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Homosexuality in Singapore: what is permitted and not?

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forwardtherapy
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Homosexuality in Singapore: what is permitted and not?

Postby forwardtherapy » Sun, 18 Jul 2010 4:43 pm

Just wanted some information about the law regarding homosexuality in Singapore. I understand homosexual sexual activity is illegal but what is 'tolerated' and what isn't? I have seen plenty of gay guys walking around in couples and groups, even kissing, and there a quite a lot of gay nightclubs and bars and saunas where men meet. So are people actually being prosecuted under these laws or do the police 'turn a blind eye'? Does anyone have experience of the application of these laws or what it is like to live as an openly gay person in singapore?
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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Sun, 18 Jul 2010 5:39 pm

Nothing is 'tolerated'. If you proposition an undercover cop, you're gonna get busted. If you are caught in the men's toilet, you're gonna get busted. If you are caught in any public place doing something, you're gonna get busted. Otherwise, aside from the general public shunning you, you will be okay. Shouldn't have any problems with the western population though. There are heaps of gays here but they have to walk a thin line. Fair? No. But it's their country and their perceived morals (or lack thereof).

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Postby forwardtherapy » Sun, 18 Jul 2010 6:23 pm

Thats what I have heard. But what about the recent Pink Dot gatherings? How have the authorities responded to them? Also, is there a difference to the way authorities would respond to a same sex couple walking around kissing / holding hands in public and a 'local' same sex couple doing the same? Is the law applied differently for westerners than for locals?
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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Sun, 18 Jul 2010 6:48 pm

Depends on if you are an activist gay or not. If you are deliberately flaunting the fact, then the authorities will find a way to shut you down or up as the case may be. It's best, especially if a foreigner, to remain low-key and out of sight as you may find your pass revoked for no apparent reason. And you have no recourse at all as it's their ball and their playground so you play by their rules or they kick you off the field. Simple.

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Postby forwardtherapy » Tue, 20 Jul 2010 3:29 am

Sounds tough! Although not as tough as some of the Islamic countries where gay people are stoned to death. Still I wonder what fate befalls those who are not careful enough?
I guess things will change in time. It is the same for most former British colonies.
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Postby JR8 » Tue, 20 Jul 2010 4:46 am

You are indeed a curious poster, having just 6 posts, if I may say so.

You nearly got whacked by the mods on your first and second post for advertising your own services (as you still do, although slightly less brazenly, with your user name and tag-line).

Then you dwell on homosexuality, a little more than one might expect.


Care to join the dots?

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Postby forwardtherapy » Tue, 20 Jul 2010 5:31 am

I guess I am a little confused about what I have done that is a problem.

I have never directed anyone to use my professional services. According to the posts I found here (and I could only find 4 topics I have posted to, not 6), the first I made was on a topic about constipation which is something that I never deal with professionally and I was not advertising anything.

In hindsight, and given the indirect message from the moderator directly after the post, I can see how the second post could be interpreted as advertising. It is possible to delete such things? If I could, I would. I have been careful to go nowhere near any mental health related topics since then.

The third post was about starting a business, something that I have some experience with, but again, I do not provide any services around this.

This last topic is something I am curious about because I have seen the Pink Dot events on youtube and wondered how it can be that homosexuality it still against the law in a city with so many gay venues. I assumed I was having a reasonable exchange about it with someone who was interested. Have I broken some rules I don't know about regarding how many times I can reply? How many is too few posts and how many is too many? I don't visit this forum every day but sometimes it takes more than one post in a topic to get an answer. Actually if you read through the topic again you will see that my questions have not actually been answered anyway. I know quite a few homosexual men in Singapore, some who are open about it, some who lead 'double lives' out of necessity. I think it is an important issue but perhaps I have caused offence by even mentioning it... I don't know.

Regarding my signature, I am also confused. My understanding from the stickies was that it was acceptable to have a link in the signature so long as it was not referred to in the post and there was no blatant selling. The example that is used in the stickies is:
Good: Wikitravel -- the free, complete, up-to-date and reliable world-wide travel guide
I don't see that my signature line goes further than that, but I am happy to curtail it if it does.

Once again, I can see that post 2 was a problem now and I do not intend to repeat that mistake. But I don't understand why my being here is an issue or why, if it is a problem, it is being addressed by a moderator in the forum rather than privately.

I look forward to hearing back from you.
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Postby Mad Scientist » Tue, 20 Jul 2010 5:54 am

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Postby JR8 » Tue, 20 Jul 2010 6:05 am

Thanks MS, yes I do mean well. And it's kind of you to offer that up.

Just after aeons on the web and forums, some jigsaws don't piece together and it smacks you in the face from the earliest steps.

I'll leave it at that. No offence intended to anybody... TTFN

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Tue, 20 Jul 2010 9:38 am

And that, my friends, is what this board is all about. Rather than going off in a huff, a little dialog sorts it out. We are like a big family here. And just like all families, we like to bicker amongst ourselves but are protective of our little patch as well. There are only 5 of us mods in title, but each and every member of this board with any duration also be come a mod of sorts because they like the litter free board so they PM us when we miss something in the course of the day that looks strange, out of sorts, or out right spam.

Thanks guys! :cool:

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Postby forwardtherapy » Tue, 20 Jul 2010 1:04 pm

Thanks Mad Scientist, no offence taken. I was just a little confused!
And the humour is appreciated as well. It was all getting a little hard core there!
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Postby poodlek » Tue, 20 Jul 2010 1:39 pm

It seems as tho the govt has the same "don't ask, don't tell" policy as the US armed forces. I know several gay expats here, and some are even married, but as far as their work passes and immigration statuses are concerned here they are merely "roommates".
I'm guessing looking like a duck and quacking like a duck aren't actually illegal here, it's only the actual "ducking" that's against the rules, which of course is hard to catch in the act so long as you're being discreet and normal about it. Here's hoping that sometime in the not too distant future discrimination by sexual orientation will be just as reprehensible as discrimination by race. But we're not really beyond that one here, either, are we?

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Postby Mad Scientist » Tue, 20 Jul 2010 5:35 pm

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Postby curiousgeorge » Wed, 21 Jul 2010 4:46 pm

During national service, men identified as gay (302) or even effeminate (30-B) are sidelined into non-sensitive roles. However, they are now allowed to remain on base overnight and take on night duties.

Since around 2003, the Gahment has allowed openly gay men to take "sensitive" roles in the civil service.

Quite the same kind of "don't ask, don't tell" that happened in the UK and her other colonies.

Being gay isn't illegal in Singapore - "gross indecency" between men is, "obscene acts" in public are illegal, or you could get done under section 19 for other immoral purposes. The latter two apply to anyone in Singapore, not just gay men.

The gay bars and nightclubs have largely been left alone by the police in recent years.

Some Asian cultures are more touchy-feely than Western cultures. Witness a gang of Bangladeshi builders slouched across each other during break time...you would get beaten up in the UK for man on man contact like that! Maybe this is the difference you perceive between asian and western couples?

Regarding Pink Dot...that wasn't a gay gathering. It was a gathering of people in support of "Freedom To Love". There was never any mention of it being a gay event. :P Hence the application to have the gathering at Speaker's Corner was successful...locals playing the Gahment at their own game...

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Postby forwardtherapy » Wed, 21 Jul 2010 4:57 pm

Thanks curiousgeorge, that actually gives me a much better understanding of Singapore. This was all I was asking for, a straightforward response to my question. Much appreciated.
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