During the National Day Rally 2022, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong announced that the government will repeal Section 377A of the Penal Code (S377A). The repeal of S377A has been an area of concern for many Singaporeans and churches because of its possible ramifications on family and marriage values that we hold onto.
In light of the repeal, I hope to write to us as a church to let us know what it means.
What S377A is and what it signifies
S377A is a law that criminalises sexual relations between consenting men in private. While it is not proactively enforced, many view S377A as an affirmation to societal values which uphold heterosexual marriages as the basic building block of society.
With the repeal of S377A, there are concerns that it may lead to future policy changes which undermine the traditional definition of a marriage as between a man and a woman. This could have further ramifications on educational content, media controls and school and workplace cultures.
The Bible clearly teaches us that God’s design for marriage is a lifetime covenant between a man and a woman and sex is to be enjoyed within the boundaries of marriage. Any form of sexual acts outside of marriage is sin, including pre-marital sex, adultery and sex between the same gender.
The repeal of S377A concerns us as believers because we have been called to live out our faith through engaging with the people and society we are in, with God’s love and truth.
The repeal of S377A and what we need to know
We are thankful that the government has been proactive in engaging the public’s view about this issue and is trying to work out safeguards to protect marriage and family.
Further to the PM’s announcement to repeal S377A in his NDR speech, he also announced that the government will uphold and safeguard the institution of marriage. Key national policies, concerning areas such as marriage, housing and adoption, have relied on the definition of marriage, as contained in the Interpretation Act and the Women’s Charter. The government has no intention for this definition to be challenged constitutionally in the courts hence they are looking to amend the Constitution to protect the definition of marriage simultaneously with the repeal. But such a move still does not limit it against future challenges.
Very likely we will see stepped up efforts to normalise the LGBT lifestyle in Singapore. More needs to be done. The church, along with other conservatives, have asked for stronger protections in areas not covered by the Women’s Charter, namely education, media, freedom of speech and conscience, in businesses and the workplace.
More believers need to play an active role as citizens in the ongoing discussions of this issue and continue to engage our political representatives to step up their efforts.
How should the church respond to this?
Amidst the varying and even polarising responses to the repeal of S377A, we as the church must not forget who we are and what God has called us to do. Even as we navigate such a contentious societal issue, we are to glorify God through our words and deeds. As a church, we can continue to be faithful witnesses of the gospel in the following ways:
Our focus does not change – the gospel of Jesus Christ is the only hope for all humanity. Not only that, this gospel is one of truth and love. As believers, we are called to Christ-like love and to show kindness and compassion to all, even as we stand firm in our beliefs.
We are to be concerned and pray for the peace and prosperity of the city that God has placed us in. This also means that we are to better educate ourselves on what is happening and ground our values and convictions upon the unchanging truth of the bible.
In the coming months, we are going to have a sexuality series that will help us with this.
The world will always have trouble, but Jesus has overcome. We trust in God’s sovereignty in leading Singapore forward to fulfill her destiny and purpose in Him.
Let this not divide our society, church and fellowship, instead let us all come to a place of healthy and respectful discussion. While this announcement may seem like a big change in Singapore society, we look to our faithful and unchanging God whose plans and purposes will prevail.
God has sovereignly placed each of us exactly where He wants us to be, as His faithful witnesses. May God help us to show forth His love and goodness to a world that truly needs to know Him!
在2022年的国庆群众大会上，总理宣布政府将废除刑事法典第 377A 节条文。许多新加坡人以及宗教信仰，包括教会，都非常关注这件事，因为这可能对我们坚持的家庭和婚姻价值观产生影响。
S377A 是一项将私下同意的男性之间的性关系定为犯罪的法律。政府此前已决定不主动执行该法律，但许多人认为 S377A 是对现有的社会价值观的肯定，异性婚姻的家庭是社会的基本组成部分。
随着 S377A 的废除，有人担心它可能会导致未来的政策变化，从而破坏传统的男女婚姻定义。这可能会对教育内容、媒体控制以及学校和工作场所文化产生进一步的影响。
继总理在群众大会演讲中宣布废除 S377A 后，他还宣布政府将坚持和维护婚姻制度。涉及婚姻、住房和收养等领域的主要国家政策依赖于《妇女宪章》中对婚姻的定义。政府无意在法院对这一定义提出宪法挑战，因此他们正在寻求修改宪法，以在废除S377A的同时保护婚姻的定义。但这并不代表婚姻的定义不会面对其他更多的挑战。
在对废除 S377A 的不同，甚至两极分化的反应中，我们作为教会不能忘记我们是谁以及上帝呼召我们去做的事情。即使我们处理这样一个有争议的社会问题，我们也要通过我们的言行来荣耀上帝。作为教会，我们可以通过以下方式继续成为基督福音做见证：
我们的焦点没有改变 —— 耶稣基督的福音是全人类的唯一希望。不仅如此，福音是真理，也是神的大爱。作为信徒，我们坚信自己信仰的同时，也蒙召对所有人表现出仁慈，同情和基督般的爱。