Pink Dot

The 3rd Pink Dot picnic happened last Saturday. In 2010 around 4,000 people came. This year it was over 10,000.

As a leftover from Singapore’s colonial days, we have a law dating back to Henry VIII called Section 377A of the Penal Code, or “Outrages on Decency” in shorthand. It states “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.”

Presumably, women are cool to do as they wish.

It’s come up for discussion many times over the years, but the government holds to the view that there is an invisible “moral majority” here whose lives would be damaged by removing the law. To protect them from the terrors of this, the law remains.

There’s no witch-hunt. Mostly people get on with their lives. But the law does get used. The most recent case charged under it was September 2010. Even more damaging, while it’s on the books a lot of important support and advisory activities have to be circumspect. It makes it hard to talk honestly about safe sex, youth suicide, domestic abuse and a whole bunch of other things. It hampers HIV testing, counseling and other services.

A whole wide spectrum of people showed up, from families with kids to matching buffed couples, to show support for the freedom by everyone to love and be loved . Lots and lots of warmth and good vibes.

It’d be nice if it wasn’t necessary, but while it’s necessary it’s very nice.

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