Singaporean swimmer and Paralympic medalist Theresa Goh is making waves (no pun intended) with her public call to action for a repeal of Section 377A of the Penal Code.
Her comments were made in a post to her Facebook page on Monday (June 11).
In her post she shared comments made by Minister for Home Affairs and Law, K Shanmugam. Shanmugam was responding to a news story of a lesbian couple who was violently assaulted on a London bus.
Shanmugam decried the attack and vowed that the government would ensure that “everyone, regardless of race, religion, sexual orientation” would be safe.
Despite Shanmugam’s comments, many users pointed out that more needs to be done to advance the rights and wellbeing of the LGBT community. Notably, many Singaporeans called him out for his inaction over repealing S377A which criminalizes homosexual sex. While the law is not actively enforced, it places Singapore in the unenviable category of being the only first world country in the world that still has criminal sanctions against homosexuals.
Despite the government’s supposed “neutrality” on this issue, it has taken several heavy-handed approaches in stifling discourse on LGBT rights, whether it’s banning foreign sponsors and participants from supporting Pink Dot, or blanket media censorship on all positive portrayals of LGBT individuals in popular culture.
In the past 12 months, more countries that were once part of the British Empire have repealed their colonial era sodomy laws including India and Botswana.
Theresa Goh echoed the sentiments of many Singaporeans by calling for S377A of the Penal Code to be repealed.
Theresa Goh opened up about her sexuality back in 2017 and self-identifies as a “queer” woman. She is also an advocate for local LGBT rights group, Pink Dot.