Friday, October 19, 2007

Arguments to keep S377A: An analysis

When proponents of S377A run out of logical and legal arguments against repealing that silly law, here's what they do: Flood the Straits Times forum with numerous equally silly letters.

Today, we have a bumper harvest of 4 letters that were against repealing S377A. The links to those letters can be found below

1) Not the right time to review Section 377A

2) Fallacy to talk of 'gay' discrimination

3) Wrong to compare S377A with S498 of the Penal Code

4) Why Govt is right to retain S377A of the Penal Code

A summary of their all their arguments is as follows

  1. A recent survey conducted by NTU showed that 7 out of 10 Singaporeans frowned upon homosexuality and that the will of the majority must be followed
  2. Repealing Section 377A would have an impact on families and that the family is a bedrock of our society
  3. Sexual behaviour/conduct is not a right
  4. Sexual orientation is not an immutable or fixed trait
  5. If we allow freedom of choice for sexual orientation, then we will have to legalise incest, bestiality and paedophilia as well
Once again, S377A proponents have conclusively demonstrated a 100% correlation between homophobia and stupidity and I will have to debunk their nonsense yet again.

On point 1

This is the equivalent of saying "Since the majority wants X to be done, X must be done"
Now it's bloody obvious that you can replace X with any rape, murder, war or genocide, the argument collapses immediately. Furthermore, the survey did not showed that the majority opposed the repeal of S377A. It merely showed that 7 out of 10 "frowned" upon homosexuality. I'm sure the majority of Singaporeans also frown upon adultery, divorce, pre-marital sex etc., so why aren't those acts illegal? If laws are based on what people frown upon, then you are going to find yourself in jail for farting in public. It's as ridiculous as that.

On point 2

This is the equivalent of saying "Allowing Y has an (negative) impact on families and a family is a bedrock of our society hence Y should not be allowed" Now replace Y with divorces, single parents, extra-marital affairs etc. and you wonder why all those are not criminalised as well. Furthermore, point 2 assumes that allowing homosexuality does indeed have a negative impact on families. Perhaps this article "Did gay marriage destroy heterosexual marriage in Scandinavia?" would shed some light on that assumption. Using intuition to conclude that repealing S377A has a negative impact on families is not a very bright idea. Many things in life are counter intuitive. Go look up some facts for once!

Point 3 & 4

These 2 points hinge upon the assumption that sexuality is influenced by social environment or that it is a choice out of free will. If proponents of S377A did a fact check first, they would realise that despite decades of the most extreme social conditioning to have males be attracted to other males, those males invariable remain attracted to females. So there's really no need to worry that your son will suddenly turn gay under the influence of other gays. It only makes you look ignorant.

Point 5

Finally something more challenging to debunk. Let's deal with the bestiality and paedophilia argument first, which is relatively easy to quash. For bestiality, animals cannot give consent to have sex. This is tantamount to rape or animal abuse. As for paedophilia, children are not deemed to be mature enough to be able to give consent. Still rape. For the case of incest, it holds many similarities to homosexual sex. Both are considered to be deviant, both concerns 2 consenting parties carrying out personal activities in the privacy of their own bedrooms. However, there is one important difference (in the case of an incestuous couple consisting of a male and a female) and that is a possible victim may arise. In-breeding increases the likelihood of bearing offsprings with genetic disorders. Secondly, the incest argument is really a well disguised strawman. There is no scientific evidence that suggests that there is a form of sexuality that consists of people only attracted to members of their family. Meaning, that incestuous couples could very well go seek partners who are not part of their family. Furthermore laws on incest apply equally to everyone, homosexuals or heterosexuals. Therefore, there is no question of inconsistency whatsoever.


Proponents of S377A ought to stop relying on strawman arguments. Stop giving silly analogies. No 2 cases are exactly alike and as such, any comparison will invariable breakdown at some point. If you want S377A to be retained, please back your arguments with sound logic and facts. Focus on S377A and don't try to confuse the issue by drawing in examples of bestiality, incest and paedophilia. Stop resorting to ad hominem tactics such as accusing the gay lobby of having an agenda for we do not resort to similar tactics like accusing S377A proponents of having religious agendas.


Saltwetfish said...

Good analysis... :-)

I must be stupid said...

thanks for the compliment :)

Jason bluestarr (: said...

you so should post this in ST forum.
hehe. :p
your analysis was good. (:


I must be stupid said...

ST forum is flooded with twits who are intellectually dishonest in debates. If you noticed, they are not really interested in fair debate. They've already set out with the mindset that S377a must not be repealed and their goal is to push this idea to everyone else. As such nothing will ever change their minds. :)

WANG said...

Likewise I also find the same argumentum ab absurdum from those who push to repeal 377A since they do not propose anything else to sway the fears of the society which those who wish to keep 377A.
Both sides are not listening and listing both sides of their pseudo science arguments.

WANG said...

Let me rephrase their pseudo science arguments as perceived by both sides.

Anonymous said...

well for ur bestiality comment let me add this... if consent is the main prob then how come we don't argue on that when we take out dog out for a walk... does he/she consent to that ??? do u know ??? so ur just using the consent argument to rationale that becos animals can't consent bestiality should remain criminalized. hence, following line of argument then even keeping the dog inside ur house should be criminalized cos that would be false imprisonment or playing with him could amount to battery (legally defined under s'pore case law as contact without any violence).