Politically expedient to leave it to the Courts
Mr Shanmugam said, “If we approached this purely as politicians, concerned only with votes and not making anyone unhappy, or making as few people unhappy as possible, then that route of leaving it to the Courts would have been easier – pretend that these issues do not exist, need not have been talked about after the CA decision in Tan Seng Kee, leave it to the Courts.”
Lessons from India
Consequences of leaving it to the Courts
Parliament is better suited to resolve difficult societal issues
Open-ended resolutions are possible, instead of binary, win-lose outcomes, he added.
“Parliament has a duty to deal squarely with laws which are unconstitutional. If Parliament abdicates its duty and does not do what it has to do, then the Courts may have to do what they don’t want to do.,” said Mr Shanmugam.
2 reasons to repeal 377A
We should do so because there are no public order issues that are raised from such conduct, so it should not remain criminal.
What will remain criminalised, even if Section 377A is repealed is non-consensual sexual assault by males against other males. This remains a serious offence. Sexual acts committed by males against young persons remain a serious offence regardless of consent. Sexual acts between two males committed in public that offends public decency will remain an offence.