MHA reminds foreign firms that LGBTQ issues are for S’poreans to discuss & come to consensus
August 5, 2022
US Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited Singapore and met the republic’s leaders on Aug 1 as part of her high-profile trip to Asia.
Her office also issued a statement, calling on businesses to support the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) community in Singapore as more American companies set up offices here.
Ministry of Home Affairs responds
In response, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) issued a statement on Aug 4, highlighting that issues in Singapore that could be socially divisive are for Singaporeans to discuss and come to a consensus.
Here’s the full statement:
“In response to media queries arising from US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s call for the business community in Singapore to support the LGBT community here as more American businesses are establishing offices in Singapore, the Ministry of Home Affairs said as follows:
The Government would like to remind foreign businesses that while they are free to promote diversity in their companies, they should be careful about advocacy on issues in Singapore that could be socially divisive (including LGBT issues). These are matters for Singaporeans to discuss and come to a consensus on how to move forward.”
Government looking into it
It was already reported on Jul 30 that the Government is already looking into the issue.
Home Affairs Minister K Shanmugam said that while many agree that gay sex should not be criminalised, most also do not want any decriminalisation to cause other major changes.
He said that the Government is now considering how best to achieve a balance.
The minister also said the government has had extensive discussions with different groups of people, including religious leaders and LGBTQ groups representatives, on Section 377A of the Penal Code.
“Many agree that men who have sex with each other should not be thrown into prison. Gay sex should not be criminalised. At the same time, most do not want any decriminalisation to cause other major changes.”
Minister Shanmugam gave a reminder that these matters ought not to be discussed and decided in the courts but in Parliament and urged those in Singapore to avoid taking extreme positions on the issue and the way forward was to work out differences calmly for the sake of the country.
Cover photo credit: Google Street