#Homosexuality

Singaporean DJ Big Kid Filed A Court Challenge Against Anti-Gay Law Section 377A

A DJ has filed a court challenge against the ban on gay sex in Singapore.

Last week, India legalized gay sex after its Supreme Court ruled that the colonial-era Section 377 law was unconstitutional.

After this ruling, many turned to Singapore and urged it to consider making a similar decision for its own Section 377 (this time called Section 377A). More specifically, international cries poured in for someone to challenge the island nation’s law.

Now, someone has stepped up and that someone is 43-year-old Johnson Ong Ming. Ming, otherwise known as DJ Big Kid, filed a challenge this past Monday, according to Towleroad.

“We intend to argue that Section 377A is absurd and arbitrary,” said Ming’s lawyers Suang Wijaya and Eugene Thuraisingam to Reuters.

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by BK (@johnsonbk) on

This court challenge will be facing a tough battle however as there is strong, Christian-based, opposition to decriminalizing of gay sex.

According to Reuters, a public opinion survey released last week showed that 55 percent of 750 Singaporean respondents support keeping the law. Meanwhile, the poll, conducted by consulting firm Ipsos, showed that only 12 percent were opposed to it and 33 percent of respondents said they were neither for nor against the action.

Also last week, more than 90,000 people signed an online petition to keep the bill. The creator of the petition stated that the silent majority would not sit down to the vocal minority on this matter.

“By repealing the section 377A penal code, it would begin to normalize homosexual behaviours as a societal norm and lead to greater push for other LGBT rights in our conservative society as we have seen played out in other western societies today. We do not think the vocal minority should impose their values and practice on the silent majority who are still largely conservative.” 

“Hence, if you among the silent majority, please sign this petition to support and reiterate our position to the Singapore government that we wants the Penal Code 377A to stay.”

In addition, the Singaporean Law and Home Affairs Minister Kasiviswanathan Shanmugam said:

“If you look at the issue, it is a deeply split society. The majority are opposed to any change to Section 377A. They are opposed to removing it,” he insisted.

“Can you impose viewpoints on a majority when (the issue is) so closely related to social value systems?” he asked.

Lastly, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong is noted for saying earlier that Singapore society “is not that liberal on these matters.”

h/t: Towleroad, Reuters

Thousands Sign A Petition To Keep Gay Sex Banned In Singapore

On Thursday, India’s Supreme Court made a landmark decision that the colonial era Section 377 law was unconstitutional. This decision thus made gay sex legal in all of India.

In reaction to this announcement, many have looked called for Singapore to challenge a similar law in their island nation. This law, Section 377A was also introduced by British colonialism in the region, and bans gay sex with the threat of two years in prison.

Immediately after news hit of India striking their Section 377 as unconstitutional, Tommy Koh, an Ambassador-at-Large at the Singaporean Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said Singapore should do the same.

Kohn made this comments in the response to Simon Chesterman’s, dean of the National University of Singapore Faculty of Law, Facebook post about the Indian Supreme Court, according to Channel News Asia.

"I would encourage our gay community to bring a class action to challenge the constitutionality of Section 377A," wrote Koh.

This was only the start of outcry for the decriminalization of gay sex in Singapore, but that has also caused major pushback.

For instance, multiple questions and calls for decriminalization led to Singaporean Law and Home Affairs Minister Kasiviswanathan Shanmugam sharing the following statement at a press meeting:

“If you look at the issue, it is a deeply split society. The majority are opposed to any change to Section 377A. They are opposed to removing it,” he insisted.

“Can you impose viewpoints on a majority when (the issue is) so closely related to social value systems?” he asked.

He then added, “I think society has got to decide which direction it wants to go. And the laws will have to keep pace with changes in society and how society sees these issues.”

Unfortunately, there are many who agree with Kasiviswanathan Shanmugam. A petition to keep the law banning gay sex in Singapore has appeared and has reached over 75,000 signatures.

As the petition’s mission statement states:

“By repealing the section 377A penal code, it would begin to normalize homosexual behaviours as a societal norm and lead to greater push for other LGBT rights in our conservative society as we have seen played out in other western societies today. We do not think the vocal minority should impose their values and practice on the silent majority who are still largely conservative.” 

“Hence, if you among the silent majority, please sign this petition to support and reiterate our position to the Singapore government that we wants the Penal Code 377A to stay.”

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Perry Wong (@perrbearwong) on

It is important to note that the peitition’s creator has asked those who sign to be respectful of others and that his main goal is just to keep the staus quo.

“We simply want to have our voices heard by our government,” he said in the latest update, “We are not against anyone. (And so let's be respectful). We just want to keep the status quo.”

At it's creation, the petition hoped to receive at least 75,000 signatures to show government officials. Unfortunately, they have since reached that goal.

There's currently no news on how this petition will affect any fight for the decriminalization of gay sex in Singapore, but it's not looking good.

h/t: Channel Asia News, Pink News

Nigerian Presidential Hopeful Who Said He'd Protect Gay People Now Says He Won't Decriminalize Homosexuality

Last Thursday, we shared with you the story of Nigerian Presidential hopeful Donald Duke. Duke shared that he would protect LGBTQ people from persecution and not criminalize them, but now he has gone back on his word.

In the initial interview with YouTube talk show, On the Couch, Duke said the following:

“I don’t understand the emotional feelings a gay person would have toward someone of their sexuality. I don’t understand it. But I would not criminalize them. I would ensure that they have the protection of the law.”

Now, according to Gay Star News, Donald Duke is clarifying that he may not openly go after gay people, but he won’t decriminalize them either.

Duke felt like making this clarification on Instagram after he was constantly asked if his support for gay rights meant that he was gay himself. After hearing this question a few times, he felt the need to respond.

 

A post shared by Donald Duke (@realdonaldduke) on

“Recently, a statement I made during an interview concerning gay rights and homosexuality has been construed as my affirmation of my homosexuality and same sex marriage. Nothing is further from the truth,” he wrote.

“Homosexuality is a crime in Nigeria and ought to remain so.”

“What I however did say is that I would not go seeking homosexual for prosecution as this is liable to abuses and as such would rather not delve into the sexuality of an individual. For the avoidance of doubt our law on homosexuality stand in fact and in my moral rectitude.”

The presidential election in Nigeria is not for another few months and will take place in February of next year.

That said, Duke is a front-runner in the presidential race and his support of gay rights means everything for Nigerian gay people who have been especially terrorized by the government in the past few months. Unfortunately, that support will only go to the bare minimum.

We’ll how he does in the election, and what he would do with the position if he wins, early next year.

Amsterdam Honors Pride Month With An Event Focused On Homosexuality in the Animal Kingdom

Here’s something rather uplifting and cute: the Amsterdam-based Artis Zoo is celebrating the city’s Pride Month via a one-hour guided tour focused on “homosexuality in the animal kingdom.”

Pink News reports the event will transpire July 28-29 and August 4—5. The famous canal Pride parade is scheduled for the afternoon of Aug. 4.

A reporter for Vice confirmed that curious parties can observe homosexuality in the animal kingdom in species like Japanese macaques, griffon vultures, penguins and flamingos.

A lecture on the topic of sexual diversity in the animal kingdom is scheduled for Aug. 2.

Homosexuality in the animal kingdom has long been observed, with homosexual behavior in over 450 species documented by scientists. Here are just a few notable recent examples.

In February of this year, a gay lion orgy was reported out of Midlands Safari Park. In April, two male gorillas got in on at Rotterdam Zoo.

Two gay penguins were caught last year for stealing eggs from straight couples at a Chinese Zoo.

Also in 2017, PETA claimed that polar bear Szenja died of a broken heart at Sea World San Diego after her same-sex partner of nearly 21 years, Snowflake, was transferred to the Pittsburgh Zoo.

Love is love.

h/t: Pink News

Homosexuality Declassified as a Mental Illness by Indian Psychiatric Society

Just in time for Pride Month, the Indian Psychiatric Society (IPS) declassified homosexuality as a mental illness last week.

The IPS was founded in 1929 and has about 3,000 members today. This is the first time the organization has publicly addressed the matter.

IPS president Dr. Ajit Bhide said:

“Certain people are not cut out to be heterosexual and we don’t need to castigate them, we don’t need to punish them, to ostracize them.

 

IPS chairperson Dr. Kersi Chavda stated:

“This statement is our official stand on homosexuality, that it is not a disease and should not be treated like one. This is the first time we have released an official stand.”


This is a small victory, though. Homosexuality is still illegal in India under Section 377, and conversion therapy is still common. India's Supreme Court is currently reviewing Section 377, and is expected to declare whether or not to uphold it by October. 

The law, which describes anal sex as an “unnatural offense” has stood since 1862 as a direct result of British colonization. The law was modeled from the British Empire’s buggery law. Britain decriminalized homosexual acts in 1967.

Breaking the long-standing Indian law can result in a 10-year prison sentence, an equivalent punishment to rape. It’s worth noting that oral sex, even between a man and a woman, is prohibited under the law.

Also, as we reported earlier this week, India’s Central Board of Film Certification has outright banned critical darling Love, Simon because it features a gay lead character.

Source: https://www.hindustantimes.com/mumbai-news/stop-treating-homosexuality-as-an-illness-says-indian-psychiatric-society/story-EqoFV1KjFE0mxAxOimX8oN.html


 

Kenya's Court of Appeal Says Anal Examinations Are Unconstitutional!

Kenya’s Court of Appeal met on March 22, 2018 in the city of Mombasa, and ruled that forced anal examinations are unconstitutional.

The practice of anal examinations are primarily used to determine if men who are accused of homosexuality are actually engaging in same-sex activity. The practice happens all over the world, and usually involves the accused being forced to bend over or lay down while being retrained. Then, doctors either probe the anus or analyze it externally.

Many LGBTQ rights and human rights organizations have been calling for the practice to end in multiple countries. One such organization is the National Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (or the NGLHRC).

The NGLHRC is an international organization based in Nairobi that filed a constitutional challenge after Kenyan police arrested two men in February of 2015. The two men were forced to go through forced anal exams, HIV and Std tests, and more.

This constitutional challenge led to this new ruling by the country’s Court of Appeal and overturns a 2016 High Court decision.

“With this ruling, the judges are saying that we all deserve to be treated with dignity and afforded our basic rights, as enshrined in the Kenyan Constitution,” Njeri Gateru, who's in charge of Legal Affairs at NGLHRC, said in a statement.

In addition, many Human Rights activists are hoping that this decision will pave the way for more positive change for LGBTQ people in not only Kenya but other countries in Africa.

“The ruling that forced anal exams violate Kenya’s constitution is of tremendous significance,” said Neela Ghoshal, senior LGBT rights researcher at Human Rights Watch. “The ruling affirms the dignity of the two Kenyan men who were subjected to these horrific exams, and it reinforces the understanding that the constitution applies to all Kenyans, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.”

Ghoshal added:

“This landmark ruling places Kenya’s courts at the vanguard in affirming that the government cannot deny LGBT people their basic rights. No one should be subjected to forced anal exams, and no one should be deprived of their rights because of who they are or whom they love.”

h/t: Human Rights Watch