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Saturday, 10 May 2008

Chan Mun Chiong should be charged under Section 377A

People Like Us released a statement, "Chan Mun Chiong should not have been charged under Section 377A", arguing that the government was being hypocritical by prosecuting Chan under this controversial law. I humbly beg to differ.

As stated by PLU,

The Prime Minister, last October 23rd, said in Parliament that the authorities would not "proactively enforce Section 377A."
However, I disagree with this assumption:
In effect, he was assuring gay citizens that they could consider Section 377A as no threat and not fear discriminatory treatment under the law.
My reading of PM Lee's statement is that the police won't go around knocking down doors and catching homosexuals in acts of sexual intimacy. In other words, I believe that the government will generally respect the sexual privacy of individuals, both homosexual and heterosexual. The exceptions are:
  1. if someone files a complaint, which applies to heterosexuals too, e.g. if a Peeping Tom reports a lewd act (yeah, try wrapping your head around that), and
  2. if someone catches a homosexual in the act.
In other words, PM Lee's statement should be interpreted as "keep it in the bedroom, but you're damned if caught".

Besides, if PLU is correct in its assumption, then that begs the question: Why is the law still in the legal books???

Therefore, I think Chan can be prosecuted under Penal Code 377A lawfully and rightfully. This would be in addition to his other pending charges for engaging in oral sex with his 16-year-old male victim, when he knew that he was HIV-positive.

Aside: I also believe that the above logic applies to the Sedition Act, i.e. the police won't actively monitor your speech or actions for seditious messages, but if someone complains with valid reason, then it's "hello, prison time!"

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