In his letter to the Catholic community, Archbishop William Goh said that he “shares the anxieties and fears of those who subscribe to the traditional and scriptural views of marriage and family, that repealing S377A would lead the country down a slippery slope.”
The National Council of Churches also said something similar in their statement, stating that repealing 377A “would result in the normalization and promotion of this lifestyle, which in turn would lead to undesirable moral and social consequences, a slippery slope as seen in some countries taking this step.”
And while PERGAS (Singapore Islamic Scholars & Religious Teachers Association) did not use the phrase slippery slope, their statement had similar sentiments, stating that repealing 377A would “affirm and normalise the LGBTQ lifetstyle.”
But what exactly is this slippery slope?
Perhaps it is “the push to legalise same-sex unions, adoption of babies by same-sex couples, surrogacy, and even the criminalisation of those who hold contrary views of marriage and who oppose same-sex unions”, as Archbishop William Goh said in his letter.
Now, same-sex unions are already void as stated in Section 12 of the Women’s Charter. And without a legally recognised marriage, same-sex couples won’t be able to adopt babies as a couple, although one of them can still adopt babies as a single, even now.
Part of the terms and conditions for getting a license to provide Assisted Reproduction services is not to provide surrogacy services. So forget about same-sex couples, even different-sex couples can’t get a surrogate in Singapore.
As for the “criminalisation of those who hold contrary views of marriage and who oppose same-sex unions”, the article 14 of Constitution of the Republic of Singapore states that with a few exceptions, “every citizen of Singapore has the right to freedom of speech and expression”. So not only is it the right of any Singaporean to hold whatever view of marriage they want, any law enacted by Parliament to criminalise certain views on marriage would be unconstitutional.
If 377A were to be repealed and some people were to exercise their constitutional right to petition for a repeal of Section 12 of the Women’s Charter, would that really be the “normalisation and promotion” of homosexuality? No it wouldn’t be, just like all these statements are not the normalisation and promotion of a Catholic, Christian or Muslim lifestyle. All of this is just some people saying what they think.
To really promote and normalise something would mean using mass media. But under IMDA’s Film Classification Guidelines:
Films that depict a homosexual lifestyle should be sensitive to community values. They should not, promote or justify a homosexual lifestyle. However, nonexploitative and non-explicit depictions of sexual activity between two persons of the same gender may be considered for R21.
There is nothing that says that IMDA must change their guidelines if 377A is repealed. There is also nothing that says that MOE must change their syllabus if 377A is repealed.
This slope doesn’t seem so slippery to me. In fact, there seems to be a lot of barriers on the slope. And what some people see as a slippery slope, others see as an uphill battle.