October 2007, Nominated Member of Parliament Siew Kum Hong tabled a Parliamentary petition to the Parliament of the Republic of Singapore in support of the repeal of section 377A. The petition is required to pass through the scrutiny of the Public Petitions Committee in order for the issue to be fully debated in Parliament. In response, fellow NMP Thio Li-ann gave a speech in Parliament arguing to keep section 377A. is the 295th day of the year (296th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era in the 21st century. ... A Nominated Member of Parliament (NMP) is an unelected MP that does not represent any electoral district in the Parliament of Singapore. ... The unicameral Parliament of Singapore is the legislature of Singapore with the President as its head [1]. It currently consists of 94 Members of Parliament. ... This is a Chinese name; the family name is Thio (å¼ ) Dr Thio Li-ann (born 10 March 1968) is a law professor at the National University of Singapore[1] and Nominated Member of Parliament (NMP) of Singapore. ...


See also

Singapore is a fine city. ... Homosexual sex is illegal in Singapore. ... The Penal Code of Singapore[1] sets out general principles of the criminal law of Singapore, as well as the elements and penalties of common criminal offences such as homicide, theft and cheating. ... sodomy law is a law that defines certain sexual acts as sex crimes. ... Paragraph 175 (known formally as §175 StGB; also known as Section 175 in English) was a provision of the German Criminal Code from 15 May 1871 to 10 March 1994. ...

Notes

  1. ^ Soh, Natalie. "Big changes to Penal Code to reflect crime's changing nature", The Straits Times (reproduced on Ministry of Foreign Affairs website), 2007-09-18. 
  2. ^ Loh, Chee Kong. "To fight crimes of the day, Penal Code to get more teeth", Today, 2007-09-18. 
  3. ^ Au Yong, Jeremy. "Views divided, so gay sex law stays", The Straits Times, 2007-09-22. 
  4. ^ "Gay sex laws to stay : Singapore Govt", Fridae, 2007-09-18. 
  5. ^ Ng, Ansley. "Keep377a.com vs Repeal377a.com : Group sets up site urging S'pore to keep gay sex ban", Today, 2007-10-19. 
  6. ^ Keep377a overtakes repeal377a. Family&Freedom (2007-10-20). Retrieved on 2007-10-21.
  7. ^ Families over Freedom. Quick Topic. Retrieved on 2007-10-20.

The Straits Times is an English-language broadsheet newspaper based in Singapore, currently owned by the Singapore Press Holdings (SPH). ... The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) conducts and manages Singapores relations with other countries. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era in the 21st century. ... is the 261st day of the year (262nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Today is a free English-language tabloid in Singapore published by government-owned Mediacorp Press. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era in the 21st century. ... is the 261st day of the year (262nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... The Straits Times is an English-language broadsheet newspaper based in Singapore, currently owned by the Singapore Press Holdings (SPH). ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era in the 21st century. ... is the 265th day of the year (266th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Fridae is a media and services company that caters to the gay and lesbian community of Asia. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era in the 21st century. ... is the 261st day of the year (262nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Today is a free English-language tabloid in Singapore published by government-owned Mediacorp Press. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era in the 21st century. ... is the 292nd day of the year (293rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era in the 21st century. ... is the 293rd day of the year (294th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era in the 21st century. ... is the 294th day of the year (295th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era in the 21st century. ... is the 293rd day of the year (294th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...

References

  • Penal Code (Cap. 224, 1985 Rev. Ed.)

Further reading

TREVVY started in August 2006 through a re-branding exercise of Singapores first gay portal [1]. Trevvy. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era in the 21st century. ... is the 297th day of the year (298th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Fridae is a media and services company that caters to the gay and lesbian community of Asia. ... Alex Au Wai Pang, equally well known by his electronic nom-de-plume as Yawning Bread, is regarded by many to be the founding father of the Singaporean struggle for gay equality. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era in the 21st century. ... is the 293rd day of the year (294th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Alex Au Wai Pang, equally well known by his electronic nom-de-plume as Yawning Bread, is regarded by many to be the founding father of the Singaporean struggle for gay equality. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era in the 21st century. ... is the 293rd day of the year (294th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Alex Au Wai Pang, equally well known by his electronic nom-de-plume as Yawning Bread, is regarded by many to be the founding father of the Singaporean struggle for gay equality. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era in the 21st century. ... is the 293rd day of the year (294th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Alex Au Wai Pang, equally well known by his electronic nom-de-plume as Yawning Bread, is regarded by many to be the founding father of the Singaporean struggle for gay equality. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era in the 21st century. ... is the 293rd day of the year (294th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Also see: 2002 (number). ... is the 274th day of the year (275th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era in the 21st century. ... is the 293rd day of the year (294th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...

External links

  • Keep377A.com – campaign for the retention of section 377A of the Penal Code
  • Repeal377a.com – campaign for the repeal of section 377A of the Penal Code
  • Family&Freedom – a blog "dedicated to increasing awareness of the potential long term impact of a legal redefinition of natural sex, and eventually marriage, on the institution of family"

 
 

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