Mr Wong also said the impending repeal of Section 377A and whether there are viable next steps on the issue of inclusiveness for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community in Singapore. also mentioned.
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong announced at a National Day rally last month that the government would repeal colonial-era laws criminalizing sex between men.
But this would have to be discussed in Congress first, so “it’s not a done deal,” Wong stressed, adding that both sides had “very strong” views.
“Don’t get to the next step before you take the first,” he said.
“We repeal 377A because we believe there is a considerable legal risk that it will be overturned if challenged. If so, not only 377A, but even the definition of marriage may also be revoked on the grounds that it is unconstitutional.”
Many in Singapore “deeply care” about marriage as it is now defined (between a man and a woman) and family norms such as how children are raised and what is taught in schools, Wong said. added.
The government’s proposal is not only to repeal 377A, but to take steps to amend the Constitution to prevent the current definition of marriage from being legally challenged.
Wong said this would reassure those involved that the abolition was “the beginning of change” and that in reality there would be no change to marriage, family and social norms.
“Before we anticipate and think about what steps we will take in the future, let’s see how we can get past this first hurdle and reach the stage of finding a new balance that the majority of Singaporeans will embrace. We can overcome this debate without further dividing and polarizing our society,” Wong said.
It really concerns us that if we can’t even get through this first step without keeping society together, we can’t even talk about the next steps. ”